7 Preposterous Movie Shoot-Outs

Mental gun battles – and how they’d really go down

 

Corporate crime thriller The International is released into cinemas this weekend.

And while we found very little to recommend it, there is one madcap saving grace – a massive gun clash that takes place in the Guggenheim Museum, of all places.

It’s a staple of action movies – the super stylised orgy of violence that never seems to play by the rules of reality, reaction time or limited ammo.

We’ve taken aim at some of the most fun movie melees through the years – and seen what might really happen in today’s world. Beware, spoilers lie within. Don't shoot us.

The Film: Hot Fuzz (2007)

The Road To The Fight: Inspired by the action movies beloved by sidekick Danny Butterman (Nick Frost) Top plod Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) decides to return to the town of Sanford to dispense bullet-ridden justice to the corrupt local council, who are murdering “undesirables” to keep the peace.

The Arsenal: Angel raids the local police station’s evidence locker for all sorts of handguns, shot guns and rifles. But the villagers are also tooled up.

The Victor: Angel and Butterman succeed after a showdown that takes them through the entire town, including the local pub and supermarket.

If This Was The Real World: Angel returns, but discovers that the local bobby locker has a few confiscated spliffs and a couple of Stanley knives.

The resulting skirmish is still bloody, but nowhere near as pyrotechnic.[page-break]

The Film: The Untouchables (1987)

The Road To The Fight: Eliot Ness (Kevin Costner) and George Stone (Andy Garcia) stakeout Union Station, intent on taking one of Al Capone (Robert De Niro)’s top accountants alive so they can nab the lethal mobster on tax evasion charges.

The Arsenal: Everyone came packing shotguns and Tommy Guns. The baby carriage doesn’t count unless the kid’s nappy is full.

The Victor: A big win for Ness, as he puts bullets into all the gangster henchmen and takes Walter Payne (Jack Kehoe) alive.

If This Was The Real World: Given the rail companies’ worries about gun-toting coppers, all the badge flashing and rank-pulling in the world isn’t enough for Ness and co to convince the bored local transport police bod to let them into the station.

And that’s even after they agree to buy a non-refundable SuperTraveller Pass. Jobsworth.

The Film: RoboCop (1987)

The Road To The Fight: Dead law keeper-turned-cyborg hard man RoboCop (Peter Weller) discovers the whereabouts of Clarence Boddicker (Kurtwood Smith)’s drugs lab. He decides to pay them a gun-toting visit.

The Arsenal: RoboCop carries an automatic pistol known as an Auto-9, which – trivia fans - is really a modified Beretta M93R. The baddies tote all manner of pistols, rifles and shotguns.

The Victor: RoboCop blows everyone away, and then interrogates Clarence by throwing him through several large panes of glass.

If This Was The Real World: Given Robo’s less-than-subtle approach, Clarence and co have time to clear out, leaving the scene as our alloy-wearing crime-cracker wandering around the empty warehouse.

It’s essentially five minutes of him shouting “Hello? Anyone? Come out quietly or there will be… trouble” until he gives it up as a loss and goes home for an oil bath.[page-break]

The Film: Terminator 2 (1991)

The Road To The Fight: Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), son John (Edward Furlong) and the T-800 (Arnie Schwarzenegger) break into Cyberdyne Systems building intending to destroy all the research that will lead to Skynet and, ultimately, doom for humanity. Security calls the cops, and the T-1000 (Robert Patrick) also shows up.

The Arsenal: The T-800 sports a massive chain gun, which sees massively unfair compared to the cops’ hand weapons. 

The Victor: Keeping his promise not to kill anyone, the Arnie-borg destroys all the police vehicles while leaving the officers themselves unharmed. Well, mostly.

If This Was The Real World: The Cyberdyne security chief rings the police, but get only an answerphone message they’re all very busy on a racial tolerance awareness course and that they’ll be back Tuesday.

The security team decides to take on Arnie themselves. It’s not a long battle.

The Film: Leon (1994)

The Road To The Fight: Corrupt nut job DEA agent Norman "Stan" Stansfield (Gary Oldman) leads a team of agents and half the NYPD to track down Mathilda (Natalie Portman) the only survivor after he has her family massacred for stealing drugs from his stash in their home. She's being sheltered by professional "cleaer" Leon (Jean Reno).

The Arsenal: Stansfield’s operatives carry shotguns, rifles and grenades, while the police carry ther usual standard issue pistols and rifles.

The Victor: Call it a tie, since both Leon and Stansfield (not to mention almost everyone save Mathilda) perish in a huge explosion.

If This Was The Real World: Stansfield’s loopy, Beethoven-obsessed requests for the strike team to hit the apartment go unanswered by his superiors.

Instead he’s fired – and we don’t mean in the “burst of exciting gunplay” way, but the P-45 way. He takes a job as a security guard at a local nightclub where he can indulge his pill-popping habit with wild abandon.[page-break]

 

The Film: Desperado (1995)

The Road To The Fight: Mysterious, black clad loner El Mariachi (Antonio Banderas) strides into a bar looking for a man named Bucho, against whom he has sworn revenge.

The Arsenal: El Mariachi uses two pistols that slide from his sleeves to murderlise almost everyone in the place.

The Victor: Given the aforementioned murderlising, we’re going to go with Mariachi, even though he doesn’t get the information he needs then and there.

If This Was The Real World: The sleeve pistols accidentally discharge as they’re sliding down, blasting our hero in the foot.

He’s quickly dispatched with one shot to the head as he’s hopping around the bar in startled agony. It’s a very short film.

The Film: The Matrix (1999)

The Road To The Fight: Neo (Keanu Reeves), finally realising his heroic potential, returns to the virtual world in an attempt to rescue Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), who has been captured by the evil agents and is being held in an office building within the faux world.

The Arsenal: “Guns, lots of guns.” 

The Victor: Neo and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) blast their way through the building and end up securing Morpheus’ safety while destroying everything in sight.

If This Was The Real World: It takes place in the Matrix. The Matrix is not real. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.

So there.

Liked This? Then see:

Sign up for our free weekly newsletter

Get the latest movie news, features and reviews delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up here!

Follow us on Twitter

Instant updates, chat with us and join in the conversation. Start here!

Comments

    • apo1978

      Feb 26th 2009, 13:30

      Are Total Film the magazine and Total Film the website two opposing forces? You gave a great review for The International in your mag but above you say there is very little to recommend it?!?! Hello?!?!? I thought Empire were the morons, not you TF!

      Alert a moderator

    • lebombe

      Feb 26th 2009, 14:17

      A Better Tomorrow 2 or Hard Boiled...

      Alert a moderator

    • Flowbee79

      Mar 3rd 2009, 6:51

      I have to agree about the El Mariache gunfight. They are all unrealistic, but in a fun, entertaining way. The one thing I couldn't get over in Desperado is that he has this case FULL of weapons, but really only uses those two pistols to dispense vigilante justice. Oh, he uses a couple grenades later on, but it seems like he overloaded himself for a trip that really the guitar that was originally in the case so he could woo and then bonk the bejesus out of Salma Hayek. And hey, if manage to lay it down with Ms. Hayek, more power to you. Just saying, be more economical in your travel arrangements.

      Alert a moderator

    • AlonseR

      Oct 8th 2009, 17:58

      I'm disappointed not to see Commando in this list. With John Matrix's limitless supply of bullets, eliminating the need to reload whilst dual wielding amazingly accurate machine guns. He proceeds to dispatch an entire army without a single serious wound using his atom bomb C4, his super grenades that make his foes do flips and making sure many of the nameless baddies tumble of rooftops performing ther Wilhelm Scream and firing off witty and appropriate one liners to those he kills off. Otherwise good list....

      Alert a moderator