2011 Shootout of the Year Nominees

Fighting with fists and swords is all well and good, but these days firearms are the true decider of combat scenarios, and the staging of epic gun fights has been a staple of cinema going back to The Great Train Robbery.  A couple of the choices here are a little bit of a stretch I guess, but the way I see it this category is all about action scenes that primarily involve firearms, even if the bullets are only really going one way.

  • Hotel Room – Drive: This seems like a pretty quiet scene at first.  The driver and his bank robbing accomplice are in a hotel room trying to regroup, and then out of nowhere his accomplice gets her fucking head blown off by a damn shotgun through the bathroom window.  The shooter tries to do the same to the driver but… that doesn’t work out too well.  We don’t often see the gory results of gunfire in movies, but this very graphic scene shows that shootings can be just as gross as stabbings.
  • Dock Shootout- The Guard: While much of this film focuses on the less exciting aspects of police work, bullets do start to fly in its final scenes.  This scene has Brendan Gleeson recklessly attacking a group of drug smugglers while Don Cheadle provides covering fire from higher up on the dock with a damn AK.  It’s not particularly glamorous, but it gets the job done, and Cheadle really does look pretty cool while firing that assault rifle.
  • Daily Sentinel Shootout- The Green Hornet: The Green Hornet was an… interesting movie, sort of.  It had its moments anyway, and this is one of them.  The scene finds our heroes cornered in their own office and surrounded by henchmen, what to do?  Shoot your way out of course.  And when they’re done doing that they can escape police gunfire by driving out a damn window.
  • Van off bridge- Mission: Impossible- Ghost Protocol: Every Mission: Impossible movie has an elder agent handing down orders to Ethan and this time its Tom Wilkinson.  This time Ethan gets his briefing in a van and everything is going according to plan when BAM, Wilkinson is shot in the head and the van is careening off of a bridge.  Now Hunt is under water and he has half a dozen Russians shooting at him.  What’s he to do?  Well, he doesn’t know either but he has a hunch.
  • ATF Vs. The Five Points Trinity Church- Red State: The ending of Kevin Smith’s horror-satire-thriller largely consists of an epic standoff between ATF agents and the insane homicidal religious fanatics/gun nuts of the Five Points Trinity Church.  Though the production values aren’t exactly through the roof, Smith adds a lot of interest to the scene firstly by making it clear that any of these characters are liable to be killed at any moment.  Additionally, Smith adds a certain level of ambiguity to the scene by making the ATF’s methods less than noble, making the viewer question who they’re really rooting for.

The Golden Stake Goes to…

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