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Way of the Gun

1080 Views 13 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Jake Salyards
Rented the movie last week and was impressed with the gear and skills. What to you think? What was the best scene?


"The unarmed man is not just defenseless - he is also contemptible"

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Rob Garrett on 2001-04-14 23:06 ]</font>
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The one handed reloads during the final shoot out were nice. In addition, during the kidnapping when the two kidnappers are covering each other's movement as they "break contact" with the bodyguards in the hallway.

Just my humble opinion of course.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Just a GI on 2001-04-12 19:10 ]</font>
My favorite scene was the final shoot out at the end. However, I was kinda dissapointed that Longbaugh (Benicio del Toro) emptied his Galil so soon, by wasting bullets shooting at nothing! I liked the scene that followed in the courtyard where Parker (Ryan Phillippe) runs toward the suitcases on top of the fountain. When he blindly jumped head first into the empty fountain, only to find it was filled with broken bottles -- OUCH! :eek:

The best part of the movie for me, was the James Caan performance. I thought he was terrific playing the part of the broken down bag man. But then I am a big James Caan fan. I really wanted him to have a 1911 -- shades of Thief!

The movie did seem a bit labored and subsequent viewings had me fast forwarding to the shooting scenes (naturally :smile: ). The writer Christopher McQuarrie, is the same guy that won the Oscar for Usual Suspects. His brother was a Navy Seal and acted as a technical advisor on the film. While some may wannna argue the tactics, I gotta give them credit for going way beyond the average movie in the realism dept. I liked some of the small details, like when Longbaugh goes into the hotel and tops off his mag. Or, when he was doing those one handed reloads. Small stuff that many of us would think about, but Hollywood rarely does. For what it was, I found it a worthwhile rental. If for no other reason, rent it just to watch all the 1911s being shot! I would give it 3 out 4 paws up on the Desert Dog scale. :grin:


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Desert Dog on 2001-04-12 22:20 ]</font>
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for good 1911 action watch bruce willis in "last man standing"

I was kind of disappointed that Cahn used a j frame too! How about giving him a slicked up Hi Power or maybe an old N frame.

I'm like you, if I rented it again I would skip over the boring stuff.

How about comments on Heat?
Saw The Way of the Gun last night. Great movie, not only in terms of the firearms used, but also some of the tactics (except for spraying and praying through a wall). But, I actually liked the plot as well. I think this one is going into the library when I can find it on sale.
Spraying and praying through the wall will educate the other guy in the difference between cover and concealment. Not an accepted LE practice but as a friend says, "a technique!"
Rob, I wasn't knocking it because I would have done the same thing. I just thought short, spaced bursts going in lower in the wall would have been a better idea. As it was, the "good guy" (does that term have ANY application in this movie?) was standing up and firing at approximately shoulder level or a little below that.
You are dead on, forgive the pun! Remember where our favorite Inspector blew away the hijacker by selling him a couple of .44's through the bulkhead of the aircraft?
Oh for the good ol' days.
Actually, he used a S&W M-10 .38 that he took from the hijacker who he neutralized in the cockpit. Remember, he was searched upon boarding...posing as a pilot.

Now...I'll take "inane trivia" for $500, Alex :smile:.

Good catch Roscoe!

Thanks to DD for pointing this out to me on another site.

This is a review of the movie from Stephen Hunter, author of "Point of Impact".

'The Way of the Gun': A Bloody Perfect Aim

By Stephen Hunter
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, September 8, 2000

Nicky Katt, Ryan Phillippe and Taye Diggs in "The Way of the Gun." (John Baer/Artisan Entertainment)

Ah, scum. Primordial, vicious, cunning, toothless, treacherous, tattooed, unashamed--how much more interesting they make the world. For us yuppie boomers in our senescent prosperity and for our children, the dot-com millionaires, they have one wonderful message: It can all go away in a hurry. They are the whisper of the ax, the whistle of the bullet, a memento mori for the too-comfortable.

They have their day in the all-scum-all-the-time masterwork "The Way of the Gun," from the dark imagination of the fellow who dreamed up Keyser Sose in "The Usual Suspects." Christopher McQuarrie won the Oscar for that first movie; his follow-up, which he also directed, shows that he's going to be around for a long time and that the first wasn't a fluke.

This film follows two casually nihilistic boneheads called Longbaugh (Benicio del Toro) and Parker (Ryan Phillippe), whose names are stolen from the actual names of the men now known to history as the Sundance Kid and Butch Cassidy. That's the point: These aren't romantic fellows out on a gentlemanly lark, all beautiful dreams of chivalry and wit. No. They are the real, hideous thing that lurks beneath--goobers with guns.

The movie begins with a screamingly profane, screamingly comical scene in a movie theater parking lot (McQuarrie worked security at a multiplex for four years) where a snide woman goads her boyfriend into beating them up for sitting on the hood of her car. Okay, guess what they do? You'll never. They kick her butt, a darkly comic improvisation that sets the movie's darkly comic, ridiculously bloody tone.

Looking for a gig, the two idiots--who never pretend to be anything but idiots with too much ammo--come up, at a moment's notice, with a scam: They will kidnap the surrogate mother hired by an extremely wealthy but childless and desperate couple. What they can't guess is that the man (Scott Wilson) is in the life, too, but much higher up the crime food chain, and that he'll go not to the cops but to his own bodyguards (Nicky Katt and Taye Diggs) to get young pregnant Robin (Juliette Lewis) back. He'll also call in his "facilitator," an old pro named Joe Sarno (James Caan), to supervise the issue.

Can you follow this? I couldn't either, not really. For we're in the noir universe, a betray-o-rama where every seven seconds brings a new lie, deceit, subterfuge, character revelation or hideous moment of violence. So I say to you that if this is not your cup of tea--steeped in slaughter, bone-cracking violence, dark morbidity, and lots of blood--stay far away, and do not call me to complain if you don't. I don't return phone calls anyhow, but I especially won't return those phone calls.

For the rest of us, here's what's good about this film:

McQuarrie has a great skill for the dialect of invective. When these people curse or dis each other, it's like rancid petals of iambic from a mind-poisoned Rimbaud. They rip each other new bodily orifices with the speed of kung fu fighters in a vernacular so toxic it raises the hair on the back of your neck.

He's great at faces. I loved the looks on the mugs of the two professionals--Diggs and Katt--when they are first locked gun-on-gun with Longbaugh and Parker: weirdly intense pleasure, a pleased calm. No twitches, no bug eyes, just intense curiosity undercut with pleasure. This is where they want to be. This is what they trained for. This is their moment, come around at last and, doggone it, they will enjoy it.

Gun handling: I happen to know that McQuarrie's brother is a Navy Seal, and he was on the set telling the guys how to shoot, how to move, how to run the guns fast and efficiently, how to administer a tactical reload, how to reload one-handed when hurt. The movie is an accretion of these little details, some so subtle they don't register, but nevertheless convincing.

The guns themselves: cool. I know they're not supposed to be, not in Bill Clinton's America, but still: cool. There are .45 automatics for the bad-guy heroes, Heckler & Koch submachine guns for the slick bodyguards, old Colt revolvers for Joe Sarno and his boys, plus a scoped Galil assault rifle in .308 for long shots, and pump guns with extended magazines for that close-quarter-battle thing. Remember, you read it here, in The Washington Post, first. If you don't get it, you don't get it.

Action: McQuarrie thinks of new ways to stage vigorous physical activity. The first big sequence--the kidnapping--comes up with something original, a kind of slow-mo car chase, where at any moment the cars slow to a crawl, the shooters debark and meander down long alleyways, trying to gain tactical advantage. The last one, a gun-down so extravagant it has to be seen to be believed, sets all the players in motion against the backdrop of Sam Peckinpah's scabby Mexican village so that it feels like a crowded ride through the blades of a Cuisinart with people shooting at you. And it has this added attraction: birth by Caesarean section in the middle of the battle.

Finally, the fake poetry of tough guys. I love this stuff. It's more beautiful than cowboy poems or Marty Robbins's gunslinger ballads or Barry Sadler's "Ballad of the Green Berets." Phillippe's Parker narrates in a voice so arch and literary it couldn't possibly belong in the head of a guy who shoots so well. It's wonderfully, beautifully fake, mocking the equally flatulent rhythms of Chandler's Marlowe or Hammett's Spade. All this places it squarely in the tradition of that most blasphemed of genres, the intellectual gangster story, which dates back at least as far as Raoul Walsh's "High Sierra" (Ida Lupino to Bogart's Roy Earle: "Gee Roy, that's poetry") and on through such bleak, black beauties as "The Killers," "Suddenly," "Point Blank," "The Hit," and finally "Reservoir Dogs" and "The Usual Suspects." It's good fun for bad boys.

The Way of the Gun (119 minutes, at area theaters) is rated R for extremely disturbing scenes of gun violence.

© Copyright 2000 The Washington Post Company
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I found it entertaining, and no movie is bad that depicts my favorite: The Galil.
As regards the movie "Heat", anyone know why that movie was so relatively squared away on its gun usage? The technical advisor for it was "Andy McNabb" of Bravo Two Zero fame. Check the credits, there he is. By the way, Robert DeNiro's gun in that movie seems to me to switch from a USP that he sets down on a table in his house to a sig P220. Others have told me that it is a P226. Can anyone clue me in on which it is? Jake
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