Shoot 'Em Up (2007)

Genre(s): Action / Comedy / Crime / Thriller
New Line || R - 86 minutes - $28.98 || January 1, 2008
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2008-01-10

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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

A U D I O &
.:: V I D E O ::.

Audio and Video

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Director: Michael Davis
Writer(s): Michael Davis (written by)
Cast: Clive Owen, Paul Giamatti, Monica Bellucci, Stephen McHattie

Theatrical Release Date: September 7, 2007

Supplemental Material:
  • Writer/Director Commentary
  • Deleted/Alternate Scenes
  • Ballet of Bullets: Making Shoot 'Em Up
  • Animatics
  • Trailers

Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.35)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1 EX), English (DTS-ES 6.1), English (Stereo Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.


“I’m a British nanny, and I’m dangerous.”

Shoot ‘Em Up is the latest in the over-the-top, octane-charged, gun-toting action genre. Like Crank and The Transporter before it, Shoot ‘Em Up doesn’t ask much from the audience except to just turn off one’s brain and prepare for full on assault where only every five scenes isn’t an action sequence.

The movie centers on a man simply named Smith (Owen; Sin City), a stranger who inserts himself when a pregnant woman is being chased by a hit man, Hertz (Giamatti; The Illusionist), and his crew who for some reason are trying to kill her. During the shootout, she gives birth and Smith takes it on himself to protect the child with the help of hooker DQ (Bellucci; The Matrix Reloaded). Together they discover there’s something more going on as to why that child is so important.

The film makes a funny parody on action movies, one I found hilarious: after Smith takes out all of Hertz’s men, he makes a phone call to gather more from all resources possible. Finally, a movie poses the question of where these bad guys get all their henchmen! There’s also a loose commentary on the second amendment and a bit of politics in here, though I’m still not sure what the purpose of it was since my ears were still ringing after non-stop gunfire.

To say writer/director Michael Davis took his cues from stylized action guru John Woo would be an understatement. Davis utilizes several John Woo camera moves like a character flying through the air, firing a gun and hitting every target or even the classic shot from Face/Off only instead of John Travolta/Nicholas Cage, it was Paul Giamatti facing off against Clive Owen. I have no issue with Davis taking his cues from another director and he does give off his own style and thankfully he didn’t include those stupid doves... I David kudos, though. This is his first real studio film after directing several independent, B-movies like 100 Girls (starring Jonathan Tucker, Emmanuelle Chiriquí and Katherine Heigl), Girl Fever and Monster Man.

Shoot ‘Em Up is a fun movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Clive Owen does a great job playing the everyday man, like he’s done so many times before, and Monica Bellucci does her best as the beauty-love interest of the film. The standout, however, is Paul Giamatti who breaks the mold of his indie format and makes a fun bad guy. There really isn’t anything deeper with these characters. Like the movie, it is what it is so don’t look too deep or else you’ll miss out on the fun.

If you like your movies filled with wall-to-wall action then this is the movie for you. I enjoyed the hell out of it... for what it was. Watch Crank or the Transporter movies first and if you have a blast with those, Shoot ‘Em Up is right there with both.


Writer/Director Commentary – Michael Davis provides a lively and thorough track that is one of the better solo tracks I’ve listened to in a while. It’s clear that Davis has a passion for this project and has plenty of things to say.

Deleted/Alternate Scenes (8:02) – The disc includes 9 scenes with an optional commentary from Davis. Most of what was deleted, according to Davis, was to get the picture moving a bit faster and for the most part, they didn’t need to be included anyway.

Ballet of Bullets: Making Shoot ‘Em Up (52:32) – This incredibly long and detailed ‘making of’ featurette is broken up into 5 parts available to watch individually or all at once. It takes you from the casting to special effects to the story. Very well done.

Animatics (22:19) – Interesting Animatic feature that writer/director Michael Davis used to sell the story to New Line animating 15-minutes worth of footage that correlates very closely to the final product. There is an optional commentary with Davis.

Finally, three trailers are included: a TV remix spot, the regular trailer and a red band trailer.



The movie is presented in anamorphic widescreen with a 2.35 aspect ratio. The film is fairly dark but still looks good. At times it’s grainy but I assume this is how it was meant to be so this looks to be a great transfer.

New Line still gives this $12m box office disappointment a DTS 6.1 track that will utilize one’s home theater to show off the millions of bullet casings hitting the floor. You can also choose a standard Dolby Digital 5.1 which is still more than suitable for those that cannot decode DTS.


Shoot ‘Em Up is a fine piece of film, one that any young man should view before his 18th birthday. Guns, sex and rock & roll, what more can one ask? No plot needed (as demonstrated by The Transporter) and all that is needed is a charismatic lead and a cool villain, both of which this movie has. The DVD is filled with some nice bonus features and it could be that this movie will become more popular as time goes on.