The first thing you all need to understand for any of this to work is just who Clive Owen is portraying. This might be hard for you to grasp, but honestly, this is the truth. Do you actually think him always having a carrot is just a “funky prop” and that he just likes eating them? If so, then right away you’re off about what you are seeing. Clive Owen may be portraying a man named “Smith” in this film, but do you know who he was based on?
He is based on Bugs Bunny. No, really he is.
Director Michael Davis deliberately modelled the character and his mannerisms and confidence after Bugs Bunny. That is why, in the first moment you see him in the film, he is literally just sitting there, munching on a carrot. If you think back to almost any early Looney Tunes cartoons, that is how we would be introduced to Bugs Bunny. The screen would pan by and he would just be matter-of-fact-ly eating his carrot with a “so what” look on his face. And that is JUST how we meet Smith in Shoot ‘Em Up. This also starts the over-the-top, cartoon action right away, with no dialogue.
We see a pregnant woman running past a carrot munching Clive Owen, with armed men chasing her for some reason, trying to kill her. To this, he responds with a roll of the eyes, and a very British sounding “f*cking Hell.” He then gets up and readies to go save her, as if he finds himself in this situation all the time. Brilliant. Silly. Satirical.
But take your break now, because the movie starts up and never takes a breath from this moment forth.
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