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January 2008

By Kam Williams


Cast: Clive Owen, Paul Giamatti, Monica Bellucci, Stephen McHattie, Greg Bryk
Directors: Michael Davis
Format: Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC
Language: English, Italian
Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Number of discs: 1
Rating: Rated R for sexuality, nudity, profanity and pervasive graphic violence
Studio: New Line Home Video
DVD Release Date: January 1, 2008
Run Time: 86 minutes
DVD Extras: Feature commentaries by writer/director Michael Davis, deleted scenes, trailers, plus a couple of ”Behind-the-scenes” featurettes


High-Impact Action Spoof Out on DVD

Smith, a homeless drifter (Clive Owen) sitting at a bus stop, comes to the assistance of a pregnant woman (Ramona Pringle) being chased down the street by a couple of hoodlums. Fortunately, the carrot-chomping hobo happens to be a military veteran well-versed in weapons and martial arts combat, a set of skills about to come in very handy since he’s just unknowingly ticked-off Hertz (Paul Giamatti), a ruthless mobster with a gang of cutthroat assassins.

The Good Samaritan starts fighting-off the goons while simultaneously delivering the stranger’s baby during the heat of battle. Then, after the mother succumbs from a shot to the head, Smith realizes he has an orphan on his hands. Knowing that the kid needs milk for nourishment, and pronto, he quickly makes his way to a house of ill repute in search of Donna (Monica Bellucci), a proverbial prostitute with a heart of gold whose specialty is catering to kinky customers with a fetish for lactating mammaries.

Understandably suspicious about why a john would show up with a newborn, Donna is reluctant to assist, until Hertz’s and company burst in guns-a-blazing. Suddenly, both her maternal and survival instincts kick in, and clutching the kid to her bosom, she follows Smith’s lead down into the mean streets on the dead run for a non-stop chase that doesn’t end till the curtain comes down on this heart-stopping roller coaster ride.

This is the unabashedly preposterous point of departure of Shoot 'Em Up, a tongue-in-cheek spoof of the action adventure genre. The picture delivers handily, provided all you’re asking for is a stomach-churning free-fall featuring plenty of gratuitous bloodletting with a little primal carnality tossed in for good measure.

A one-dimensional cinematic treat best savored with one’s brain on pause.