Duh-YAM. Talk about over the top. As Ebert describes Shoot ‘Em Up: “This one goes so far, if you even want to get that far, you have to start half-way there, which means you have to be a connoisseur of the hard-boiled action genre and its serio-comic sub-basement.” Hard-boiled indeed. This is Woo’s Hard Boiled crossed with Children of Men.
Let me clarify that last comment. This movie is actually inspired by a scene from Hard Boiled, where the hero runs around with a newborn while being shot at (that being an enormous understatement). The actor for this movie did practically the same thing – i.e.: run around with a newborn while being shot at (that, also, being an understatement) – not long ago in Children of Men. Now, having identified the two grittiest movies regarding protecting a newborn whilst dodging pallets of high-velocity lead, we get two hours of that premise involving so much lead viewers should be greeted with an FDA health warning during the opening credits. This one goes so far … well, Ebert summed that up.
My rating? Maybe as low as 3/5. Intense visuals (mostly involving firefights), gratuitous copulation (during firefights), and ever-more-over-the-top situations (featuring firefights), you’d think that that many baddies with that much firepower directed at one person that exposed that long would somehow manage to get one little chunk of Pb on target. He, on the other hand, took out more people with carrots. Entertaining to be sure (at least until some needless politicking was injected), but not meaningful or life-enriching. The Matrix at least explored pop psychology.