Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Movie Guns XII

Sorry again for the late post. I had a hard time deciding which movie to cover. I have several, but one in particular came to mind and I didn't have it on hand, so off to Best Buy I went. Well, I got it, but another movie was just calling my name and I had to pick it up.

This weeks movie guns is....The Rock. I love this movie to no end, which is peculiar because it represents the absolute worst case of Hollywood fumbling how the military, and Marines in particular, function as an organization.

Another reason I love this movie is that it dives into the world of chemical warfare; albiet in a hysterical fantasy like representation, which interests me because my career is somewhere in that neighborhood (defense/deterence); hence the curious title and header on this blog with all of the gas masks and such. I have to say that the authenticity of the use of chemical agent in this film - VX - is nothing short of hilarious as it is not neon green, won't eat your skin off, doesn't melt protective suits, and is far worse than even Hollywood can imagine. Another thing; don't ever stick a needle in your heart! You will have a hole there! Say it with me: don't. stick. needles. in. your. heart.

Let's begin! A platoon of Force Recon Marines are breaking into a Naval Weapons Station to steal VX nerve agent (which is repeatedly called a gas, which it is not). The first thing we see is this fascinating looking harpoon gun that looks like some sort of shotgun with a red dot sight mounted on top:
Harpoon shotty

Then a supposed Marine is conspicuously hiding behind a concrete stantion with these two tranqualizer guns, which he uses to subdue two Sailors:
Tranq guns

Besides these two guns, everyone else seems to have an M16A2 with mounted M203 grenade launcher which I will show in a minute.

The Marines get to the vault where the VX is, for some unknown reason, kept refridgerated. One of the Marines drops a canister of VX accidently and the viewers get to see how deadly the liquid (not a gas) is when his skin melts off:
Skin oozing

That makes for great television!

Next, we meet nerdy FBI chemist Stanley Goodspeed who has to search a suspicious package containing this Sarin spraying baby:
Sarin baby

Sarin, like VX, is a nerve agent, but it is not as potent and it doesn't melt chemical protective suits, nor does it make cockroaches pop like popcorn. Agent "Marvin" calls it an aerosol, which is not really true, and when things go south he is told to stick a needle of atropine in his heart. Ahh, Hollywood! Why the decon sprinklers don't work in lab where live chemical agent is handled is just unsat.

Next we arrive on Alcatraz where the Marines take over as their center of operations. One thing that I immediately noticed is that the Marines were wearing ghetto-flage uniforms, and some of them even had berets!! WTF?? They promptly set up rockets to deliver the VX into the heart of San Francisco:

This represents the worst case scenario of chemical attack on the US. A rogue general with loyal followers and rockets containing chemical agent is as bad as it gets. When the President and his staff are talking about the rogue Brigadere General Hummel (Ed Harris) they look at a picture of him from Vietnam where he is seen holding this MAC 10:
MAC 10

The decision is made to send in a team of Navy SEALs to retake Alcatraz, with Mason leading the way and Goodspeed there to disarm the rockets. The SEALs are wearing "minicams" which are outrageous in size in comparison to todays technology, and they have this huge red and green LED that practically says "shoot me!" A firefight erupts when the SEALs are discovered infiltrating the shower room:
Shower Room firefight

One SEAL is firing this unknown pistol gripped shotgun:
Short Shotty

This SEAL has a H&K MP5PDW with a huge sight mounted on top:

The SEAL commander breaks out the Beretta M9 and starts firing at the Marines:
SEAL commander firing M9

The Marines are firing back with Colt M4's and the M16's with M203 grenade launchers that I mentioned earlier:
M16A2 with M203

No cheek weld, sights...we don't need no stinkin sights! All of the SEALs are killed, which leaves Mason and Goodspeed to finish the mission. Goodspeed has a Beretta M9 with Surefire 610:
Beretta 92F with Surefire

Mason is carrying this H&K MP5N witch he uses to kill a Marine:
Mason firing H&K MP5N

The Marine would have killed both Goodspeed and Mason if he could only shoot. Here he misses them at about ten feet with a full mag from this Colt XM177E1:
Colt XM177E1 auto

Then he unsuccessfully tries to use two of them. And what in the world made those huge holes in the wall behind him?
Twin Colts

I have to say that besides the Marines keeping their fingers off of the triggers, they have terrible gun handling skills, and they seem totally incompetent for the rest of the movie. Here's a frame of two Marines, one with an M16A2, missing Goodspeed while firing on full auto:
M16A2 with light

Towards the end BG Hummel is anticipating a hostel confrontation from his subordinate Marines, so he checks his stainless steel Colt M1911 and sticks it in his waistband behind his back for a weakside draw instead of holstering it in his strongside thigh holster. He didn't earn his star by being stupid, and when the Marines try to disarm him they reach for that thigh holster and he responds: "you mean this sidearm," and pulls the pistol from behind his back:
General's M1911 waistband
General's M1911

There is an uneasy standoff before a gunfight starts, and the General is hit multiple times but he keeps fighting:
General firing M1911
General fightin with M1911 on floor

The Marines show just why they can't hit anyone with these M9's:
Two Yahoos

They need some instruction. Mason opens up with another Colt XM177E1:
Colt XM177E1

One of the Marines pulls out a pair of M61 fragmentation grenades, drops the spoons to let them cook off for a second, and then rolls them down the hallway at Mason:
M61 fragmentation grenades

Goodspeed goes to the lighthouse to disarm the last VX rocket, and another Marine opens up on him with this M60 that has an A2 flash hider on the muzzle:
M60 with A2 flash hider

After he empties that, he reaches for this weeks mystery gun:
Unk sniper rifle

Who can tell me what that rifle is?

The last picture is of Goodspeed commiting seppuku with an atropine injector after he is exposed to VX:

Look at the size of that needle! Real auto injectors have little needles, and they don't deploy until you press them against your skin (not your heart). The idea is that Soldiers and Marines wouldn't stick themselves with needles if they could see it, so they are issued these spring loaded injectors that work just like the EpiPen.

That's it folks. I'm going to work tonight on the movie guns for this weekend comming up so I won't be late this time.

Update: Dave P. points out in comments that the mystery sniper rifle that the Marine is holding in none other than a L.A.R. Grizzly Big Boar. I can't get the L.A.R. Arms page to load, but here is a picture from GunPundit that was taken this year.


Anonymous said...

Mystery Gun: LAR Grizzly Big Boar .50BMG rifle?


replace the x's with t's...

Dave Paglia

Unknown said...

It sure is. Good eyes!

John Dougan said...

I also love this movies to pieces. I look at it as a James Bond movie that answers the question: What happens when Bond gets old?

Unknown said...


Unknown said...

indraneel kastha here i am an indian. most of the shots taken of sean conory is absurd. he never looks down his sights while firing.W.T.F?

Buy Cialis said...

Excellent movie because I like to watching movies where I can see violence, war and weapons, maybe you'll think that's rare but that's my passion.

Nomad175 said...

I think that the main issue with the gun handling is that it isn't so much bad as inconsistent. A lot of the time some of the actors who have been shown to have good gun handling temporarily show bad handling.(probably the director's choice to allow us to see the actors' faces) In the good handling camp, you have Ed Harris (probably due to perfectionism), John C. McGinley (Dr. Cox) (probably due to his firearms training for Se7en), and the Navy SEALs.(Since besides Michael Biehn and Danny Nucci, they're all the genuine article, while Biehn got some informal training on-set for Aliens from Al Matthews)So yeah, I just did a trivia post. Sorry.