Movie Reviews: 'Shoot 'Em Up'

Bullets certainly do fly in Shoot 'Em Up -- but that's nothing compared with the barrage between the critics over the movie. On the one hand, A.O. Scott in the New York Times calls it "a worthless piece of garbage." He concludes his review by remarking: "You know what I hate? Witless, soulless, heartless movies that mistake noise for bravura and tastelessness for wit." Similarly, Michael Phillips in the Chicago Tribune writes: "It's not meant to be taken seriously. But films like this are worth taking seriously because they're genuinely cruddy and hollow and, yes, vile." And Ruthe Stein in the San Francisco Chronicle concludes that the movie represents "Hollywood's latest descent into nonsensical mayhem." But Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times calls it "the most audacious, implausible, cheerfully offensive, hyperactive action picture I've seen since, oh, Sin City, which in comparison was a chamber drama." While acknowledging that he sometimes disapproves of a movie for going too far, he nevertheless has "a sneaky regard for a movie that goes much, much farther than merely too far. This one goes so far, if you even want to get that far, you have to start half-way there." Lou Lumenick in the New York Post agrees, calling it, "the season's first guilty pleasure ... a joyously silly, R-rated, John Woo-inflected Looney Tune." And Jack Mathews in the New York Daily News describes it as "deliriously, audaciously entertaining," and remarks, "This is likely the fastest-moving intentionally funny action movie ever made. It's as if the 21 Bond movies and four Die Hards had been distilled to remove their body fat (that is, character development, buildup, rest stops, etc.) and left us with only the killing and the punch lines."
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