No Slings, But Lots of Arrows: Awesome Archery Moments

Forget avengers, dark knights, hobbits and Djangos: 2012 is the year the bow and arrow made a comeback in a big way. Three of the year's top ten earning films (so far) featured a hero and a couple of heroines armed and ready with a weapon that, according to Wiki, predates written history. And t.v. seems to be jumping on the bandwagon with shows such as Revolution and the aptly titled Arrow.

In honor of Hollywood bringing back the "guns" of yesteryear, here are some of my favorite archery moments in film, but to keep it interesting, I've skipped over any version of Robin Hood and all of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Sorry, Legolas.

[Spoiler Warning]

Man on Wire
How does one get a 450-pound cable across a 200 foot wide gap, 1,368 feet up in the air in the middle of the night? Such a question was just one of many obstacles facing Phillipe Petit as he planned his 1974 high-wire walk between the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center. But you don't become that eccentric (to put it mildly) without a few smarts, and in the end, Petite had one of his co-conspirators shoot an arrow across the space with fishing line attached that was tied to a system of ropes that eventually grew strong enough to pull the entire cable across for Petite's mind-blowing, heart-stopping act.

The Fall
I wasn't a fan of Tarsem Singh's The Fall and I couldn't give you any details about plot or characters these four years later, but I can tell you that, as with most (all?) Singh films, it is quite visually delicious. One thing that has always stuck with me is when Roy's (Lee Pace) tall tale to young Alexandria (Catinca Untaru) begins to unravel and the heroes begin to fall, Otta's (Marcus Wesley) death, being held off the ground by the countless arrows shot into his back, was just beautifully tragic, evoking both extreme pain and yet an odd peace. I definitely need to give this one another chance.

"Our arrows will blot out the sun!" It's true; in one of many visually stunning scenes from 300, the Persian army rains down enough arrows on the tiny group of Spartans to almost turn day into night, but as Stelios (Michael Fassbender) quips back, "Then we will fight in the shade." And that they do.

Sin City
Deadly little Miho. Either with a sword or an arrow, she (Devon Aoki) always hits her mark. The great thing about bad guy Stuka (Nicky Katt) taking one of her arrows through the chest is the humor that follows, as he seems more comedically shocked than actually hurt. The next one he takes through the forehead, however, wasn't quite as him at least.

The Lost Boys
Death. By. Stereo. There are several ways to kill a vampire, but few are cooler than Sam's (Corey Haim) savvy archery skills that pinned bloodsucker Dwayne (Billy Wirth) to an old school stereo system, resulting in the vampire's sparkly electrocution and subsequent explosion, and all to some wacky 80's hair metal. And without blowing a fuse...awesome.


  1. There's a similar moment to your 300 selection in HERO. Likewise, there's all of Legolas' kickassery in LOTR.

    1. Haven't seen Hero, but I hear it's pretty excellent. Didn't want to water down such a short list with just Legolas, but I guess he's got enough moments to make his very own list.

  2. Don't forget We Need To Talk About Kevin! Though that's not as badass as it is freaky.

    Actually, when you mentioned TV, I was kinda disappointed you didn't mention Walking Dead's Daryl and his badass crossbow skills. Or does crossbow not count?

    1. Ahhh, it's like you read my rough draft of this post. Kevin made my short list, but I couldn't bring myself to include it due to the context. If I had gone with it, I probably would've picked the scene when 8 year old Kevin shoots the toy arrow at Eva and hits the window, but would have stayed away from the school (and other) stuff.

      As for the badassery that is Daryl, I almost made a remark on his skills, but decided against it, since I was remarking on the big hit the bow and arrow has been this year, and TWD started back in 2010. But I do appreciate Daryl and his crossbow.

  3. Haven't seen MAN ON WIRE or THE FALL, but loved your other 3 choices. I'm a little surprised you didn't mention THE arrow--the one that killed Achilles in Troy (that would have been another way to get Orlando Bloom into the mix).

    1. Thought about it, then I realized the wussy Paris killing the beautiful Achilles was not awesome at all.


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