SHOOT ’EM UP. New Line Cinema, 2007. Clive Owen, Paul Giamatti, Monica Bellucci. Screenwriter-director: Michael Davis.

   There’s a host of other people in this movie, mostly of them ending up dead, but the three that I listed above are all that really matter. Clive Owen is the man who witnesses a pregnant woman being run down and attacked; he rescues her, she dies, but somehow in the confusion he manages to deliver the baby. He needs assistance, and quickly, but where? Monica Bellucci as Donna Quintano, a prostitute who agrees to help.

   Their problems are not over, however. Paul Giamatti, as brilliant as always, is the head of the squad of men who are on their trail from that point on — until the end of the movie, and who end up wholly frustrated in what turns out to be an entirely useless chase. For as we all know, the good guys always aim right the first time, and the bad guys couldn’t hit the inside of a barn from inside the barn.


   Cannon fodder is all they are. What seems like thousands of bodies pile up, but I’m sure I read somewhere that there were only 150. Some people have little else to do with their time than to create statistics like this. Don’t look at me. All I did was watch it.

   The sexy scenes are minimal. There are a few gross out scenes, that is true, but other than that, this is a movie filled with non-stop movie violence. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

   What I think is that this is a even better Jack Reacher film than Jack Reacher, the film itself, the one with a pint-sized Tom Cruise trying to fill Jack Reacher’s shoes. He did surprisingly OK, but Clive Owen does an even better job playing an antisocial and psychotic hero, the kind of guy who drifts into town and waits for trouble to find him.

   Which it certainly does in this film, along with a girl who detests him at first — no, that’s unfair — actively dislikes him, but then as she’s also caught up in their plight together, she learns to like him a lot better.

   My purpose here is not to tell you how much I liked this film, or not, but to let you know what to expect if you decide to watch it anyway, in which case, my job is done.