[Updated on 1 August 2021] There is a rich history of archery in the film; in fact, some of the earliest films were about the hero Robin Hood. Those movies were legitimate, yet dangerous because they had real archers shooting at actors who had wood planks hidden beneath their clothes. Today’s filming techniques are much safer, but they also allow for much more fantastic scenes. This list combines new and old for some of the best archery scenes in the film.
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This often overlooked Disney classic earns its title of a classic because of scenes like this one. With the odds stacked against him and standing on stilts, Robin still manages to pull off a trick shot for the ages and embarrass the Sheriff while winning the favor of Maid Marian. Being a cartoon, there were certain liberties taken with this scene. Still, it made me want to grow up to be a valorous archer when I was a kid.
Katniss Proves Her Worth
There is so much to love about this scene. For starters, as the movies go on to show, Katniss is a warrior and an inspiration. Her archery skills are rivaled by few, and after her nerves get the best of her on her first shot, the sponsors brush her off and go back to their party. Not one to be ignored, Katniss makes her presence known in a fantastic scene that will bring a smirk to your face at the very least.
Hawkeye Shoots Loki Out of the Sky
Harkening back to this scene is almost like watching old baby videos compared to where the MCU is now. Hawkeye has had his ups and downs, but there is no denying that this character is an ace with a bow. The only time he ever misses is when he means to as is evident by this scene. Just when you think the plan is foiled, it turns out that good old Clint Barton had a trick up his sleeve the whole time.
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
Susan, one of the four kids who originally went through the Wardrobe, is left in the forest by herself to fend off a group of adult men on horseback. Little did they know they were dealing with a deadly queen and her favorite weapon. Susan quickly dispatches most of the men before getting a little help from a friend.
Merida Wins Her Own Hand (From the Movie Brave)
There was a little contest between clans to see who would win Merida’s hand in marriage. The only problem was that Merida wasn’t having it. In a scene that is both funny and empowering, Merida takes every male archer to a task even splitting the last arrow down the middle much like Robin Hood does in his animated movie.
Whistler Shoots Around Corners in Blade Trinity
One of the best additions to the Blade Trilogy was that of Abigale Whistler; the lost child of Blade’s confidant who only goes by the name of Whistler. Abigale is skilled in hand to hand combat and knows her way around a gun. But it’s when she has a bow in her hand that she is truly dangerous. In an early scene in the movie; Abby and Hannibal King are busting Blade out of jail when they get pinned down. King says that he can’t shoot around corners, and Abby responds, “I can”. She proceeds to gear up and shoot an arrow around the corner. Once they go on the offensive; she also shoots an arrow through a door to dispatch another vampire.
Robin Storms the Castle in Prince of Thieves
You can’t really talk about archery scenes without talking about Robin Hood, and while the Disney version is pretty great, Robin Hood Prince of Thieves is probably the most popular version of the vigilante ever. In a scene towards the end of the movie, Robin and his men storm the castle and save a group of people about to be put to death. Though the scene is longer, there are several notable bows and arrow shots including Robin cutting the rope of a hanging boy and a shooting two men on horseback with one shot.
Three Arrows in Wonder Woman
This entire scene is filled with feats of archery that are nothing short of amazing, but the finale of the scene when Antiope launches off of a shield before firing three arrows at once to hit three separate targets is remarkable. This scene is obviously filmed with some enhanced computer graphics but that doesn’t make the idea, the acting, or the shot itself any less thrilling.
The Great Wall Cup Scene
This movie was panned for several reasons, but it does offer a few great archery scenes. Perhaps the best archery scene in the movie isn’t about shooting an enemy, but showing off archery skills in a room full of people. Though the events of this scene are implausible they are still pretty cool and enough to get even the casual fan excited about the physics of the bow.
Chicken Arrow in Hot Shots Part Deux
It’s a silly scene, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t great. This Rambo parody is full of cheap gags, and this one is no exception. I would contest that this scene defined the sense of humor of a generation. After exhausting his arrows, and with no other options. Topper grabs a chicken and turns it into the most inventive arrow that the silver screen has ever seen.
The fun thing about the film is that it is always changing. These are some of the best bow and arrow scenes in the film. But it doesn’t mean that they will always be. For now, let’s enjoy the incredible feats in these films, no matter how unbelievable they seem.