20
Mar 09

The International aka Shoot ‘Em Up 2

FT2 comments • 360 views

Shoot ‘Em Up was a action movie piece of fluff in the style of Crank, basically ridiculous gun porn in an over-the-top situation. Clive Owen played our grizzled anti-hero, surly and angry for no obvious reason. A man who is exceptional with guns, but tired by life. It is a ridiculous movie, but quite a lot of fun as very silly things happen and get shot.

The International is a serious Euro-thriller about the deadly effects of an International Bank. In positing a financial institution as a villain, it is pretty much aping the recent Bond films, but also commenting on the real facelessness of evil in the modern world. The bank buys assassins, countries, dirty policemen – it is said to be unstoppable due to its labyrinthine influence in the world. Into said world comes Clie Owen, a grizzled anti-hero, surly and angry for no apparent reason. In the flight between Luxembourg, Italy and the US we see the depth in which this conspiracy lies, and the difficulty our hero (and his equally personality free companion Naomi Watts) has to battle.

Shoot ‘Em Up is a better film. Shoot ‘Em Up is dumb fun, with very little in the way of characterisation, but a lot of understanding about the kineticism of film. Whereas The International pauses to make its points, which are near juvenile and cares not one jot for its own characters. Indeed there is only one aspect in which The International is superior to Shoot ‘Em Up.

It has a better shootout in it. Indeed the five minute sequence in the Guggenheim in New York has got to be one of the most breathtaking action set pieces I have ever seen. It shows that Owen really isn’t just surly and angry for no reason, but is also good with a gun. But it is the only reason to see the film. So perhaps it is unsurprising the Gugg features so prominently in the poster above. But it strikes me as a bit of an error that Sony have put nearly all of the sequence on YouTube.

Comments

  1. 1
    ckbarrus on 20 Mar 2009 #

    As a global conspiracy movie, I agree that this was at best muddled and not particularly good filmmaking. However I liked it a lot as a large-screen catalog of European commercial architecture.

  2. 2
    Pete Baran on 24 Mar 2009 #

    By the way, the scene shown in the poster (Owen and Watts at the Guggenhein) does not occur in the film. As you will see from the above clip, Watts character is not present in the Guggenheim shootout.

Add your comment

(Register to guarantee your comments don't get marked as spam.)


Required

Required (Your email address will not be published)

Top of page