'Shoot 'Em Up' fires and misfires as Owen and Giamatti face off

The Baltimore Sun

Shoot 'Em Up is so blatantly geared to be a cult movie that its enlistment of an actual midnight-following would seem almost superfluous. If you've seen the commercials, the act of watching the movie might seem superfluous, too. To approximate the experience, simply record a minute-long TV ad, watch it 86 times, and imagine the profanity, scatology and gore that broadcast censors had to cut out of it.

The saving grace in an exuberantly graceless movie is Clive Owen. This actor is bulletproof. Even in a sick-joke jamboree like Shoot 'Em Up, he mows down the competition and gets his laughs without losing his composure. His deadpan engages the audience and helps him kill most of the other characters in the picture. While they're still trying to figure him out, he's planning his next ambush.

Shoot 'Em Up (New Line Cinema) Starring Clive Owen, Paul Giamatti, Monica Bellucci. Directed by Michael Davis. Rated R. Time 86 minutes.

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