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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Shoot ‘Em Up

    Last Wednesday, I had the rather odd opportunity to review Shoot ‘Em Up at Island 16 in Holtsville. As soon as I entered the theatre hall, I sensed an unwelcoming rush of testosterone. Needless to say, the screening was received by a predominantly male audience. The movie’s beginning affirmed one of my worst public moments – being stuck watching a violent action thriller. Think of it as a guy being stuck watching a chick flick. Fortunately, I left the theatre satisfied with the memory of 80 minutes of complete entertainment.

    For starters, those who watch movies to extract some sort of profound moral, this one isn’t for you. But if you come from the type that likes movies like Talladega Nights, or are simply easily amused, then don’t miss this one. And while we are at the point where I give discreet warnings, here is another one. Don’t walk into this movie expecting action sequences that make sense. Sure, they are cool, but they run with no logic. So, leave your thinking hats aside when you watch it.

    Clive Owen of Children of Men plays Mr. Smith. Smith is carrots way too occasionally, and his detached demeanor does not prevent him from getting himself entangled in fights to save a stranger’s baby. With the mother dead and no one to care for the newborn, Smith must now depend on a lactating prostitute, Donna, played aptly by Monica Bellucci. And he must also stave off hundreds of gunmen led by their crime leader, Hertz played by Paul Giamatti (Lady in the Water).

    Now, Smith is on his own to save the prostitute and the baby, who he has now begun to consider his family. This is probably the movie’s sore point. For the directors to make a plot out of what is obviously the most ludicrous everlasting action fight that takes place over loud heavy metal music is a stretch. In a movie where an umbilical cord is severed using a bullet and Smith is able to multitask a heavy-duty bed session with Donna and a shooting spree at a multitude of gunmen with ease, and where a bus just takes you to ‘wherever,’ there is little room for a logical story.

    This is not to say that the movie is a coarse deal. If it were, I would have left it quite early. There are some great references, whether it is the Looney Tunes one picking on Smith’s carrot habit and Hertz’s reference to him as a ‘silly rabbit,’ or the Mr. Smith action sequences reminiscent of The Matrix and Mr. and Mrs. Smith. There is pun, sarcasm and goofs all rolled into one. In one sequence, Smith blows up letters from a lit factory sign to spell out, ‘F— U,’ to which Hertz blows some more to spell out ‘F— U TOO.’ Obviously, there is enough swearing, violence and nudity to keep families off bay.

    In the end, the movie falls short of proper beginning and end, although it does have one heck of a climax. Because of this, it is probably in your best interest to wait for the DVD. Although, if the beginning of a school year has already taken its toll, I say, why not take a ride to wherever!

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