You’re 16, at the movies with your friends, and the main character swings around a corner wielding a pistol held waist-high.  He fires a couple of shots with his other hand sticking out awkwardly like he’s balancing on a tightrope, and yet every shot lands either directly in the center of the forehead or straight in the chest.  And of course the victim goes flying back 10 feet.  You don’t know any better, the movie is exciting and your tactical training barely goes beyond, “Don’t they hold pistols with both hands?”

After my time in the Army, I feel like I have a pretty good grasp on tactics and movements a trained soldier or police officer would employ while engaging the enemy.  I realize that there are different ways of doing things across the board, and that realistically people make mistakes in real life too.  Still, it’s refreshing to watch a film where the actors have trained and prepared for their roles.

You know what movies I’m talking about, even if they don’t completely capitalize on realism. (Publicity still courtesy of Lionsgate.)

But at 16, while I may not have noticed training deficiencies, I certainly noticed when the actors were trained–when they flowed into a room with ease and precision.  When they held their weapons with two hands and fired precise, sporadic shots instead of a slew of automatic hip-firing.  How would 16-year-old me know the difference?  I had only even held a gun a handful of times by then.

Poster courtesy of Sony Pictures

Change the channel to a nature show.  Watch a lioness fire every one of her muscles perfectly as she chases and mauls a gazelle; she makes the catch look easy.