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Saturday, September 08, 2007

Shoot 'Em Up

I caught the local matinee premiere of Shoot 'Em Up yesterday, New Line's latest vehicle for Clive Owen.

The good is it's actually a great vehicle for Paul Giamatti, who does a phenomenal job as the hitman linchpin who's the foil (and provides the manpower fodder), for Owen's constant bang bang shenanigans. Giamatti is one of my character actor heroes, and I put him up there with John C. Reilly, and William H. Macy, Pepe Serna, and Joan Cusack -- hard- (and constantly) working, amazingly talented character actors.

So, see the film for Giamatti. The other stuff, notably "Owen's constant bang bang shenanigans" -- isn't there.

The film's short. So short (120 minutes), and so hyped, that it's supposed to be about non-stop action. The brakes are put on repeatedly for heavy plot exposition and (worse) heavy-handed political statements about gun control and parental correction. The ironic juxtaposition is nice, though.

The film is over the top. But not in the fun/ridiculous way I was expecting. It felt gratuitous for gratuitous sake.

Worth seeing? For me, for Giamatti, yes. But Owen and Monica Bellucci have better stuff out there.

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