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Best Gun Fu, Sniper and Western Gunslinger films


megaplayboy
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I'm trying to compile a list of great films showcasing the cinematic renditions of "gun fu", sniper skills and fast draw/gunslinger skills and tricks.  

For me the obvious start is John Woo--The Killer, A Better Tomorrow 1 and 2, and Hard Boiled are, I think, the best HK gun fu films.  Add to that Equilibrium, Ultraviolet, the Matrix Series, John Wick 1 and 2, and Shoot Em Up.  Wanted rounds out a baker's dozen.  

Sniper films are trickier, but offhand I'd say Enemy at the Gates (for a more realistic sniper duel), the Sniper series starring Tom Berenger, and both Shooter the film and the tv series.  Concealment and making difficult long range shots are the major skills showcased.

Gunslinger films focus on quick draw, trick shots and firing from horseback, among other things.  The Eastwood spaghetti westerns, Django Unchained, The Shootist, True Grit, Magnificent Seven.  Maybe El Mariachi, Desperado and Once Upon a Time in Mexico might count as a modern Mexican Western.

 

Of course there are anime, comics and tv shows that also showcase firearms skills and super-skills.  But I figure this is a good start.  

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  The Quick & the Dead  is short on tricks but long on different styles of gunmen.

   The movie Hannie Caulder has Robert Culp who was one of the better real life quick-draw and gun twirlers in Hollywood at the time (there's an impressive clip of him on YouTube taken from an appearance on The Rifleman) teaching Raquel Welch how to be a gunfighter. Both films may help you.

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  • 2 months later...

I actually thought the first "Underworld" had some great gun-fu craziness in it.

 

The original La Femme Nikita and Leon: The Professional did a good job of finding a middle ground between realistic gun violence and ridiculous over-the-top stuff.

 

The 1994 "Clear & Present Danger" had a decent sniper training scene.

 

Is Dirty Harry really the ultimate, minimalist, gun-fu master? :think:

 

For more trained and highly choreographed "realistic" gun fights... nothing beats 1995's "Heat" and 2004's "Collateral" by Michael Mann. Even his Miami Vice remake had a couple great shoot outs, but Mann tends toward the dramatic realism side of things, not the gun-fu craziness. Frankenheimer's "Ronin" is second only to "Heat" as best modern action film, IMO... but again... tending toward more "realism" than crazy stuff. "I just ambushed you with a cup of coffee!"

 

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On ‎11‎/‎28‎/‎2017 at 10:01 PM, Surrealone said:

I just watched The Dark Tower and noted it had some interesting revolver Gun Fu.

 

I'm sorry. Please tell me you didn't actually pay money for it, like I did in the theater. (Soooooo disappointing.) But yes, I liked the idea of the Gunslinger's almost magical way with bullets way more than the ludicrous attempt at trying to explain it as a scientific martial art in Equilibrium. Just thought they could have done even more... but that could have been said for the whole movie, not just the gunfights.

 

And looking at other movie references here, I think Old Man and I share a very common movie watching background.

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9 hours ago, RDU Neil said:

 

I'm sorry. Please tell me you didn't actually pay money for it, like I did in the theater. (Soooooo disappointing.) But yes, I liked the idea of the Gunslinger's almost magical way with bullets way more than the ludicrous attempt at trying to explain it as a scientific martial art in Equilibrium. Just thought they could have done even more... but that could have been said for the whole movie, not just the gunfights.

I watched for free via a subscription service to which I'm subscribed.  Yes they could have done more with the whole movie.

 

And hey, I rather liked 'gun kata' as a discipline in Equilibrium.  I prefer and used the term 'discipline' instead of 'scientific' because a] disciplines can be learned, b] martial arts are disciplines, c] 'kata' suggests the gun-fu in Equilibrium was supposed to be martial in nature, and d] disciplines don't have to entail cold/hard science.  Frankly, I think the movie strongly implies the Cleric was a master of various disciplines ... and the science-angle you picked up on from the movies was just the screenwriter's attempt to explain how bullet dodging was a learnable discipline.

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13 hours ago, Surrealone said:

I watched for free via a subscription service to which I'm subscribed.  Yes they could have done more with the whole movie.

 

And hey, I rather liked 'gun kata' as a discipline in Equilibrium.  I prefer and used the term 'discipline' instead of 'scientific' because a] disciplines can be learned, b] martial arts are disciplines, c] 'kata' suggests the gun-fu in Equilibrium was supposed to be martial in nature, and d] disciplines don't have to entail cold/hard science.  Frankly, I think the movie strongly implies the Cleric was a master of various disciplines ... and the science-angle you picked up on from the movies was just the screenwriter's attempt to explain how bullet dodging was a learnable discipline.

 

Equilibrium is one of those movies I just hated. YMMV, obviously, but I could not handle an action flick where the entire premise of the "cool discipline" would be undermined if anyone simply took a half step back while firing.

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1 hour ago, RDU Neil said:

I could not handle an action flick where the entire premise of the "cool discipline" would be undermined if anyone simply took a half step back while firing.

You must hate most martial arts movies, then ... since the entire premise of the "cool discipline" is absolutely if anyone/everyone just takes a half step back (outside of HTH range).

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I do dislike most martial arts films that are badly choreographed and clearly the moves only work if everything is positioned just right... but there is a big difference between two hand to hand fighters who HAVE to get in HtH range to deal damage... vs. using guns which are designed to mean you don't HAVE to be in HtH range to use them, and in fact, that's the whole point, to NOT be in HtH range.

 

Stepping back in HtH is actually very useful, if you aren't actually trying to defeat your opponent, but just stop/delay/get away. Note that boxing has rules about one fighter just constantly dancing around out of range. They have to make the fighters fight.


With guns, getting out of HtH range is how you are most effective in actually taking down your opponent, not just being defensive. You back up to give yourself the advantage of having a "ranged attack" so that you don't HAVE to move into HtH.

 

John Wick, for all its unrealism, at least acknowledges what guns are for. Wick doesn't engage in HtH unless he has too... a guy gets on him before he can shoot, or he is out of ammo and has to close to get the other guy's gun, or he needs to get in close to one guy to use him as a shield vs. another gun guy who is firing from advantage, etc. They take it to absurd levels (especially in JW2) with the constant flow of fodder walking into his bullets and such, but the basis of his combat style is formed in reality.

 

The whole idea of Equilibrium wasn't so much bullet dodging as gun hand-to-hand which lacks all verisimilitude. For me at least.

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