Shoot 'Em Up (film)
|Shoot 'Em Up|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Michael Davis|
|Produced by||Susan Montford
|Written by||Michael Davis|
|Music by||Paul Haslinger|
|Editing by||Pater Amundson|
|Distributed by||New Line Cinema|
|Running time||86 min.|
|Box office||$26,820,641 (worldwide)|
Shoot 'Em Up is a 2007 action/black comedy film, starring Clive Owen, Paul Giamatti, and Monica Bellucci. The film was written and directed by Michael Davis and produced by Susan Montford, Don Murphy and Rick Benattar. The film was released on September 7, 2007. Despite receiving positive reviews, Shoot 'Em Up underperformed at the box office.
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The film opens as a drifter, known as Smith (Clive Owen), sits at a bus stop eating a carrot and drinking coffee. A pregnant woman who is going into labor passes by. Shortly after, a hitman pursues her and attempts to kill her in a warehouse. Smith saves the woman, only to have another group of armed thugs attack. During the ensuing firefight, the woman gives birth to a baby boy (later named Oliver) and Smith confronts the leader of the assassins, Karl Hertz (Paul Giamatti). Hertz escapes as more of his men arrive, and as Smith flees he finds the baby's mother has been killed. Taking the baby with him, Smith narrowly escapes the pursuing thugs by jumping into an apartment in a neighboring building through the window.
The following day, Smith attempts to leave the baby in a local park, hoping someone will adopt the child. However, Hertz is watching and shoots a woman, who goes to retrieve the baby, with a sniper rifle. Realizing the baby is a prime target, Smith takes Oliver to a brothel to leave him there with Donna, a lactating hooker (Monica Bellucci). She refuses to take the child, and Smith leaves. Hertz arrives at the brothel shortly after, and tortures Donna for information. Smith returns, killing Hertz's henchmen, he also manages to shoot Hertz, but the latter is saved by a bulletproof vest.
Smith and Donna hole up in his hideout, where Smith discovers that Oliver stops crying when he hears heavy metal music. This leads Smith to think the baby felt similar vibrations in his mother's womb and that Oliver's mother lived near a heavy metal club. Meanwhile Hertz employs a number of thugs to fight Smith. Hertz soon discovers Smith's hideout and a gun battle ensues. Smith escapes Hertz and his men and visits a heavy metal club near the place where he saw the pregnant woman in the opening of the movie. He discovers an apartment above the club where three mothers were impregnated with one man's sperm. Two of the mothers were killed in that apartment, while the third one escaped and gave birth to Oliver.
Smith has aggressive sex with Donna after putting Oliver in the bathroom tub of the motel room. The room is raided by masked men. Smith, while carrying Donna, defeats them in a gun battle and discovers that his assailants' weapons are all the same make - Hammerson - and a model that isn't to be made available for six more months. This discovery causes Smith to suspect the involvement of the Hammerson factory. Smith believes that the only place Donna and Oliver will be safe is in a M24 Chaffee armored tank within an army museum. He allows Donna and Oliver to enter the tank by creating a distraction.
Smith covertly visits the Hammerson factory and witnesses Hertz and Hammerson in conversation about how they do not want the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution to be repealed by the next President. Smith also notices a dog with Hammerson called "Dutchess". Smith booby traps the entire facility with guns that are controlled remotely using a rope and pulley system, but Hertz spots him and orders the guards of the factory to find and kill Smith. Smith with the help of the traps defeats the guards.
Smith returns to Donna, where he reads a bit of newspaper with a story on Senator Harry Rutledge (Daniel Pilon) running for the presidency and the senator's opposition to the second amendment. Smith deduces that Rutledge is sick and needs a bone marrow transplant, which is why he used his sperm to create the three babies. Smith tells Donna to leave town using a "Green bus" because the regular transportation lines will be monitored by both the Secret Service and Hertz's henchmen. Smith also asks Donna not to tell him where she will get off the bus. Smith later contacts the head of security for Rutledge, referred to throughout the film as the "Go-to-guy", asking him for an appointment with Rutledge. The "Go-to-guy" arranges the meeting with the senator aboard a plane. During the meeting Smith notices dog hair on the Senator's trousers, causing Smith to suspect the senator has struck a deal with Hammerson.
Smith takes the senator hostage at gun point and his suspicions are confirmed when Hertz and Hammerson come to meet Smith. Smith kills the senator and bails out of the aircraft with a parachute. Smith is pursued by armed men, leading to a mid-air shoot-out. Smith is injured but manages to eliminate all the attackers. After landing Smith passes out due to his injuries.
Smith awakens to find Hertz holding him at gunpoint. In the comfort of Hammerson's mansion, Hertz tortures Smith by breaking his fingers to learn where Donna and Oliver are hiding. Smith endures the pain. Hertz taunts Smith with knowledge of his past, hinting that he had once illegally sold a firearm that was later used to kill Smith's wife and son. As a last effort, Hertz decides to carve out Smith's eyes with a scalpel, but Smith manages to break free. Smith kills Hammerson and numerous other thugs but has to flee from Hertz. Smith surprises his pursuer by jamming live rounds in between his broken fingers and holding his hand over a fire, making the rounds detonate and hit Hertz's chest. Both then struggle to stand and lift their respective firearms, Smith gripping his in both hands, managing to fire first and kill Hertz.
Smith then boards a bus, not knowing where Donna or Oliver are. At an ice-cream parlor, Smith sits at a table and hears Donna's voice. Turning around, he sees Oliver in a baby chair and passionately reunites with Donna. The film ends as a group of amateur robbers enter the parlor, and a disgusted Smith stops them, using a carrot to pull his trigger.
- Clive Owen as Mr. Smith
- Paul Giamatti as Karl Hertz
- Monica Bellucci as Donna "D.Q." Quintano
- Stephen McHattie as Hammerson
- Greg Bryk as The "Go-to-Guy"
- Daniel Pilon as Senator Harry Rutledge
- Sidney Mende-Gibson as Baby Oliver
- Lucas Mende-Gibson as Baby Oliver
- Kaylyn Yellowlees as Baby Oliver
- Ramona Pringle as Baby's Mother
- Julian Richings as Hertz's Driver
- Jason Reso as Senator's Guard
- Tony Munch as Man Who Rides Shotgun
- Scott McCord as Man who got shot
When writer/director Michael Davis's original concept was passed on by movie studios, he put together a 17-minute reel of animated footage, consisting of 17,000 line drawings, to give studio heads an idea of how the action scenes would play out. This got the attention of New Line Cinema CEO, Bob Shaye, who approved the project and accepted Davis to direct. After signing Clive Owen and other actors, the film went into production in Toronto, Ontario, Canada between February 13, 2006 and May 8, 2006.
The final robbery scene was shot at the Satellite Family Restaurant, a traditional diner in Mississauga, west of Toronto.
Though Variety initially reported a planned release during the holiday season of 2006, and initial previews occurred in September of that year, the film was eventually scheduled for release on September 7, 2007. Audience response from a screening at 2007's San Diego Comic-Con was very positive.
"Bullet proof baby" and other marketing
Since July 2007, Shoot 'Em Up was publicized with a guerrilla marketing campaign by London based agency New Media Maze. The campaign included a viral video and website selling bogus items ranging from bullet-proof strollers to riot helmets for infants. A video was released on YouTube in which the company claimed to test the bullet-proof stroller by shooting at it with a submachine gun while a baby was in it. The baby was then taken out of the stroller unharmed. It was all a hoax, but the campaign was nevertheless taken seriously by global media and the blogging community. For instance, Sweden's biggest evening tabloid Aftonbladet had the story as its lead on their online edition for some time.
The film received mixed to positive reviews from film critics. Peter Debruge of Variety called the film "violent and vile in equal measure", but "too stylistically audacious to dismiss outright". Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter was more equivocal in his review, saying "Anyone looking for subtlety, character development or layered plotting will be disappointed, but action fans will find plenty to amuse them with this film that makes Hard Boiled look restrained", and that the film is "all very good and undeniably fun...." Peter Travers of Rolling Stone praised the film (giving it three stars out of four) and called Shoot 'Em Up a "wet dream for action junkies [that] leaves out logic and motivation...." Taking the opposite view, Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune gave the film one out of four stars, decrying the film's "jolly cruelt[y]", and calling the film "cruddy and vile" and "witless", and A.O. Scott of the New York Times went even further, calling the film "a worthless piece of garbage". Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun Times highly praised the film and gave it 3.5 stars out of 4, explaining: "I may disapprove of a movie for going too far, and yet have a sneaky regard for a movie that goes much, much farther than merely too far."
As of January 13, 2010, the movie-review aggregating website Rotten Tomatoes lists Shoot 'Em Up with a "Tomatometer" rating of 67% ("fresh") based on 156 reviews, with an average critic's rating of 6.2/10.
The film opened in fourth place for its first weekend, earning $5,716,139 from 2,108 theaters. The film has a total worldwide gross of $26,820,641, making it a failure at a $39 million budget.
Blu-ray & DVD release
The movie was released in high-definition Blu-ray Disc and DVD formats on New Year's Day, January 1, 2008. The HD DVD version of the movie was scheduled to be released shortly after the Blu-ray version, but Warner Bros./New Line's decision to exclusively support Blu-ray has led to the cancellation of all New Line HD DVD titles (along with all Warner Bros. HD DVD titles after May 2008). The Blu-ray version of Shoot 'Em Up was delayed one week in Canada.
- Belanger, Joseph. Interview: Michael Davis. Ioncinema.com. August 29, 2007.
- Shoot 'em Up (2007) - Movie - Review, New York Times, September 7, 2007 (retrieved 2008-04-22)
- Shoot 'Em Up at WorstPreviews
- Fritz, Ben (2005-06-05). "Owen Targets "Shoot"". Variety.com. Retrieved 2007-08-22.
- "Quint" (2006-09-14). "Crazy Clive Owen/Paul Giamatti flick, SHOOT 'EM UP, tests! And...". Aintitcoolnews.com. Retrieved 2007-08-22.
- Henry Ham (2007-07-27). "Shoot 'Em Up Brings Down the House at Comic-Con". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2007-08-22.
- Monica Bellucci's Balancing Act
- Bounty.com Mother tests out her 'bullet-proof' design
- The Daily Telegraph Australia Bulletproof babywear, a viral marketing gag
- Raising Kids Bullet-proof Baby Buggies
- DollyMix.com Mums gone mad
- Aftonbladet (Swedish) Här skjuter hon - på sin baby
- Debruge, Peter (2007-07-31). "Shoot 'Em Up". Variety. Retrieved 2007-08-21.
- Frank Scheck (2007-08-20). "Shoot 'Em Up". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2007-08-22.
- Peter Travers (2007-09-04). "Shoot 'Em Up". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2007-09-06.
- Michael Phillips (2007-09-07). "Shoot 'Em Up Misfires With A Hollow Point". The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2007-09-07.
- Scott, A.O. (2007-09-07). "Never Mind Those Bullets, a Newborn Needs Rescuing". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-09-07.
- Ebert review
- "Shoot 'Em Up". Rottentomatoes.com. 2007-09-08. Retrieved 2007-09-08.
- "Shoot 'Em Up (2007)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2009-02-27.
- "Shoot 'Em Up Caps Blu-ray". IGN. Retrieved 2007-10-25.
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- Official website
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