Sinners and Saints — the 2010 action flick starring Johnny Strong and Jolene Blalock (among others, with appearances by at least on “industry” guy in the form of Sonny Puzikas) that has some good gun-handling moments scenes in it. We’ll dissect one of them in this evening’s Friday Night Gun Fights. Breach-Bang-Clear
Sinners and Saints: setting the scene
Sinners and Saints is a New Orleans-based police drama that seems to involve a combination of departmental corruption, disillusioned combat veterans and a particularly tired stereotype of evil private security contractors. (A few of Breach-Bang-Clear’s Minions and other wretched contributors have worked as real-life PMCs, and none of them have done anything nearly as cool, or immoral, as what Hollywood imagines, but you prob’ly knew that already.) If you haven’t seen the movie, we’re not recommending you drop anything to go watch it. But it did feature at least one pretty good shootout, which we’re going to discuss here.
This gunfight involves our protagonist, Detective Sean Riley, and his partner Detective Ganz confronting the movie’s main villain – an ex-pat gang banger who, apparently, takes his fashion cues from Eminem. Regardless, the good guys stumbling on a rather “heated” interrogation leads to an open gunfight in the street with some surprisingly well-equipped bad guys.
Note: the timelines we show are from this particular clip. If it goes wonky or Facebook puts the KAY-bawsh on it, then you might have to adjust fire a bit.
SINNERS AND SAINT: THE GOOD
• Riley’s initial draw and presentation at 0:52.
• The bad guys’ vehicle bailout at 1:05 was buttery smooth with all parties immediately seeking proper intervals and cover/concealment while laying suppressive fire on the move.
• One of the most realistic portrayals of the lack of cover provided by vehicles that we’ve seen, though also a pretty good representation that they’ll stop at least some incoming rounds some of the time (which beats standing witless in the open almost all the time). All the cars in this scene get chewed up pretty good, and Det. Riley posts up behind the El Camino’s rear axle in accordance with commonly-accepted TTPs regarding which parts of a vehicle are best ballistic cover — though his ass and legs are frequently exposed, and he seems to prefer shooting over the top of things to shooting around them.
• At 1:25 Det. Ganz can be seen laying cover fire from an elevated position, though you could argue he’s also allowed himself to be pinned in a fatal funnel.
• At 1:46 Det. Riley drops back down behind cover to execute his first reload.
• At 2:09, Riley’s use of an unconventional position to engage an approaching target from underneath the vehicle.
• At 2:20, Riley executes a second reload (illustrating the need for sufficient spare mags, particularly when running 1911s or other single-stack guns) followed by a second engagement from an unconventional position through the windshield with multiple rounds.
• At 2:27, bad guy executes a pretty good reload on the move. We give this one bonus points as the contemporary manual of arms for an AK is rarely portrayed accurately. Though some could take argument with the use of mags taped together end-to-end. Haven’t seen much of that since Vietnam.
• The battlefield pickup at 2:41 includes another properly-executed use of AK charging handle to ensure the condition of the weapon once picked up. This pickup includes a smooth re-holster and transition from support hand pickup to strong hand employment.
• At 3:20, Riley visibly steadies himself for the low percentage “hostage shot.” That’s not a shot that would be advocated by many units or agencies, they at least take the time to illustrate proper breath control/trigger press to make it happen.
• We don’t see proper tricked-out AKs on screen very often. The ones here looked pretty slick.
SINNERS AND SAINTS: THE BAD
• First engagement was only two rounds on the first target, and a single round on the second. We’d like to see more “shoot ‘em to the ground” but, in fairness, he’s running a single-stack pistol.
• All the bad guy reinforcements are in one vic, apparently not paying much attention until things go kinetic. Good for the good guys, bad for the bad guys, but certainly something worth considering.
• As previously noted, Ganz allows himself to be pinned in a doorway for the bulk of the fight.
• Both detectives could/should have been more aggressive in moving off the X and away from that El Camino, which was almost fully degraded by the time they got out from behind it.
• Main bad guy seems to love his sideways gangster-ready position (which in fairness is somewhat realistic).
• Ganz seems to be looking over his gun, which is not even on target, for the final hostage standoff.
• High Risk knocks or warrants should be handled with full support and cordon. A proper perimeter could have prevented Riley and Ganz from having to duke it out with four well equipped and determined adversaries.
SINNERS AND SAINTS: THE UGLY
• Bad guys with subguns and SBRs − that sucks unless you’re fighting at long ranges (or in tanks).
• Getting tied down to a chair and set on fire. Fuck that.
• Bad guys with an affinity for vinyl. Way creepy (not that we’re kink-shaming).
SINNERS AND SAINTS: FOR THE PURISTS AND SNOBS
• Does Riley stand in the doorway not just when they bad guy is talking, but also when the gunfire starts, locking Ganz out of the fight?
• Do the bad guys just hate each other? Are they masking themselves constantly (see 01:15) or is that the perspective of the camera?
• Is Crowe a righty, a lefty, or ambi-shooterous?
• Why would Detective Ganz carry a Px4 Storm? We don’t know, but hey — at least the props department put a Noveske rifle in there.
• Why does no one drop Det. Ganz by shooting through the wall? Unknown. Maybe for the same reason no one skip-shoots under the car to dump Det. Riley.
• Why didn’t Renko (played by Sonny Puzikas) perform a Death Blossom? Likely because Alex, Grig, and Centauri filed for trademark infringement.
For the Peanut Gallery:
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Sinners and Saints Cast and Info | More If You Want It
Find more about all the different weapons used in the movie on its Internet Movie Firearms Data Base page here on IMFDB. Learn more about the movie in general on its IMDB page. Want a copy? Buy it on Amazon. See what Rotten Tomatoes has to say about it here.
Find and read all about other movie gunfights in the Friday Night Gun Fights column on Breach-Bang-Clear here.
This article was prepared by 2 or more of our contributors.