Shoot ‘Em Up is a 2007 American action film written and directed by Michael Davis. It stars Clive Owen, Paul Giamatti, Monica Bellucci and Stephen McHattie. The film follows Smith (Owen), a drifter who rescues a newborn from being killed by assassin Hertz (Giamatti) and his henchmen. Smith flees from the gang, enlisting the help of prostitute Donna Quintano (Bellucci) to keep the baby safe as he unravels the conspiracy.
According to Davis, the idea for the film came about after he saw a gun-battle scene from John Woo’s critically acclaimed Hard Boiled in which Chow Yun-fat rescues newborn babies from gangsters. Desiring to make an action film centering on guns, he expanded the idea into a screenplay in 2000, accompanied by an animated footage with 17,000 drawings for the action scenes. After a deal with New Line Cinema, filming began in Toronto which was overseen by cinematographer Peter Pau.
Before its September 2007 release, the film was previewed at that year’s San Diego Comic-Con and received a positive response. Despite a mediocre commercial performance (recouping less than its budget), some critics gave the film a positive review—including Roger Ebert, who described it as “some kind of legend in the murky depths of extreme action”.