We all have movies we like “just because”. The plot can be irrelevant, make no sense, and just be beyond absurd (like the Crank movies…which I love). Guy movies tend to fall into that category because they have this machoness to them. They have whatever you like seeing on the screen (elaborate fight scenes just because they are possible (anything Tony Jaa), heavy gun fights (Smokin’ Aces), or the greatest cast in the history of time (The Expendables)). All are perfectly legitimate reasons to deem a movie a “guy movie”. For me personally, the first movie I considered worthy of that title was actually Smokin’ Aces for the reason I listed it for; the gun fights.
Now, The Expendables has taken that title for no reason in particular (*takes deep breath* StalloneStathamLiLundgrenCoutureAustinCrewsRourkeWillis). But between the releases of these movies, there was a simple movie that I think may have gone a little under the radar and I didn’t realize its greatness until Netflix sent it to me. This movie is the Clive Owen, Monica Bellucci, and Paul Giamatti starrer, Shootem Up.
A very worthy successor
Our movie sees the main character, Smith (Owen) caught in between a battle for a new born baby. One side is trying to kill the baby, the other in need of its DNA (remember when I mentioned “beyond absurd”?) What actually makes this movie so easy to enjoy is that the characters have no real backgrounds. It’s Owen vs. Giamatti (vs. the DNA harvesters). For some reason, they decided to throw in a plot twist at the end that does work, and is fine, but doesn’t totally need to be there. It’s done more to condense the number of characters actually needed (whereas throughout the movie we still had the same amount, just one was actually missing). Smith seems to go from a guy who is shooting at people because they are shooting at him, to actually caring about the baby….which is easy when the guys shooting at you are merely trying to kill the poor defenseless baby.
You were saying something about a “poor defenseless baby”?
Not just to the fact that there are more bullets shot in the first scene than there are words spoken in the entire movie, but for the sheer volume of bullets expended throughout the film. Give logic a break here and enjoy everything about all the bullets and Smith’s fantastic, subtle comedy. He gets some great one-liners, delivers commentary about specific traits he hates in people, and gets to bang Monica Bellucci. The other part of the movie I loved was the music. I mean rock music and guns might go together because they are loud and what not, but it’s not until the scene from Smith’s home where I found another reason to love this movie. See, the baby liked rock music, nay, heavy metal music. Insert Motorhead’s “Ace of Spades” to play over another big gun fight inside Smith’s house. Awesome.
That’s right folks, I just went from the Toast to the Verdict which means I’m only giving it one beer for being absolutely awesome in two very distinct and effectively done ways: lots of bullets and heavy metal. It really is that simple. When I first started at MB, I was told the one beer/five star system made you have to get to the heart of the film that you liked. In truth, all Shootem Up needed was the heart. There are just so many cool things done with guns from traps and riggings to shooting at particular objects like table legs to using a carrot as a trigger finger. And yes, the bullets and heavy metal totally make up for the blatant CGI blood and green screen.
Remember kiddies, eat your veggies
Bonus Drinking Game
Take a Drink: for every one-liner from Smith
Take a Drink: for every shoot out