The Most Underrated Gun Films
By James Martineau,
Film history is replete with gun toting heroes and villains using firearms to achieve their ends. While debate rages as to legality of firearms for civilians, guns and gun play are glorified in American cinema. Films like the John Wick series and Heat for example are well known examples of films that feature entertaining gun fights. What then are the most underrated gun films? The parameters for this list are not necessarily the most realistic gun films featuring highly trained actors, simply just the “cool” ones featuring a wide range of firearms.
The Boondock Saints
The Boondock Saints is essentially a vigilante justice movie where twin brothers are called by God to rid Boston of crime. The film is rife with guns, most notably twin suppressed Beretta 92FS used by both the main protagonists to dispatch their foes. Besides the Berettas, popular firearms such as the Desert Eagle, Glock 26 and Colt Python are well used in the film by both protagonists and mob bosses. The encounter between the twins and their father is certainly an entertaining gunfight as the father employs a veritable smorgasbord of handguns against the twins and their friend Rocco. For this scene, the father played by Billy Connolly wields a Taurus 92, Smith & Wesson Model 629, Smith & Wesson 686, Smith & Wesson 5906, Para P-14 and a Para P-10. None of the four really hit any targets in the fight but it certainly looked cool.
Another excellent gun scene in the film is in the arms dealers’ room where the twins acquire their Beretta pistols. There are numerous firearms in the room from an HK P7M8 to a Russian DshK machine gun. Among the many iconic firearms seen in this scene are an HK PSG-1, FN FNC, HK MP5, Skorpion, Accuracy International Arctic Warfare Police and a SVD Dragunov just to name a few. The twins end of passing over the aforementioned firearms for the twin suppressed Berettas as they are looking primarily for firearms that would ensure stealth. Any true blooded firearms aficionado would enjoy watching this film despite the lack of realism in the gun fights.
Léon: the Professional
Léon the Professional is an aptly titled film about a hitman named Léon and the unlikely relationship he develops with a young girl named Mathilda played by a young Natalie Portman. Portman’s character quickly learns the hitman’s trade and learns to use many firearms. A number of scenes stand out in the film for their diversity of firearms. Léon’s gun collection is quite diverse and includes a Beretta 92FS specially fitted with a compensator, Springfield Armory 1911, Beretta 92FS Inox, Smith & Wesson 41, Ruger SP101 and a Smith & Wesson 586 just to name his handguns. Léon most frequently wields the Beretta with the compensator and uses it in each of the firefights in the film.
Fans of Heckler and Koch and Sig Sauer will especially appreciate the final firefight that pits Léon against a NYPD ESU team. Despite being portrayed as an NYPD unit, the team primarily wields European made weapons. The team uses HK91s, HK33A3 and an HK22A2 from Heckler and Koch. The Sigs they use include an SG543, SG540 and an SG551. IMI and Beretta even make an appearance with a Galil and an SC-70. As most of the interior scenes were shot in France, it is likely that European produced firearms were more easily procured for use in the film. Overall the climatic firefight is slightly ridiculous but quite entertaining and displays a wide panoply of popular firearms.
Romeo + Juliet
I would argue that Romeo + Juliet is the most underrated gun film. At first glance, the film is difficult to take seriously as the Shakespearean script oddly contrasts with the modern setting. The film is rather lighthearted at first but like a true tragedy becomes dark midway through. Catholic imagery is strong throughout the film and is even present on the firearms. In keeping with the Shakespearean theme of the movie, many handguns are named after Renaissance era weapons such as “rapier” and “dagger.” Likely the most flamboyant firearm in the film is Tybalt’s two “Rapier 9mm Series R” based on the Taurus PT99. These pistols are kitted out with grips depicting Santa Maria in keeping with the Catholic motif. Other modifications are compensators, extended spring guides, gold furniture and barrels. The gas station firefight in the beginning of the film also depicts the firearms ability to mount a C-More scope. Actor John Leguizamo sells the scene quite well with his theatrics and makes for a quite entertaining gunman.
Not to be outdone by a Capulet, Mercutio’s “Dagger 9mm” is equally as flashy. He uses a Taurus PT99 as well modified with transparent magazines, removed grips, compensator and gold-plated barrel, hammer and slide stop. Catholic imagery is also present on this firearm as the bottom of the magazine is emblazoned with a Crucifix. Another Montague pistol is Benvolio’s “Sword 9mm Series S.” Less flashy than the aforementioned pistols of Tybalt and Mercutio, the Sword still features gold plated accoutrements and an extended slide.
Other modified guns appear in the film such as Ted Montague’s “Longsword” which is a modified South African Techno Arms MAG-7M1 shotgun. Romeo + Juliet is the only film in which this firearm appears. Other firearms that make an appearance are the Para Ordnance P-14, Beretta 92FS, Walther P5 compact and Glock 17 to name a few. Romeo + Juliet is highly recommended for those who wish to see an entertaining movie with plenty of gunplay and flashy firearms unique from any other film.
Clearly the 1990s were the defining decade in this evaluation. While easily overlooked in contemporary evaluations because of the somewhat unrealistic nature of the gunfights in these films, 90s films took a more “fun” approach in their approach to firearms. Gun aficionados with an “operator” mentality might struggle with this list but those who appreciate a wide range of firearms discharging many rounds in the general direction of foes would surely enjoy the listed films. For those who wish to collect some of the firearms seen in these films it is recommended visiting D4guns.com as we often have examples of these firearms in our inventory.