Saturday, November 10, 2007

Eat Your Vegetables, Shoot Your Load

"You know what I hate the most?"
Watching a crappy movie like Shoot 'em up and actually found myself enjoying it.

Shoot 'em Up is a satire of action noir movie. The story begins with Clive Owen's Smith rescueing a pregnant woman from a group of assasins. The woman died and he ran off with the baby, intending to keep him safe and finding out the reason for the assasination.
Everything in the movie, from the people to the words to the action are either vulgar or downright ridiculous. Smith actually delivered a baby in the middle of an action in the beginning of the film and later does the same in the middle of making love to Bellucci's Donna.
"Talk about shooting your load", he said.
The movie could easily become a very bad B-graded movie except that it was evident that everything incredibly stupid about the movie is actually quite deliberate.
As if to show that this is not just a mindless action film, a lot of twist and turn are thrown in, wrapping the film in a tight conspiracy theory. Both the hero and the baddy, Hertz, also demonstrated intelligence in the pursuit for truth for the former and in locating his target for the latter. Yes... the logic used in their "investigation" is silly, I admit. Hertz located Donna because he realised that the baby needed to be fed and started looking for all lactating prostitute in the city. Smith discovered who the baby's real father is when he noticed an article in the newspaper he was using as diaper for the baby.
Clive Owen, both as an actor and as the character Smith in this movie is without a doubt the reason why this movie is so fun to watch. He is perfect for such kind of role isn't he? The dark noir type of tough guy in trench coat with a haunting past who smokes heavily to drown away his sorrow. Except for the unique twist that he doesn't smoke. He eats carrots. It is, after all, a healthier alternative, not to mention that he can used it as a weapon, or to reach a gun just beyond his grasp. Eating carrots never looked so cool before.
Another thing that most of us, or at least I can relate to is how much he hates road bully. Smith drove up to the car and forced it off the road. A very bad influence, I always wanted to do that. Most, if not every character such as the one he played here is righteous but his choice of what to be righteous about is really fresh.
With Smith disposing all the assault thrown onto him, including the 50 henchmen who ambushed his home, Hertz asked a very valid question.
"These men suck... or is he that damn good?"
Pretty much what crosses our mind in just about every action movie we saw. The heroes are good but the goons remained goons... idiots.
The writer director went to great length to portrayed Smith as a very exceptional and extraordinary man. His deductive reasoning is (silly but) sound and his skill with guns has to be seen to be believed. Actually it was still unbelievable even after you seen it but that was again, quite deliberate from the director.
I stepped into the theater hoping to catched a movie that would not assault my mind - I was too tired to think. I did not expect one who would tickle my senses the way this one does. An enjoyable movie as long as you are open to the idea that is is a satire. All those punny one-liner alone is enough to leave you in stitches. Leave your brain at home, just enjoy the ride.

For the record, I still rated Hot Fuzz as the classier and more intelligent satire to action movie.


*+ BabyJen +* said...

Hey there. Kee Lin, you're who I met at Legend's Taekwando Centre right? I'm Siew Pang's friend by the way.

Anyway, I see that you're interested in the Panasonic FZ18. Got that from Timothy's blog.

Well, I'm sure you will have the chance to try that SLR.

Pencilman said...

Yup.. that's me. And I think I remembered you too.
Well, actually I kinda have my eyes on Nikon right now. he he..

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