Friday, 20 August 2010

Inventive ways to be violent with vegetables

Shoot 'Em Up tries really, really hard to be ridiculous. Nothing more than a man with guns against a man with henchmen. The bare bones of most action films. That's all fine, but it also wants to be ironic. Like a parody of the genre it's so desperate to be a part of. This irony gives it license to do anything it wants. The hero eats nothing but carrots, as he throws a baby around in the middle of gunfights. It's a comedy, so this is still fine. But then it becomes annoying. Like how everyone is obsessed with guns in a slightly creepy way. Or how all the woman in the film are prostitutes. Don't worry though. It's ironic. Don't worry about it. The only time I have a problem with this sort of tone is when it makes the film wilfully awful. Why not just make something good instead? Because really, it's not meant to be ironic, it's just meant to be really cool. It doesn't have the rubbish charm of something like Transporter, which is stupid in a friendly way. This is just trying to appeal to manly men who like manly films, like how a sugary romantic comedy is meant to appeal to women. Creating a stereotype and hoping everyone goes along with it. Everything about Shoot 'Em Up is cool, apart from admitting that it's not very good.

It's still ironic though isn't it? Until irony becomes normality and the cycle has to start all over again. In its defence, it does feature a lot of inventive ways to be violent with vegetables, but I don't think they'd put that on the box. There are different sorts of good films, some are deep and meaningful, others are allowed to just have guns. But they all have to make you care a bit. This is just a bit nasty.


  1. En Amerique, cheap shot - choosing a barn door for a target.

  2. ...I mean for a film to be ironic about something self-satirizing.