AP Rakes 'Shoot 'Em Up' Over the Coals

by Paul William Tenny

shoot-em-up.jpgVideo game adaptations haven't had the success that comics have had over the past few..well, pretty much ever. Are all the talented people busy strip mining the comics for free and easy rides? Are games not getting any respect? Do they all just suck and not warrant spending a lot of time on?

Doom was okay, but predictable, and it ventured from the game more than I'd have liked. Resident Evil did well and has spawned two sequels, each of which has gotten progressively more lame than the previous. That "franchise" resembles the game about as much as my ass does.

The only real two questions anyone has about game adaptations is whether or not Halo under the thumb of Peter Jackson will rock, or hit rock bottom, and when - if ever - Half-Life will be made into a feature film. Shoot 'Em Up is one of those adaptations that you've undoubtedly seen trailers for, but never played or heard of otherwise. When you've got an entire genre of games called "First Person Shooters", to name a game that way says a lot about what it's trying to accomplish.

Like the film, according to the AP, it probably isn't anything worth writing home about.
Shoot 'Em Up opens in theaters this weekend, brought to us by New Line. Clive Owen takes on the role of Mr. Smith, your typical unassuming regular Joe doing regular Joe things (a nanny?) that just happens to have an extensive and brutal military background, who just happens into some shit and, and just happens to find a use for his extensive military background in killing a lot of (bad?) guys.

Does that just about cover it? Says the AP:

Any junior high school kid with video-game expertise and a dirty mind could have written this stuff (Michael Davis, a grown-up, did, and he also directed) so it's really not worth getting worked up over. It's a parody of a genre that wasn't all that deserving of parody: the mindless, John Woo-style cornucopia of carnage.

Looking for plot amid the gunfire is also pointless [..]

After about an hour, though, it all becomes a mind-numbing barrage.

Maybe that's the point but that doesn't make it entertaining. And the in-joke references to other movies, including the works of Sergio Leone and even Giamatti's own "Sideways," are only vaguely cute.
In all honesty, this isn't anything different than you get from Resident Evil, or Postal. But there-in lay the silver lining: at least Uwe Boll didn't make it.


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