A scene near the beginning of Shoot 'Em Up features Clive Owen's character trying to find a way to kill as many people in the room as possible -- so he shoots a can of oil, which pools heavily on the concrete floor, then leaps into the pool of oil and sliiiiides across the room, gunning down bad guys all the way. The scene is representative of Shoot 'Em Up as a whole: improbable things, even dumb things occur, but the movie just glides along, moving quickly and almost effortlessly, going for the next target and the next, while keeping you occupied for 90 minutes. Writer-director Michael Davis has delivered the smartest stupid movie I've seen this year.
One thing you cannot deny about Shoot 'Em Up is that it lives up to its title. Watching this movie feels more like you're watching a beautifully rendered videogame played by a master. Owen stars as the enigmatic Mr. Smith, who is sitting at a bus stop when he notices a pregnant woman being pursued by a disreputable character or two. He reluctantly interferes, and ultimately finds himself saddled with a newborn baby that the nasty Mr. Hertz (Paul Giamatti) is determined to kill. He tries to persuade a lactating hooker (Monica Bellucci) to help care for the baby while he finds a safe place for them all, but Hertz is ruthless.