Monday, September 10, 2007
60 Second Film Review: Shoot ‘Em Up (Michael Davis)
Those looking for depth, as always, are advised to search elsewhere.
We’re a long way from True Lies folks. This one’s getting a pass from a lot of reviewers who are throwing around the “live action cartoon” label, as if that were somehow able to justify the slapdash execution and rampant laziness of the film. The fact is the film isn’t so much a cartoon (although God knows it does everything short of have Clive say “What’s Up Doc?” to try and propagate the idea) as an under-conceived Tsui Hark knock-off dumbed down and shoddied-up for American audiences. The great Peter Pau (Crouching Tiger) shot the film but you’d be hard pressed to identify his work as everything has been edited to ribbons to compensate for the budgetary constraints and the depressing reality that 40-something Clive Owen is not Jet Li.
Crumminess might be more palatable if the film wasn’t essentially a hat on a hat for 90-minutes, frequently commenting on the genre staples and narrative contrivances it wallows in as a validation for how little actual tension and excitement it generates. Something like Rodriguez’s Planet Terror took a lot of these same ideas and came away with something more joyful and observant. Too much sizzle, not enough steak really. Remarkably contains the worst performances of Owen’s, Giamatti’s and Bellucci’s (whose butchery of the English language is especially hard to endure) respective careers, which I suppose speaks to the unique talents of a director responsible for such direct to video gems as Girl Fever, 100 Girls, and Eight Days a Week. You know what I hate? A supposed “down and dirty” R-rated film that casts Monica Bellucci as a prostitute who specializes in lactation that doesn’t even give her a decent boob shot. You know what else I hate… D+