With the release of Disney Pixar’s BRAVE in the UK and the year’s previous successes, THE HUNGER GAMES and THE AVENGERS, we at THN decided to look over the best cinematic archers, deciding which of them would be most welcome in our team, be it for hunting, secret missions, or potentially winning gold medals in Rio 2016.
In her very first moments on screen, Katniss demonstrates her archery abilities by shooting a bird from the air. She is even shown using leaves to determine which way the wind is blowing as she knows it will carry her scent. But she only does this after the deer has already sensed her presence. A truly great archer would have done this first. We are constantly told about her awesomeness as an archer and it is best demonstrated during her trial before the games begin. As those in attendance fail to pay her any attention, she fires an arrow straight through an apple that previously rested in a roasted hog’s mouth.
Archer Rating: 7/10 – Although good, she just doesn’t have the killer instinct we’re looking for.
I don’t care if you do think your wife is crazy; if she seems uncomfortable and scared by your son, don’t buy him a bow and arrow. Whilst Kevin may be a controversial choice, I have to rate on ability, so as Hitler was a great painter, our friend Kevin is quite the archer. Even as a child with a toy bow and arrows with suction cups on the tip, he is able to hit his target. Much to his mother’s fright he aims it straight at her head, luckily for her she was standing behind a glass window, otherwise she would be left with one of those embarrassing red circles on her forehead. Either that or her whole face would have been consumed and she would have to pry it off like in those old cartoons.
Archer Rating: 6/10 – Skilled, but we wouldn’t exactly trust him on a hunt or as part of a team.
Hawkeye very well could have been the little bitch of THE AVENGERS. Let’s face it; the guy is on a team with a billionaire in a heavily-armoured flying suit with lots of firepower, a genius who nobody wants to piss off, an American icon super soldier, and a god. Sure there are others with no powers, but I don’t see anybody picking on the one-eyed black guy or the woman. Those two instances would end in a lawsuit that could bankrupt even Tony Stark. Hawkeye has incredible powers of aim and never really misses his target. Loki’s able to catch his shots with his bare hands, so perhaps he needs to work on his speed.
Archer Rating: 8/10 – Holds his own amongst super-powered beings, but has a shady past and is easily manipulated.
He’s been portrayed many times on screen, but nobody captured his English beauty quite as well as Kevin Costner. Just when it looks like he’s beat in an archery contest, he manages to split an arrow in half. This is something the MYTHBUSTERS team once tried but couldn’t do it because they suck balls and they aren’t Robin Hood. Unfortunately he is easily distracted by annoying trollops blowing in his ear. Mr Hood also enjoys fiery arrows, which look awesome and he is able to use a crossbow too.
Archer Rating: 9/10 – He does something that has been proved impossible, but may be a bit put off on a windy day.
Park Nam Joo is a champion archer and has won tons of medals. Her biggest downfall is that she can’t shoot until her aim is absolutely perfect, so when she goes up against the clock she usually has to settle for silver. She may have some incredible accuracy which comes in handy when fighting huge tadpole monsters, but being unable to fire under pressure when necessary means the monster had best not be running straight at her.
Archer Rating: 7/10 – She certainly has the talent and dedication and no one can fault her loyalty. But there is that whole timing issue.
Does this guy ever miss? I can’t recall any moments in which he does. Not only is he astonishingly accurate but he is able to fire at blistering speed no matter what the situation. He is obviously helped by the fact he is an elf and has magical elf senses. Not only is his speed and accuracy unrivaled, he is also quite the showman. He scales up huge Oliphants before delivering multiple arrows to the neck and then sliding down their trunk in style
Archer Rating: 10/10 – Cool under pressure, heightened senses, trustworthy, and style? A perfect score as far as we’re concerned.
Jin is a police captain set the task of finding the elusive leader of The Flying Daggers. To do this he must accompany a young blind woman to their base. Unfortunately he falls in love with her; ain’t it always the way? During one attack on the young blind girl, Mei, she is close to being pinned down by four assailants. Now obviously you’d need to take out all four at the same time, otherwise after the first one goes down the other three will use Mei as a shield. No problem for Jin. He simply fires four arrows in quick succession and they somehow manage to catch up with each other. It looks bloomin’ awesome and was even used in IMMORTALS, which I’m not counting on this list because it was the bow that was magical and not the archers themselves.
Archer Rating: 8/10 – Speedy, accurate, and talented in martial arts, but no matter how noble his intentions, he’s still a sucker for a pretty face.
Rambo by name, RamBOW by nature. Rambo knows the importance of stealth when it comes to hunting the enemy, which is why he often favours his trusty bow and arrow. When asked about his bow in RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART II he answers ‘A bow. No sound.’ Sounds fair to me, but he also uses many an explosive arrow which I can assure you do make a lot of sound. He also unleashes arrows against large groups of people and when spotting an arrow in your friends head it’s easy to work out where it came from. Still, Rambo’s good enough to not worry about such logic, because if you go up against him you’re going to end up dead.
Archer Rating: 7/10 – Certainly skilled, but he also seems to have some demons within himself from serving in the Vietnam War. He also doesn’t seem to be much of a team player and would rather be a one man army.
Ashitaka begins PRINCESS MONONOKE by killing a boar-demon. This leaves him with a curse on his arm that gives him super strength but will eventually kill him. Even with this setback Ashitaka is still a fantastic archer. He is able to take off limbs and even perform decapitations from great distances whilst moving. It’s a testament to his skills that he manages to stand out and survive in a world that is gradually making way for firearms and explosions.
Archer Rating: 9/10 – Always calm, always does what’s right, and can hit his targets when necessary. The fact they take off body parts is just an added aesthetic bonus.
Note to self. When traveling in the deep, dark south of the US of A, make sure to go armed to the teeth. Lewis is portrayed by Burt Reynolds, who looks exceptionally manly even without a moustache. He’s primarily a hunter, but also works well as protection from sodomite hillbillies. When taking a shot he doesn’t let the heat of the moment get to him and thinks things through logically. He makes sure that our redneck cousin is pointing a shotgun away from you before sticking an arrow through his heart. Despite this, he’s not very punctual, and you kind of wish he could arrive before the whole ‘getting raped’ thing.
Archer Rating: 8/10 or 5/10 (depending on if you’re Jon Voight or Ned Beatty). Yes he saves the day, delivers some just desserts, and does it with style, but we need someone there when he’s most needed…
So there we have it. Legolas, Ashitaka, and Robin of Locksley, pack your bags you’re coming with us. These are the three I’d choose for an awesome archery team of excellence. Let’s hope Merida from BRAVE can give them a run for their money.
BRAVE is out now, and stars the voices of Kelly McDonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters, Robbie Coltrane, and Kevin McKidd.