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There are certain makeshift weapons that action movies have effectively adopted as go-to killing machines, and nail guns are some of the most common examples of that phenomenon. Factoring into awesome scenes in everything from Lethal Weapon 2 to Casino Royale, the handyman tool has become a fixture on the silver screen. However, they are apparently not nearly as effective or efficient as you would think, as Ryan Reynolds recently told me during the press junket for The Hitman's Bodyguard when I asked him about the film's showstopper tool shop fight. The actor explained:
I actually fired one though, and it loses all of its velocity like three feet out. So if you fired it at somebody ten feet away, [the nail would] just sort of bounce off of them.
So despite what movies have shown us over the years, nail guns don't have the stopping power that many of us had previously assumed. They aren't makeshift firearms that you can simply pick up when South African drug smugglers sneak into your house in an attempt to murder you. Sure, the nail comes out at a high velocity, but beyond a few feet, it's not going to do much. I know, it's kind of disappointing, right?
In that regard, I guess we can add nail guns to the growing list of movie weapon tropes that don't necessarily reflect real life. It's just like how silencers don't make guns all that silent (they're still roughly as loud as a car backfiring), and a chainsaw is not a godlike weapon that can take down anything (it would never cut through as much flesh as the Evil Dead movies would lead you to believe). Nail guns have handily turned into one of those mythical silver screen weapons that seem great in theory, but don't do what we think they do.
Take a look at the clip below to see my interview with Ryan Reynolds and hear what he had to say about his awesome tool shop fight in The Hitman's Bodyguard.
As you can glean from that interview, Ryan Reynolds thought long and hard about the physicality and style for his character in The Hitman's Bodyguard. Not wanting to adopt the typical "gun-fu" style seen in movies like John Wick or traditional superhero movies, he instead opted for a much scrappier style that forced his character to scramble around and find whatever weapons he could -- which sometimes meant a nail gun, and sometimes meant any other tool he could find.
Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson will join forces in The Hitman's Bodyguard this weekend when the film debuts on August 18. As for the rest of the films set to debut in 2017, make sure to take a look at CinemaBlend's movie premiere guide to keep yourself in the loop on all of the most highly anticipated releases!