Why Shoot ‘Em Up Is One Of The Most Misunderstood Action Movies Ever Made


If you are a cinephile, there will be a handful of movies in your lifetime that you will feel the need to defend ardently, convinced that it’s a movie that most of the world just “didn’t get.” But even thinking that puts you at a disadvantage, because majority often rules. So one must choose their battles carefully.

Making a living evaluating, loving, and writing about films, I very rarely write the “all of you are wrong” articles, because I know that they can really force a writer into exile, especially depending on what portion of your audience he or she is calling out. In this case, involving the vastly misunderstood and wholly brilliant 2007 action film starring Clive Owen called Shoot ‘Em Up, I have no problem pulling up a soapbox, grabbing a microphone, and letting 90% of the world know they were wrong about this film. This is not the silly action film that most take it as. Just the three stars in the film alone should tell you that. Clive Owen, Monica Bellucci, and Paul Giamatti. And you think, based on those three alone, that this movie is the film you think it is? No.

This is not THAT action movie. This is the movie that is completely mocking those movies, and doing so with Shakesperean levels of brilliance. Yes, I just name dropped Shakespeare in an article about Shoot ‘Em Up. Man, the comments are gonna get hairy, huh? Well, I can promise you that you’ll feel less compelled to want to strangle me by the end of this piece than you feel right now. Trust me there. Or not. Who knows, really?

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