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Shoot 'Em Up

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If you're an inimitable rip-roaring action fan and are able to suspend disbelief for about 77 minutes, you're in luck. Shoot 'Em Up may very well be the best movie you've ever seen.

A random stranger called Smith (Clive Owen, Closer) sits alone at a dark, deserted bus stop when a pregnant woman hobbles past him into a warehouse. A pursuer exits his wrecked car and strolls past Smith, drawing a gun before he tails the woman into the building. No longer able to quietly enjoy his snack, Smith discards his coffee and follows the pair through the door.

Then a lot of bullets fly. Smith delivers the baby in a hail of gunfire and kills the assailants. Now on the run from a hired killer (Paul Giamatti, Sideways), he enlists a prostitute sidekick (Monica Bellucci, The Matrix: Reloaded) to care for the tot while he unravels who's chasing him and why.

Owen's proving good at these dark and artsy violent films a la 2005's Sin City, though this one's a little less comic book and a little more thrill ride. He attempts things no mortal would dare—and lives. Even the lone sex scene is artistically filmed and becomes enmeshed in a swirl of action. Critics will say the film's characters are flat, but at a breakneck pace, who cares? Props go to writer/director Michael Davis (Eight Days a Week) for committing to and pulling off a shoot-'em-up so intense that there's no time for credits until the end.

These videos courtesy of Hollywood Video, 590 Broadway Ave., 208-342-6117.

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