SHOOT 'EM UP (Michael Davis). 91 minutes. Opens Friday (September 7). Rating: NN
In Shoot 'Em Up , director Michael Davis discovers that if you have lots of guns, you don't actually need plot or characters.
I like movies with lots of guns, but I also like a bit of emotional engagement. It helps if there's a reason to care about the dozens of people being killed. Otherwise, it's like the scene in Matrix 2 where Neo battles 100 Agent Smiths: "Oooh, look, the special effects are fighting!"
Clive Owen is trying to protect a newborn baby whom Paul Giamatti wants to kill. Well, Giamatti's just a contractor with access to dozens of professional bad guys who are apparently incapable of shooting straight.
Maybe they're not pros; maybe they just have access to badass tailors who make their leather coats and balaclavas. Owen gives his default performance - almost the same as the one he gave in Children Of Men - and Monica Bellucci is angry/sexy as the lactating hooker he picks up for nutritional purposes. Giamatti has fun in a rare turn as a villain.