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From the trailer (below), this fall’s ‘American Assassin’ looks to be chock-a-block with loads of yummy gun-shootin’ terrorist-killin’ action goodness. But even if you buy into a bad-ass Michael Keaton (remember Batman?) wouldn’t you expect a super-operator-black ops-ninja-warrior type dude to know how to use iron sights? Well wouldn’t you?

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  1. Mitch Rapp finally on the big screen and Hollywood is already fucking up the marketing. Can’t say I’m surprised.

    • Not quite sure why they don’t get a firearms consultant for any gun flick by default just to avoid all the commando comments they are sure to get for errors.

      Low budget or just poorly produced?

      • They did it right with John Wick and the first one was budget limited. It seems to be 2 fold. The directors for John Wick were both stunt guys and Reeves loves him some 3 gun.

        • Neither of the John Wick movies where even close to “right”. They still haven’t managed to incorporate realistic recoil, and still haven’t differentiated very well between cover and concealment. Not to mention the fact that these gunfights happen in close quarters, indoors, and without hearing protection.

        • Until those prop guns are actually spitting something out the end of the barrel of a comparable mass at a comparable velocity, I don’t think they’ll ever get the recoil “right” just suspend disbelief for a moment on that.

          I do have to agree on the ear-pro though. Just once I want to see the end of a gun battle with the protagonists screaming “WHAT!?!?” at each other with blood running out their ears.

        • txJM: I watched a movie being made once. A gun was fired at the protagonists in a cemetery. The sound of the shot was a gun pointed in the air and dubbed in, and the bullet ricocheting off a tombstone was gray powder fired from an air gun. It would surprise me not at all if guns in many movies (just thing The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly) were loaded with just enough powder to make a flash, with the sound of the gunshot added later. (Funny thing about TGTBTU is that characters would have a cap and ball pistol, with no caps, in one shot, and then a cartridge gun when actually shooting. Pretty hysterical, especially since there were no cartridge pistols during the Civil War, and especially not a .38 cal cartridge conversion (that you see Clint reloading in his hotel room when ambushed by the Mexican assassin) which came out a few years later.) This is the movies. Nothing is as it seems.

        • “Just once I want to see the end of a gun battle with the protagonists screaming “WHAT!?!?””


        • Mark N. – Actually, almost every sound you hear in a movie is dubbed in later. If you have a moment, look up “foley artist.” Pretty cool how they replicate certain sounds.

        • txJM I heard they cut the scenes dealing with John Wick’s tinnitus struggles. And amusing as it would be to see Keanu Reeves walk around saying “What? Huh? Could you say that louder?” I’m glad they aren’t realistic in that regard.

      • Movie LONDON HAS FALLEN was so far fetched, but the martial arts and firearms handling scenes were very realistic.
        Somebody that knew WTF they were doing was involved with that movie.

      • Where do you expect them to find a far left wing liberal fire arms consultant?

      • Mark, a lot of those Clint Eastwood westerns (and others) used cartridge converted cap and ball revolvers because cartridge blanks were safer and easier to deal with than making a cap and ball fire blanks. I guess it’s because you can rosette crimp a cartridge, but you have to put a wad over the powder in a cap and ball.

      • May be a non-starter.

        I’m left handed and left eye dominant, but grew up in a right hand world. As a result, I bat, throw, and shoot right handed. I suppose I could switch with practice, but it just isn’t comfortable. Give me a rifle and that thing is going up cockeyed with the grip in my right hand.

      • No. As long as he has normal motor function in both hands and normal vision in his right eye, he should learn to shoot right-handed. Because almost every gun ever made works better that way.

        Eye dominance is a thing. Left-handedness is a thing. Neither should preclude learning to shoot right-handed. If you are left-handed and have learned to use scissors, computer mice and gear shifts with your right hand, you understand the wisdom in what I have written.

      • I’m cross dominant also. Right eye, left handed. If I’m shooting one handed off hand shooting pistols, I found I got better groups with my dominant (left) hand so I do shift my position slightly to align sights with my dominant (right) eye.

        But with a weapon that has a forearm like that shown, that looks mighty awkward. I think you’re better off with your dominant hand on the forearm.

  2. Those are just the backup sights.

    Clearly he’s using the direct-to-retina-imagr-projecting zero-parallax in-line holographic site built into the forward assist bump.

    • Clearly he’s using the direct-to-retina-imagr-projecting zero-parallax in-line holographic site built into the forward assist bump.


      You, sir or ma’am, win the Intertubez today!

  3. The magnitude of the force of impact when mass A collides with mass B diminishes rapidly when mass B becomes very small.

    If his head is as empty as it appears to be, he’ll be fine.

  4. Some Hollywood idiot heard the phrase “nose to the charging handle” and then looked at a diagram of an AR before setting up the publicity shot. Add to that an ignorant actor and this picture is what you get.

  5. That guy is soooooo good, he doesn’t need the iron sights. He can simply sight next to the rifle and hit anything within 500 yards using “instinctive” shooting.

    If I, an untrained person, can sight down the 28 inch smooth barrel of a 12 gauge bird gun and put slugs into pie plates at 70 yards, this operationally operating operator can certainly do the same and maintain “minute of bad guy” well out to 500 yards.

  6. Please pull the trigger: please please please. Wait. Lemme get my popcorn first. And my first aid kit.

  7. Looks fun; I’ll go see it. Keaton is a great actor and entirely believable in badass roles. He’s done several over the years.

    • Thing about real life bad asses is they almost always have an unassuming persona about them and you’d never guess what they’re capable of. Which kind of makes scenes like in the trailer when he has the guy come at him with a knife believable, at least if they’re well choreographed. Punks always underestimate the bad asses. Probably the only reason I’d bother watching this is for Keaton.

  8. …has anyone ever thought he may just be looking past the sight, with his eye close to it, ready to bring it into proper alignment when he identifies a threat? You know, similar to looking over the top of an aiming device as you’re scanning.

  9. I don’t know about the publicity picture but judging by the trailer it looks like it might be a good watch.
    Michael Keaton does pull it off IMO.

  10. Some of the hollywood errors I see seem so egregious that the actor must be fighting every natural instinct they have to create them.

    Like this one. WTF? Hand that rifle to anyone on the planet and they’d naturally shoulder it and look down the sights at least somewhat normally. There’s no other biomechanical way to do it other than the right way. Any other way would hurt or be uncomfortable.

  11. My college photography teacher always said, a picture is worth a thousand words, all of them lies. What we all see in this photograph may not be reality. Both focal length of the lens and aperture affect depth of field. What appears to be near body contact with the rear sight might not be at all. If you look carefully, the focus is on the face and the foreground and background are out of focus, indicating a narrow depth of field.

    • Depth of field, or the lack of it, doesn’t create a false perception of proximity. The term you have probably been taught is called “compression.” Telephoto lenses can make near and far objects in an image appear closer to each other than they really are.

      But that’s not what’s happening here, either. If there was any space between the dude’s face and the rear sight, the shadows would tell the story.

      • Yeah, not unless this thing is a photoshop composite put together by an idiot (almost more plausible than willingly aiming this way)

        The other aspect, especially for closeups like this, is the photo-director’s instructions; if he simply liked the way Keaton looked with this awkward pose, he has the authority to make it so. This is the reason you see even gun-rags with shooters that don’t have any sights on the gun, because the sights cover the model’s face and it doesn’t look as appealing (conversely, you also often see guns laden with crap as the opposite extreme). It’s a dramatization of gun-handling, and Keaton looks very dramatic in the photo.

  12. I get the feeling half the commentators here don’t know the definition of forced perspective. Also saw the trailer, and after really enjoying the book, the trailer looks pretty good. But, like most things here you guys are into snap judgement.

  13. If Jack (NMI) Reacher can be shrunk to a 5 ft nothing and have it come out as not too bad this may work. Love the Mitch Rapp series. He’s the kinda guy you don’t know if you want him in front of you, or as your 6. Michael Keaton plays better nut jobs than a bad ass if you’re asking’.

    • The Birdman! Awesome at playing nutjobs, just like Nick Cage (possibly the only thing that guy is excellent at)

  14. Love the books. Was excited about the announcement but the trailer was rather disappointing. Brand new origin story of why he got recruited. Hopefully the clips of his shooting right handed were because of the moment since he’s supposed to be a lefty. Still might watch since I like Keaton.

    • They already f-ed up the whole story. Killed on a beach by ISIS in speed boats? Really!?!? What happened to PanAm 103? And in one seen, he looks to be clearing a malfunction, except the gun is still locked back and out of battery (2:01). And that scrawny puke is no Mitch Rapp. I’ve read every Vince Flynn book and I probably won’t watch this until it comes out on Starz in 15 years.

  15. I can see Keaton as Stan Hurley circa the start of Mitch Rapp’s career. Actually, Keaton’s probably a bit on the young side for the character.

  16. The preview shows better gun handling than the picture. That’s a strange selection and way to hold the gun, for sure.

    • I read a couple of the books and gave up. Terrorists were always Muslim baddies, always incompetent, he always got lucky.

      • So, basically an American James Bond? An un-funny Sterling Archer? Is he at least an incorrigible poon-hound, and should I expect said poon making an appearance in the movie?

  17. You guys act like this is surprising!! Hollywood effs up everything they touch. Just ask a Marine about the ribbons and uniform items in A Few Good Men, or any other thing that only those “in the know” know about. Try watching Days of Thunder with a knowledged NASCAR pit crew guy……they get EVERYTHING wrong, why would tacticool mall ninja stuff be any different.

    • Even Marines fu*k things up.
      Gunny managed to give himself a nice scope scar on several occasions.

      Why people expect *realism* in a fantasy movie is beyond me.
      It’s like expecting common sense from a politician.

  18. maybe the stock is against a tree.
    michael keaton is lame except for that thirty second scene where he’s twirling a razor blade. that actually was creepy.

  19. “What’s wrong with this picture?”

    Gee, let me take a wild guess – it was made by a group of leftist Hollywood libs who don’t know squat about guns?

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