In older films characters casually pull a gun out of their pockets and hold it at hip level. Sometimes they pull the trigger. Usually it was pretty deadpan. Sure, they might get a little hot – giving a little speech or whatnot – but it mostly seemed… casual. ‘Yeah, I shot him. So what?’ Nowadays actors seem to pull all sorts of poses, ‘gangsta’, ‘tactical’ (‘Ooh, I’m a trained killer!’), etc. And it seems they’re more emotional too.
I have a feeling that back in the day the characters were archetypes. Nowadays it seems as if they’re going for more depth-of-character. The Bad Guys can’t just be Bad Guys; they have to have some sort of underlying emotional conflict. The good guys have to feel really bad about killing.
In older films characters might have been WWI or WWII veterans. Maybe they’d seen a lot of death. Or there’s the Hard-Boiled Detective archetype who has seen the worst of people all his life (and may also have been through the wars).
I don’t think I’m articulating this well, but I hope you catch my drift.
What do you think of the casual gunplay in old films vs. the more emotional gunplay in modern films?