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Shoot ‘Em Up

Big fat novel wordcount: 28,423
Random story I started a fortnight ago wordcount: 7,862

Those nearly eight thousand words up there are one reason I haven’t posted that much here lately. I’m working on some other things, but topical ramblings might be a little slow in coming while so many other words are happening so easily. But this is worth talking about. I have just seen the most amazing movie ever. It’s called Shoot ‘Em Up.

It’s hilarious. It’s an uproarious knockabout comedy of the most gloriously farcical nature. If you were paying very little attention, or have no sense of irony, I can see how you might mistakenly get the idea that it’s an action movie, but you’d be completely missing the point. It has Clive Owen as an action hero, which is funny right off the bat.

But oh, it just gets better and better from there. This review will be cobbled together from the scattered notes I made while watching it, and will entirely fail to do justice to just how wonderfully ludicrous it is. It’s a film with a death-by-root-vegetable count of two, for god’s sake. Most films’ death-by-root-vegetable counts don’t even get off the ground, which I can only attribute to lazy writing.

It had a plot, I’m fairly certain, but mostly it’s about ass being kicked and shit being blowed up good, in a way that is absolute comedy genius. And Clive Owen fighting for HIGHWAY JUSTICE and the APPROPRIATE USE OF TURN SIGNALS.

Other menaces that shall not be tolerated include people who SLURP THEIR COFFEE TOO LOUDLY.

And once he has dispatched such scourges of decent society, the quips and snarled one-liners make James Bond look like Oscar Wilde.

“Eat your vegetables.”
“Nothing like a good hand-job.”
“Talk about shooting your load.”
“So much for wearing your seat-belt.”

Never before has a movie made me think to myself, “If Paul Giamatti doesn’t get his thumbs ripped off at some point before the credits roll, I will be hugely disappointed”. I’m thinking it of Clive Owen most of the time, of course, but that’s for different reasons, not plot-related at all.

At one point, he carefully arranges a number of automatic weapons around an entire building, along with a complicated pulley system, and then sets up a control room, where he can fire any of these weapons at will by tugging on bits of string. The bad guys trying to get him continue to stand conveniently right in front of all these mounted machine-guns, and die by the dozen. This film is basically Home Alone 12, where Kevin has grown up to be a complete maniac.

A film like this would normally be on very dangerous ground having any of its characters uttering a sentence that begins “I hate those lame action movies where…”, but somehow, having worked so hard to disassociate itself from logic and moderation entirely, this one kinda gets away with it.

And then, at the very end, there’s a callback to the hero’s horrific past which was mentioned earlier, and for a moment it looks like there might be some tragic denouement as the nightmares from his history return to haunt him again and put him through the same pain of loss as before, but then the film basically goes “Fuck that” and is just about how awesome it can be to shoot a bunch of people.

One billion stars.

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