Weapons are a big part of film culture. Most confrontations with actually violence involve the use of weapons in some form. Whilst some are fairly generic, there are plenty of film weapons out there that have become as iconic and recognisable as characters feel the films they are in. That’s why today I am joined by Jason Wilde to count down our Top 5 Film Weapons. You’ll find that my list mainly focuses on swords, as they are by far my favourite weapons. There are a few other cool weapons that I want to mention; Thor’s hammer Mjölnir, Indiana Jones’ whip, the Ghostbusters’ proton packs, those funky guns from the Fifth Element that can do pretty much anything, or sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached to their heads. I’ve also got a kind of honourable mention, which I could be debated as to whether it’s a weapon or not, I think it is, but I’m using this as an excuse to essentially have six options (and it’s my list so you’ll have to live with it).
Honourable Mention: Iron Man Suit – Tony Stark’s creation is awesome, and one of the coolest things in both comic and film history. It has missiles, energy blasts, cutting lasers, not to mention some cool assembly methods, oh and it can fly. And let’s be clear we are talking about classic red Iron Man suit (I’m not getting into a specific Mark) and not one of the many we see at the end of Iron Man 3, or the Hulkbuster. The Iron Man suit gives Tony Stark the ability to stand alongside superheroes as powerful as Thor, The Vision, or Scarlet Witch, showing just how powerful it has the ability to be. It has also become a mainstay of modern popular culture.
- Shuggie: William Wallace’s Claymore (Braveheart) – This is probably the most simplistic looking weapon on this list. Instead it is a big, impressive beast of a sword that is completely appropriate for many of the brutal and bloody battle scenes in the film. And whilst it may not be as flashy as others, it still has a cool design with the wrapping going past the hilt. It’s use in the final scene of the film, where Hamish flings it forward as symbol of the Scottish soldiers will to fight on with Robert the Bruce, before it being the final thing that we see, is an incredibly powerful and moving moment in the film.
- Jason: GE M134 Minigun (Predator) - “Ol’ Painless” or the ‘GE M134 Minigun was the main weapon carried by the character Sgt. Blain Cooper (portrayed by Jesse Ventura) in the 1987 film, Predator. Shortly after Blain’s death, the Minigun is picked up by squad mate Sgt. Mac Elliot (portrayed by Bill Duke), whom in an attempt to kill the Predator, he manages to cut down half of a Vietnamese rainforest and as this weapon holds over 500 rounds & has a rate of fire of 1,250RPM, it has 25 seconds of destruction.
- Shuggie: The Green Destiny (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon) – This sword is genuinely a thing of absolute beauty. As I’ve mentioned I’m a massive fan of swords, especially when compared to the far cruder guns or blasters that probably populate many peoples favourite weapon lists. And the Green Destiny is probably my favourite designed sword out there. The jade hilt and guard, and the patterned handle are magnificent. Plus it plays an important role in the film. The reason it’s so far down on this list is it’s not as iconic or meaningful as some of the other weapons we have, but it might just be the most beautiful.
- Jason: M41A Pulse Rifle (Aliens) - The M41A Pulse Rifle is the main weapon of the Marines of the United States Colonial Marine Corps (USCM) in the 1986 movie Aliens. The fictional weapon (roughly based off the real-world, M1A1 submachine gun) had the capacity of 99 caseless 10mm armour-piercing rounds and had an under-barrel pump-action 30mm grenade launcher, which was seemingly the only weapon that was a match for the infamous Xenomorphs. The character Ripley (portrayed by Sigourney Weaver), manages to make the weapon even better, by attaching it to a M240 Flamethrower. That is my number 4. Don’t agree? Well, “Did IQs just drop sharply while I was away?”
- Shuggie: The Bride’s Hattori Hanzō sword (Kill Bill) – Trust Quentin Tarantino to create one of the greatest fictional killing weapons, in this case an awesome katana. Aside from a beautiful look one of the main reasons it deserves a place on this list is the fact that it is almost a character in the film. Kill Bill Volume dedicates a fair amount of time to explaining the back-story and importance of the sword. Not only that but it is also used in one of the greatest action scene’s of all time, the Bride’s massacre of the Crazy 88 at the end of Volume 1.
- Jason: The Golden Gun (The Man With The Golden Gun) - My number 3 is not a “harmless toy”. The trademark fictional weapon of the character Francisco Scaramanga (portrayed by Christopher Lee) in the 1974 movie ‘The Man With The Golden Gun’ from Ian Fleming’s James Bond series. The weapon uses specially made golden bullets which have the names of the hitman’s targets engraved on them, but the reason I included this weapon in my ‘top 5’ is because it can be broken down into; a pen, a cuff link, a lighter and cigarette case for concealment, making this the ultimate assassination tool. James Bond: “One bullet against my six?” Francisco Scaramanga: “I only need one, Mr. Bond.”
- Shuggie: Andúril (The Lord of the Rings) – Obviously I had to include a Lord of the Rings weapon on here, and there are a lot of great ones to chose from, but Andúril, Flame of the West, is far and away the best. We are introduced to the significance of it in the prologue, but this is reiterated when Boromir examines the shards of Narsil (Andúril before its reforged). However it is in Return of the King when Elrond reforms it for Aragorn that we truly get Andúril. The design is great, and as impressive as it needs to be. It also has a huge amount of significance for the story as it signifies Aragorn’s decision to take up the mantel of King of Gondor.
- Jason: Smith & Wesson Model 29 .44 Magnum (Dirty Harry) – “Halt!”, no ‘Top 5 Movie Weapons’ list would be complete without “the most powerful handgun in the world”. Made famous by the character Harry Callahan (portrayed by Clint Eastwood) in the 1971 movie ‘Dirty Harry’, during that iconic scene where he takes aim with his Smith & Wesson and gives the speech “I know what you’re thinking. ‘Did he fire six shots or only five?’ Well, to tell the truth, in all this excitement, I’ve kinda lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world and would blow your head clean off”. So that is my number 2, which means, “you better ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya punk?”.
- Shuggie: Lightsaber (Star Wars) – Ok there’s no real competition here. The Lightsaber is the coolest and greatest weapon ever created. If you want me to pick a specific saber, then it has to be Darth Maul’s from the Phantom Menace. The weapons of Jedi or Sith, each is personal to its user, and it is a right of passage for a force user to craft their own Lightsaber. Maul’s use of a double blade instantly set him apart and made him stand out. It lead to what was quite possibly the best fight in the franchise, the Dual of the Fates. When we talk about Lightsabers Obi Wan says it best, they are “not as clumsy or random as a blaster. An elegant weapon, for a more civilized age”.
- Jason: Sawed-Off Winchester 1887 (Terminator 2: Judgement Day) – My number 1 movie weapon may be up for debate, but “come with me if you want to live!”. This gun which had been heavily modified to have a sawed-off barrel & stock, was the centerpiece and the signature weapon of the T-800 Model: 101 (portrayed by Arnold Schwarzenegger) in the 1991 movie ‘Terminator 2: Judgement Day’. The reason this is at the top of my list, is because the T-800 somehow manages to flip cock this weapon one-handed, whilst riding a Harley motorcycle, in order to protect the future leader of the human resistance from the infamous shape-shifting T-1000 (portrayed by Robert Patrick). Remember, “The future is not set, there is no faith but what we make for ourselves”.