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Top ten movie bow and arrows

Posted on July 17, 2008

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At Boxwish, we’re not aggressive violent types. Far from it. Our idea of a hands-on assault is a tickle fight, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t enjoy a good movie mash-up. Good versus evil, champion versus underdog, Jackie Chan versus anyone. But why get your hands dirty in brutal fisticuffs when you can use a weapon to do all the sweaty legwork for you? And what better gadget than a bow and arrow? They’ve been in existence since the year dot and promote skill over sheer strength. And so, in tribute to the new Rambo movie, where Sly Stallone lets rip with a big bad-ass bow and arrow, we give you Boxwish’s top ten movie bow and arrows.

10. King Arthur

Keira Knightley adds a female touch to this list with her heroic antics as Guinevere in the 2004 re-telling of the Arthur legend. Knightley’s Woad princess is freed from her Roman prison, where she has had her fingers broken, but miraculously her pinkies are soon on the mend and recover just in time for her to join Arthur and his knight’s in an almighty scrap. She feistily romps about in blue markings, bizarre leather strapping and with her trusty bow and arrows kicks some Saxon ass.

9. The Punisher

Thomas Jane’s Frank Castle turns into a crazed vigilante when his family are killed by crime boss, Howard Saint (John Travolta complete with bad hair). Believing that his happy life is gone, he seeks revenge wielding a high-tech compound bow. Made from cast alloy with carbon fibre components, the black bow is fully functional with a small spirit level attached and five small reflective tubes on the sight, both to help take aim. The arrows, each 90cm, have carbon shafts and reflective lights.

8. The Chronicles of Narnia movies

It’s not what young girls would normally expect to be given by Santa for Christmas, but as future queen of Narnia, Susan is a little bit special. Given the weapon by old Saint Nick, the eldest Pevensie daughter wields it bravely as she joins her siblings to fight the evil White Witch. Designed and manufactured by those clever physical effects chaps at New Zealand-based company, Weta (who also rustled up props for The Lord of the Rings), the bow comes with red feather-tipped arrows, which according to Father Christmas “don’t easily miss”. Her quiver features her initials and despite her leaving the bow and arrows neglected in Narnia for 1,300 years, they still work fine on her return in the follow-up film, Prince Caspian.

7. Gremlins 2: The New Batch

Since his debut outing, First Blood, Rambo has been spoofed in countless films, but surely the best nod to the Vietnam vet is in 1990’s Gremlins sequel, The New Batch. The good-natured and innocent Gizmo finds himself pitted against the mischievous Gremlins. But how will he survive? By channelling his inner John Rambo of course, complete with red bandanna. Gizmo fashions a bow from a staple and rubber-band and an arrow from a pencil. Not exactly hi-tech, but when you’re a Mogwai under attack you can’t afford to be fussy.

6. Van Helsing

Representing the crossbow is 2004’s CGI spectacular Van Helsing. As the titular monster hunter, Hugh Jackman fights off the classic Universal monsters ably assisted by his quick-fire crossbow. Due to its gas propulsion, the mighty weapon can fire many arrows in rapid succession and doesn’t need to be reloaded. It is collapsible and with arrows dipped in holy water, works a treat on rogue vampires.

5. The Scorpion King

After proving popular in a small role in The Mummy Returns, WWE wrestler, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson returned as the Scorpion King in the 2002 action romp of the same name. However, in this prequel, Mathayus is just a lowly desert soldier who fights against his homeland’s evil rulers with the help of his trusty bow. In Mathayus’s hands, the bow is quicker and more powerful than in the grips of his rivals, but then as a 6-foot-five muscle mountain, The Rock is gonna kick ass, with or without a bow.

4. Blade Trinity

“The compound bow is so exceptionally strong and is so juiced up that it can penetrate almost anything,” gushes actress Jessica Biel, on the vampire-busting gadget her character Abigail, gets to wield in the third Blade movie. As the tough daughter of Blade’s long-time sidekick, Whistler, Abby’s compound bow was specially made for the superhero actioner by Archery Research in Tucson, Arizona. Weighing in at only 25lbs, (the company had never previously manufactured one less than 60lbs), the bow uses silver-tipped arrows that include a smidgeon of UV light – deadly to nasty vampires.

3. Predator

Gizmo went DIY for his bow and arrow and Arnie follows suit in our number three entry – Predator. Alone in the Guatemalan jungle, after his special forces colleagues have all died, Arnie plans to capture and then kill the mysterious predator. Ever the innovator, Arnie whips up a bow and arrow from his jungle surroundings and uses it to corner and trap the ugly alien. His plans don’t go accordingly, but in the obligatory 80s action movie staple – the montage – he does prove a natural at whittling a bow and arrow out of nothing but bark and vine. Blue Peter would be proud.

2. The Lord of the Rings trilogy

The most famous bowman in recent cinema, Orlando Bloom’s elf Legolas enjoys not one, but two bows during the epic Peter Jackson trilogy. When we first meet the pointy-eared prince, he is sporting a Mirkwood bow which is short and dark, but this is then cast aside when Galadriel gives him a Lothlorien bow. This newer model is just less than six feet long and features an Elven pattern and according to the J. R. R. Tolkien tomes, the string features a gold thread – a hair from the head of Galadriel.

1. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

Kevin Costner’s stab at recreating the folklore hero had no men in tights, but he did give us some truly epic bow and arrow moments. We see plenty of action including two-arrows shot at once, flame-tipped ones, the weapons being manufactured by the Merry Men and Robin teaching his cronies how to shoot. The 1991 romp might be silly, too americanised and full of scary mullets, but it does deliver on the bow and arrow front and for that, it enjoys Boxwish’s coveted number one spot. Congrats Kev!

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