Thursday, February 3, 2011

Harry Brown

I saw Harry Brown on DVD.  It’s basically Death Wish or Gran Turino, but set in London.  Michael Caine is Harry.  Some ‘yobs’ have taken over a large section of the apartment block for their nefarious activities, and they harass the locals.  Harry’s buddy is done in by the street punks and Harry, ex-Royal Marine that he is, and recent widower, figures he has nothing left to lose, he might as well avenge his dead friend.

So he does.

Now this is England, so the availability of firearms is limited, and Harry Brown has to go to some pretty shady criminal characters to buy guns.  Too shady, actually, and Harry ends up executing them before getting around to going after the intended perpetrators.  The guns the bad guys have are a Glock and a SIG P226 that both appear to be 9mm.  There is also a snubby the character calls a Model 36 S&W, 5-shot .38 special.  There is also some old WWII looking German P38 thing that is used as a crack pipe as well as a gun.  Since he killed the bad guys, Harry takes all 4 and apparently eschews actually using the crack-gun, but does use the other 3.   More gun info on the movie, here    

This movie is revenge fantasy.  None of the violence done by “the good guys” starts as defensive.  It’s all initiated by the good guy.  He’s hunting DOWN the bad guys, once confirmed in their identity and culpability, and ending their existence right there.  Fine, to satisfy the movie viewer’s internal need for justice meted out vigilante style, but that’s not why I, and others, carry here in the real world.  Like Mr. Miaggi says to the Karate Kid, Daniel-san Macchio, Aha... here are the Two Rules of Miyagi-Ryu Karate. Rule Number One: ‘Karate for defense only.’ Rule Number Two: ‘First learn Rule Number One.’

CCW for defense only.  Beside, if you need to go on offense, you’ll take your rifle.

Keep an eye on that in movies.  How often are weapons used in justifiable defense?  It's a big reason guns get a bad rap from it's portrayal in Hollywood and its subsidiaries.  The bad guys use guns for offense, the good guys use guns for offense.  And only cops and solider use guns for offense in a justifiable way in the movies. 

Hmmmm, need to think on this more.  Movies where justifiable defense ONLY is used by the good guys that don't wear a badge or a uniform.  I will need to wrack my brain to come up with examples... There has to be examples, right?



Anonymous said...

No Country for Old Men
Indiana Jones and the sword guy

Ian Argent said...

Not a movie - but see the pilot of Harry's Law. (Plus, bonus points for jury nullification!)

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

ooo, good one, anon.

James R. Rummel said...

If we are only suggesting movies were the good guys never use their weapons in an aggressive manner, and only use lethal force in a defensive way, then Indiana Jones doesn't meet the criteria. The single-shot duel with the sword guy fits the bill, but Jones then goes on to shoot and kill some guy who was just driving a truck.

No Country For Old Men is a good example, I think.

My suggestion would be The Outlaw Josey Wales. Sure, the main character was a fugitive from justice. But it was made clear before he ever shot anyone on-screen that he would be illegally executed by his captors as soon as he was apprehended. The case for self defense is pretty strong, in my opinion.

Goldwater's Ghost said...

I want to a A History of Violence, but my memory of the specifics of the ending part are a bit hazy.

But at the beginning, Vigo Mortenson's character defends himself in his diner (using hot coffee first), and then at his home with his old SxS.

I know he kills his way out of the mob boss' house, but I don't remember if they tried to kill him first or not.

Alan J. said...

1. Almost any John Wayne era Western movie.
2. 'Gran Torino', as mentioned on James Rummel's blog.
3. Comedies like 'Killers'.
4. Fantasy movies like 'I am Legend', 'Zombieland' or my favorite 'Tremors'.

Best gunnie line ever, "Broke into the wrong goddam rec room, didn't ya, you b*st*rd?"

Sad to see that in my collection of over 500 movies, I couldn't find a single movie that shows normal good people beating the bad guys by using a gun. Guess that says a lot about Hollywood's ideas about guns and gun owners.

Robb Allen said...

The problem isn't Hollywood's portrayal of gun usage. The problem lies within a populace that can't tell the difference between movies and reality.

I don't go to a movie to watch other people lead lives as dull as mine. I go to watch short little furry footed creatures battle the minions of evil as they try to destroy a ring. I want to watch the cop bend the rules and ultimately bring justice via the barrel of a gun (By the way, John McClane does exactly what you're talking about here in Die Hard. He hunts them down to prevent them from killing innocents). I *want* to watch the sparkly vampire get stabbed in the chest repeatedly with a stake (alas, that doesn't seem to be in the movies).

But I know that Hobbits don't exist, that Vampires do not sparkle, and that a Glock 7 isn't a porcelain gun that costs more than you make in a month.

It's sad that too many people can't figure that out.

Boat Guy said...

Kinda stumped for movies beyond what's been mentioned so far, but a comment on
"CCW for defense only. Beside, if you need to go on offense, you’ll take your rifle."
My one semi-good riposte to a question; "Why are your carrying a gun, do you think something bad is going to happen?" "No, if I thought something bad was gonna happen I wouldn't be here." I did NOT say "If I thought something bad was gonna happen I'd have a rifle in my hands." but I thought it...

Old NFO said...

Agree with Robb... perception vs. reality is skewed...

Ian Argent said...

@Robb - I read your next to last sentence as "vampires don't spackle" - which is probably also true of fictional vampires. At least the sparkling ones.

WV: thmater: How Igor expresses his concern: "What'th thmater?"

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

Wait, wait, wait... Hobbits don't EXIST?! But what about my co-worker, Craig?

McThag said...