Gun Fu: The Matrix

Guns. Lots of guns.

– Neo, The Matrix (1999)


The Matrix (1999) by the Wachowskis was a defining film for the Gun Fu genre, and it featured prominently among our inspirations for GURPS Gun Fu.

Of the many shootouts in the film, I will take a closer look at the one in the lobby of the government building here, to see how it would play out in GURPS terms. Watch just the scene here (the action starts at 0:25).

Gun Fu Continue reading “Gun Fu: The Matrix”

Tactical Shooting/Martial Arts: John Wick

John is a man of focus. Commitment. Sheer will.

– Viggo Tarasov in John Wick (2014)

John Wick (2014) is a revenge movie that almost entirely relies on its action scenes. Story-wise, all we need to know is that John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is a former hit man who comes out of retirement to exact his revenge on an army of Russian mobsters.

John Wick came out after the publication of GURPS Gun Fu and GURPS Tactical Shooting and therefore was not analysed in GURPS terms for those books. Note that I mention both books, which were originally written as mutually exclusive variations on a similar theme. In general, Tactical Shooting serves to model realistic gunfights, while Gun Fu is intended for over-the-top, totally cinematic gunplay. My initial reaction to this film was that it is Gun Fu, but on review and reflection the movie as a whole is certainly cinematic, set in an alternate New York that is almost out of a graphic novel, but most of the actual fight components are not. In fact, it can be used with considerable success to visualize many elements found in Tactical Shooting and GURPS Martial Arts.

Shooting Dice_TS_John Wick Continue reading “Tactical Shooting/Martial Arts: John Wick”

Tactical Shooting: The Veteran

If he’s gonna play with guns, he should learn how to use one.

– Robert Miller in The Veteran (2011)


Matthew Hope’s The Veteran (2011) is about a former British Army Paratrooper who has recently returned from Afghanistan. Robert Miller (Toby Kebbell) suffers from PTSD and drifts through his days until he is hired by a secretive government official to track a suspected terrorist cell. Eventually realising he has been duped, he goes vigilante and tries to save his love interest from a violent drug gang that terrorises the South London estate at which he has been living. Overall the film tries too hard; the connection between the government conspiracy and the thugs is tenuous and the underlying worldview simplistic. However, many of the details are ace, including Miller’s tradecraft and the various altercations.

The Veteran was released too late to include it in GURPS Tactical Shooting, but with minor allowances it would have been a good fit. As Miller clears an entire estate of criminals, he eventually ends up in a high-rise, with a final shootout in an Eighth Floor hallway. Here is how that scene would play out in GURPS.


Stop reading if you want to avoid SPOILERS. Continue reading “Tactical Shooting: The Veteran”