Shoot 'Em Up [Blu-ray]
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Every action movie has a moment so over the top you have to laugh; Shoot 'Em Up consists of nothing but these moments. A carrot-eating, lone wolf kind of guy named Smith (Clive Owen, Children of Men, Inside Man) steps in to protect a pregnant woman from a gunman--and finds himself, with the aid of a lactating prostitute (Monica Belluci, The Matrix Revisited), defending the newborn child from a sleazy contract killer Mr. Hertz (Paul Giamatti, American Splendor, Sideways) and his army of thugs. That's pretty much the plot, but story is beside the point. Writer/director Michael Davis (Monster Man) has a keen sense of what matters in an action movie. The rapid-fire editing is scrupulously coherent; you always grasp what happened in every shoot-out, even if it flagrantly violates the laws of physics or basic plausibility. Explaining how Smith survives a four-story fall--even if that explanation is beyond ridiculous--demonstrates both a sense of wit and a winking respect for the audience's imagination. As a result, Shoot 'Em Up is ten times more entertaining than the likes of Transformers or Rush Hour 3, movies so self-satisfied with special effects or movie stars that they forgot to be fun. (Shoot 'Em Up's only weakness is a sliver of misogyny, the one action movie cliche that it's not clever enough to transcend.) --Bret Fetzer