The Guardian: Gun Movies Have Seen Their Day

Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible (courtesy youtube.com)

Being publicly pro-gun is a political position up with which Hollywood insiders will not put. Which is why none of their movies rely on firearms for their commercial appeal. Oh wait . . .

Traditionally, Hollywood has been passionately pro-gun, whether in westerns, war movies or crime thrillers. Movies have often functioned as product placement for the industry. Where would Dirty Harry be without his .44 Magnum? Or James Bond without his Walther PPK? Or John Rambo without his ammo belts and giant machine gun?

You can even cross-reference all this on the Internet Movie Firearms Database, which lovingly details every model, annotated with grabs from the films. Rambo’s gun was an M60. But as a measure of how things have changed, witness Rambo’s 2008 comeback, whose scenes of Stallone senselessly mowing down scores of faceless Burmese assailants had audiences retching into their popcorn rather than punching the air.

Funny. I don’t remember the Stallone movie in question nor reports of people reacting to it by retching into a snack item that costs as much as a small tin of Beluga caviar.

I’m guessing that was guardian.com writer Steve Rose’s politically correct response.

Lucky for him, things are settling down, gastroenterologically speaking. His article Shooting blanks: how Hollywood fell out of love with guns reveals that the day of the gun-intensive blockbuster are over . . .

Superheroes get shot at all the time in modern blockbusters but rarely return fire. Black Panther and Wolverine have claws, Thor has a hammer, Spider-Man has webs, the Hulk has, well, himself. Some of them, such as Batman, have a strict anti-gun code, while Wonder Woman sees guns as symptoms of masculine aggression.

The only way to play gun violence these days is massively over the top, as with movies such as Baby DriverFree FireJohn WickShoot ’Em Up or the action-hero retirement fund known as The Expendables. But protagonists across the board are laying down their weapons. Look closely and the likes of Matt Damon’s Jason Bourne and Tom Cruise’s Ethan Hunt have barely fired a gun in their later movies.

My memory really is shot (so to speak). This time I don’t remember Wonder Woman making any snide remarks about shooting guns as “acting out” or phallic compensation. Sorry “overcompensation.” According to Mr. Rose, that’s a thing in gun-intensive Hollywood-born cinematic fare . . .

Elsewhere, the Fast and Furious crew generally let their vehicles do the phallic overcompensation. In the Star Wars universe, real showdowns are settled with old-school lightsaber duels rather than pew-pew laser guns. And heroines such as The Hunger Games’ Katniss and Alicia Vikander’s Tomb Raider would rather use a bow and arrow.

Even Mel Gibson, Mr Lethal Weapon himself, recently repented with Hacksaw Ridge, a story about a real-life soldier who refused to pick up a firearm. So let’s not pretend “the movies” are the problem. Increasingly, what they’re telling us is that a good guy with a gun is not the only way to stop a bad guy with one.

Wishful thinking. But then, that’s Hollywood’s stock-in-trade. That and hypocrisy. Hey, is that Tom Cruise holding a SIG? Why yes, yes it is!

comments

  1. avatar Joe R. says:

    The Guardian has seen too many days.

    It owes.

    Payment is due.

  2. avatar Flinch says:

    Everybody just calm down. Gun violence in movies is here to stay. Don’t let the guardian get your panties in a wad. Save your anger for more important things like if the 10mm is closer to a .357 or a .44 (we all know it’s identical to a .41 mag).

    1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      Almost a .357.

      1. avatar Flinch says:

        You take that back!

        1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          The truth hurts, buddy.

    2. avatar Astigmatism says:

      Agreed. No one would win an Oscar without grotesque scenes of blood and gunfire and general disregard for human life. “The Departed” and “No Country for Old Men”.

  3. avatar TrueBornSonofLiberty says:

    Yup- let’s hold out Super heroes as examples of being succesful while being gun free, while omitting the fact in order to be successful, it requires super natural abilities and the suspension of reality.
    Here’s an exercise for Mr Rose- take your liberal self down to an Islanimal infested “no go zone” while wearing a Yarmulke. See if you can thwart the ensuing violence with super natural powers. Or reason. Or something.

    1. avatar binder says:

      “Super heroes as examples of being successful while being gun free”,

      OK, Iron man, Black Widow, SHIELD, Shuri’s Blasters, Winter soldier, Captain America even has used guns. Odin’s staff, Thor’s Hammer (that thing shoots lighting and can do Mach 32, so it is even worse than a “gun”) Hawk-eye, the new Batman (just his vehicles, but come on crew served stuff), Guardians of the Galaxy. I can keep going.

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        Hawkeye, Deadshot, Rocket Raccoon, The Punisher, Peter Quill (Star Lord)…

  4. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    Well since I don’t have claws and can’t shoot spider webbing out of my wrist I’ll stick with my g uns.

    At least he took the time to figure out the difference between a PPK and an M60.

  5. avatar Porkchop says:

    So, swords and bows are morally superior to firearms? Of course! Because there was never any problem with people armed with swords and bows trying to impose their will on other people through force of arms and threat of death. That all started with the invention of firearms.

    1. avatar binder says:

      Swords and bows are MUCH better for suppressing people, require a very high level of training to be used effectively. The benevolent overloads don’t have much to worry about when those are the only weapons available. But in the Marvel and DC universes, those weapons are typically much more effective that a standard firearms.

  6. avatar Rokurota says:

    Maybe it’s time for the “Witness” sequel. I hear plain is in.

  7. avatar Garrison Hall says:

    Market economics is a wonderful thing. If Hollywood doesn’t make gun movies someone else will. Oh, wait! There’s always censorship. Progressives love censorship. It fits right into the structure of the administrative (quiet: don’t say f-a-s-c-i-s-t) state.

  8. avatar MouseGun says:

    Im getting really tired of Hollywood grandstanding and anti gun virtue signaling. So guns are bad, but cutting someone in half with a sword or light saber is okay? Having some poor bastard bleed out from a broad head through the torso is all hunky doory? I’m tired of giving dancing monies my money. I crank the herdy gerdy, and you dance. You don’t lecture me.

    1. avatar Scoutino says:

      Violence is all right, as long as it is not “gun violence”. And a good guy with a gun is not the only way to stop a bad guy with one. You just need to be a superhero, simple as that!

      Grabbers are pushing public disarmament on all fronts. You have to wonder what they plan to do to us when they get us good and defenseless.

  9. avatar anonymous says:

    Mr. Farago,

    Have you considered researching and writing an article about how the movie industry has been exempted from some of California’s gun-owner control laws (especially the state’s 1990 assault weapons ban)?

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      Typically movie firearms do not shoot real bullets, only blanks, and the blanks are “off” caliber to prevent live rounds from being chambered. Sound effects are added later for “realism.” Movie productions rent their guns from specialty prop houses that are tightly licensed and controlled. Moreover, California gun laws do not apply outside of California.

  10. avatar former water walker says:

    The top 3 movies of the last year are chock full of guns and violence. WW had those wonderful WWI guns,Thor featured old school M16’s(heroically too) and Black Panther is a mega-hit bloodfest. Eagerly looking forward to WICKIII and Ryan Reynold’s mayhem…

    1. avatar Binder says:

      I’m sorry, but I just gave up on John Wick. Yes I know Reeves is a 3 gunner, but come on. The right name for that move should have been Stage 2, the Targets Shoot Back. Talk about pulling you out of the suspension of disbelief.

  11. avatar anonymous says:

    There is no “gun violence” in the world of Game of Thrones.

    1. avatar Scoutino says:

      Thats why it is such a peaceful, tranquil world. No one gets shot with a firearm, so no one really dies.
      Yet it still managed to send anti gun message when the psycho teen king, while playng with his crossbow, claimed how great it is to squeeze the trigger here and someone dies over there.

  12. avatar EricT says:

    “Increasingly, what they’re telling us is that a good guy with a gun is not the only way to stop a bad guy with one.”

    Ok…. so eat tide pods, get super powers, then I don’t need guns. Got it.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      C4 and hand grenades make nifty substitutes.

  13. avatar Joe the Hollywood activist says:

    This would a great thing, if Hollywood stopped the gun movies. It would 1) slowly erode all the incorrect myths about guns. I.e Silencers being so quite no one can hear, hero shoots pistol from 60 yards to hit string/cable to save damsel in distress, etc, etc, and 2) stop showing all the bad training habits I.e. trigger finger discipline, no eye/ear procreation, racking slide to make sure it’s ready, etc, etc,

    1. avatar TrueBornSonofLiberty says:

      And of course the biggest Hollywood gun myth….reloading is optional because firearms have unlimited capacity.

  14. avatar Colt Magnum says:

    “Hacksaw Ridge” may have been about a pacifist, but it had plenty of “gun violence “.

  15. avatar AZD says:

    Interesting that the “Fast and Furious” guys get a pass, considering all the carnage that is caused by pointless street racing – and it’s not even a constitutionally protected right!

    1. avatar anonymous says:

      Interesting that the “Fast and Furious” guys get a pass, considering all the carnage that is caused by pointless street racing

      How are they going to make “Fast and Furious” movies when cars are self-driving robots?

  16. avatar pieslapper says:

    Hmmm, did he miss Deadpool, all the Fast & Furious films, the Xander Cage franchise, Guardians of the Galaxy, Wind River, The Kingsmen, etc., etc.?

  17. avatar Aaron says:

    Libs hate guns because libs are driven by emotion and impulse, and they know it and therefore they know they cannot trust themselves. The group that can’t have a debate on college campi without rioting, the group that is most likely to commit misogynistic acts, the group that murders approximately 1 million unborn babies a year – libs don’t trust themselves and that’s why they don’t trust YOU. However, for some Kafkaesque reason most libs seem to think that humans acting collectively, in the form of government, magically become more trustworthy and therefore should have a monopoly on power and deadly force.

    Lib politicians absolutely do NOT trust their own constituencies, either. This is why the leaders of sh**holes such as Baltimore are so anti-gun.

  18. avatar pg2 says:

    Hollywood “passionately pro-gun”? Talk about missing the forest for the trees…Hollywood has been teeing up/conditioning the public for loss of liberties across the board for decades, but because some cool characters in some of these conditioning flicks had “guns”, Hollywood is pro-gun?

  19. avatar CarlosT says:

    I’m not so sure about Tomb Raider. The trailer shows her acquiring her iconic dual pistols, with much relish. In the recent games, she becomes quite proficient in the use of a large range of firearms, dispatching enemies quite effectively.

    And two of the most popular characters in recent times have been Deadpool and the Punisher. Both featured the hero quite explicitly mowing down opponents with guns ruthlessly to the delight of audiences.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      “Okay guys, I only have twelve bullets, so you’re all going to have to share!”

  20. avatar ironicatbest says:

    The first amendment needs to be heavily regulated if not totally abolished, to many deaths have occurred due to Someone’s freedom of speach

  21. avatar TyrannyOfEvilMen says:

    Puleeeze… Hollywood “celebrities” are for whatever puts money into their pockets. This is why I don’t give them any.

    In fact, these Hollywood jokers have proven that they will do ANYTHING for money including even sending their own children to known sexual predators for even just the possibility of a role.

    Screw all of them and all of the horses they rode in on.

  22. avatar ARJAY says:

    “GUN VIOLENCE” in movies and TV programs SELLS!!!!

    THAT’S why so many movies and TV programs have so much “gun violence” in them!

  23. avatar Mastro says:

    Hmm- sure- the Superhero movies have cut down on guns for the protagonists (although Captain America and Black Widow seem pretty handy with them)- but the whole idea of being a Superhero usually makes them redundant.

    He is obviously cherry picking- other than Mission Impossible- he seems to have left out TV’s The Walking Dead- yeah- crossbows and Katanas seem to be useful- but guns rule (I think Colt Pythons are even more expensive now after being Rick’s go-to gun) and it certainly seems like being disarmed by the Saviors is a really BAD idea!

    On TV- Good Guys With Guns seem to stop a lot of bad guys- NCIS, Blue Bloods, Criminal Minds, Hawaii 5-0, they seem like they are script approved by the NRA!

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