International Writers Magazine: DVD Review
Written and Directed by Michael Davis,
Clive Owen Smith
Monica Bellucci Donna Quintano
Paul Giamatti - Hertz
youll hear about a film with a name like "The Forbidden
Desires of Bob", go see it expecting some perverted string
of sexual escapades, only to find that the main character is grossly
overweight and has been forbidden from eating fatty foods. Not only
would that make for a dull storyline, but it would leave you wanting
your money back because of the misleading title.
Up does no such thing. Its a film about a man shooting things.
Lots of things. Its not a story about romance, though it does
boast an attractive prostitute with an interesting milk fetish, and
its not a story that the old philosophers of Greece would gather
to discuss its merits in the depth of human understanding. Its
about people getting shot. Lots of people.
Smith, played by Owen, is the only name the main character
ever goes by. Hes a bitter man with a hatred for almost everything
that exists, bringing justice to those who deserve it in his own unique
way. Hes also extremely fond of carrots, so anyone looking to
campaign against this movie and its lack of morals needs to stop and
think again, because its actually promoting good health and for
kids to eat their vegetables.
With a mysterious military background, Smith is able to dispatch entire
rows of men by himself. The best part about this, strangely enough,
is not the blood-splattered walls or piles of corpses that any good
action movie has, but how he does it. Smith is the modern day Skald,
the battle-poet of the Norse Vikings who used to run into battle chanting
to inspire their men while swinging a large weapon around. But instead
of catchy lyrics or a melodic voice, Smiths art is in the bizarre
yet original way he kills people. His first victim, despite wielding
a gun, does not react well to Smiths ideas about good health,
taking a carrot in the mouth and then through the back of the neck.
Halfway through the movie, Smith is injured and flicks his own blood
at one of his enemies, blinding them and giving him enough time to bring
them down. Soon after that, he head butts a scalpel before it can pierce
his eyes, instead impaling it through his own forehead, disarming his
foe and snatching it as a weapon for himself. Why there is not a Nobel
prize for most inventive kill in film, I dont know.
The camera is always moving, keeping up with Smiths fast speed,
tumbles and slides, matching the extreme fast pace of the film. Smith
is rarely shown standing still, using his agility and wit to stay alive.
Some survival credit may go to weaponry, also.
The film of course has a plot, but its not a film youd go
to see because of a compelling storyline. Theres no complex string
of plots to clog up Smiths gun barrel, which is a good thing for
us as an audience and him as a character. A mother is on the run with
her child, followed by an armed man. Smith intervenes, and despite his
best efforts to remain a cold-hearted killer, cannot help but become
a distant father figure for the child. The plot unfolds around this
child, which of course involves politicians, eventually leading to him
being chased by Hertz (played by Giamatti) and his endless resource
of thugs. Smith looks to an old friend, a whore by the name
of Donna (played by Belluci), to take care of the child while he tries
to shrug off the people chasing him. However, chances are that people
are more fascinated in her lack of clothing and array of kinks than
her role in the story.
em Up is everything we love in an action film, with most
of the dull and half-arsed storyline bits that plague most shooters
today cut out. Its no nonsense and straight to the point,
the equivalent of a complete stranger walking up to you in a bar
and saying "wanna?"
I would not recommend this film to anyone who enjoys a twelve hour
introduction before the film starts, or those who like to read a
manual to understand what is going on. I would, however, recommend
it to anyone who can appreciate some manic gunfire from a new, refreshing
angle, with a sickly sweet comical twist.
You know what I
hate? Having to wait for a sequel.
© Daniel Alves, January 2008
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