Shoot 'Em Up is one of those movies that a guy watches and says,"YESSSS..." to, the entire time the movie is playing. It is as if the director had watched a bunch of action movies and then decided to make the most over the top one he could possibly think of. Nothing in this movie makes sense. The laws of physics do not apply. The characters are bogus, the plot diaphanous, and the stunts beyond mortal comprehension.
Suspend your disbelief at the door and you will be entertained.
This is Madness
I can't even remember the main character's name, so we'll just call him Clive Owen. Clive Owen likes carrots. In this bizarro universe, carrots are the key to unimaginable power, so Clive Owen munches on them constantly. On this steady diet of healthy orange vegetable sticks, Mr. Owen acquires powers such as inhuman dexterity, telescopic vision, and impossibly fast reflexes. Take away his carrots and he becomes a sad bunny. With no other movie have I acquired an intense craving for carrots. Perhaps this movie should be shown to young kids everywhere so they can eat their veggies. Or perhaps not.
Clive Owen, in the first few minutes of the movie, must stop eating a carrot in order to go kick some ass. He is grumpy about this; he loves his carrots. But, in doing so, he saves a baby from being inexplicably killed by some goon with a gun. Then he realizes that a bunch of assholes want this baby dead. I still have no idea why they wanted to kill that baby; my mind would turn off everytime anybody said anything that suggested plot development. Long story short, a small army pursues Clive Owen all over the damn place. Through playgrounds, warehouses, houses of prostitution, flying through the sky, you name it. Anyways, what makes the baby special to me is that it stops crying whenever it hears hard rock. And it grins and laughs everytime it hears a gun being cocked. The baby will certainly have some serious issues once it has grown up, but you have to admit, this sounds like one badass baby.
So Clive Owen teams up with a prostitute and some carrots to fight off a ton of bad guys in the most dramatic and impossible ways in order to protect this poor, confused, badass baby. The leader of the goons... well, I can't remember his damn name either. We'll just call him John Adams. Anyways, while pursued by the second president, Clive Owen does some truly crazy shit. He slides across the room on an oil slick while shooting bad guys in all direction. He jumps out of a plane and has a shoot out with a dozen bad guys in the middle of the freaking sky. While enjoying some carrot time with his girlfriend, he is interrupted by baddies and manages to take them all out while simultaneously coaxing the lady to happy land. There is no end to the insane shenanigans that go down. Clive Owen is blessed by the gods to defend this baby with all the powers of divine vengeance, all the madness of John Woo, and all the insanity the lobby scene from The Matrix can muster.
Not really sure what else I can say about this movie, to be honest. The plot is completely forgettable, but isn't necessary. This is a movie of the same caliber as Transporter II, another action film that is simply so absurd and over the top that you can't help but love it. But where the Transporter specialized in impossibly awesome fist fights, Shoot 'Em Up specializes in jaw-droppingly insane gun fights.
But don't take this movie seriously because, if you do, you are doomed to an hour and a half of brain-electrocuting nonsense. You might just lose brain cells. But, if you go into it realizing that the absurdity is the point of it, then you'll be immensely entertained. My only caveat is that the amount of vulgarity was unnecessary. I still don't understand why rated R comedies these days need to be filled to the brim with vulgar nastiness such as this. It isn't funny, it's gross. But I'm going to try not to get off topic here.
If you are a guy who appreciates action movies, this might be right up your alley. If not, I'd probably steer clear. Needless to say, this movie has given me a new appreciation for carrots.