Katniss, the protagonist in mega block-buster
The Hunger Games, has created a buzz about archery. Bow ranges around the country are reporting a bump in attendance, and there’s extra interest among kids. While it’s great that the Katniss character is getting young people interested in archery, she’s not the first Hollywood archer and she’s definitely not the coolest. Check out OL’s ranking of the 20 coolest silver screen archers.
#1 – John Rambo
Rambo (played by Sylvester Stallone) is the only archer on our list to take down a helicopter with a bow and arrow. Hell, he’s the only one on our list who’s even tried. That’s because he’s John Rambo, a killing machine. You go up against him you’ll need a good supply of body bags! Over the span of four movies he’s taken down bad guys with his bow in more than three countries.
#2 – Robin Hood
Countless actors have played the most famous archer of all time through decades of movies, but the last was Russell Crowe in 2010. In this version, Robin Hood is a common archer in Richard the Lionheart’s army, but deserts to fight his own battle. Coolest shot in the flick? Crowe hits a fleeing horseback rider in the neck from about 300 yards away. Hey, he’s Robin Hood, the greatest archer in history.
#3 – Legolas Greenleaf
It’s a sad day when the prettiest archer on our list is a guy. Actor Orlando Bloom has played the role of elf archer extraordinaire Legolas Greenleaf in three Lord of The Rings movies. He will return to the role in two upcoming Hobbit movies. It will be interesting to see what he shoots with his bow in the forthcoming prequels as his turn with the bow in the original trilogy was extremely impressive. I mean come on he nailed orcs, a Mumakil, and a Gimli. Coolest shot? He nocks three arrows at once and shoots a giant evil elephant in the back of the head.
#4 – Major Alan “Dutch” Schaefer
While Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Dutch in Predator utilizes heavy military industrial hardware throughout most of the movie, he does mange to get some bow time in during his final battle with the dreadlocked alien, Predator. While Dutch and his crew fail to kill Predator with the latest military weaponry, he gets the last laugh by going back to the basics.
#5 – Neytiri
The female lead in Avatar, Neytiri knows how to use a bow. She also knows how to ride an Ikran and royally irritate her parents by marrying a genetic mish mash who’s actually a paraplegic in a wheelchair that she outweighs by a few hundred pounds and stands 10 feet taller than. Strange relationship choices aside, she’s still pretty good with a bow. Clearly, they utilize a different style of shooting on planet Pandora.
#6 – Guinevere
Keira Knightley plays Guinevere in 2004’s King Arthur. Not only does Knightley take down her enemies with flaming arrows but she does so while covered in blue war paint.
#7 – Hanna
Saoirse Ronan’s Hanna is a genetically altered child created by the government to be the ultimate killing machine. In her free time, she likes to shoot caribou with a homemade bow. She also likes to kill people with her bare hands. This despite being a child. Don’t mess with Hanna.
#8 – Frank Castle
As a vigilante out to avenge his murdered family – and just all around mop up crime – Marvel Comics’ Frank Castle aka The Punisher introduces death via knife, gun, martial arts, good old-fashion beatings, and bow and arrow. All of these beatdowns must have the Punisher a little stressed out … Relax the grip on your bowhand Frank!
#9 – Chewbacca
Chewbacca is the only archer on our list of the Wookiee race, aka giant space monkey. The “walking carpet” has nailed storm troopers a plenty with his Wookieebowcaster (crossbow/lazergun) in four movies, two television shows, and countless books and comics…excuse me…graphic novels. Pretty good for a guy who is more than 200 years old.
#10 – Melina Havelock
As the daughter of murdered parents, Melina Havelock proved her metal with a crossbow several times over in Roger Moore’s best turn as 007, For Your Eyes Only.
#11 – Mathayus the Scorpion King
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s Mathayus the Scorpion King’s bow has the power of a cannon. Bad guys don’t get pierced by The Rock’s arrows – they get blown backward and through walls. I hope he has a pretty hefty let off on that thing. Coolest shot of the flick? The Scorpion King pulls an arrow out of his back, nocks it and kills his nemesis.
#12 – Katniss Everdeen
Katniss learned her life-saving archery skills from her father, who, as revealed in Book One of The Hunger Games … oh OK I won’t spoilt if for you. Just know she uses her shooting ability to whoop up on a bunch of other kids and win The Hunger Games.
#13 – Lewis
Lewis (played by Burt Reynolds) is a bow-wielding hero in the Hillbilly classic Deliverance. Not only does he shoot fish for dinner but also pops the evil still runner that attacked his friend. Too bad for Ned Beatty, Lewis didn’t arrive on the seen a few minutes earlier.
#14 – Daryl Dixon
On AMC’s The Walking Dead, the character of Daryl Dixon shoots zombie after zombie with a crossbow (I think it’s a Horton). Why? Because apparently gunshots attract the living-dead flesh eaters. On the downside, crossbow bolts aren’t all that easy to come by after the zombie apocalypse hits.
#15 – Abigail
Abigail’s another archer who wastes her time shooting things that are already dead. In her case, vampires in Blade: Trinity. I’ll forgive this as the character is played by the beautiful Jessica Biel.
#16 – Paris
In 2004’s Troy, pretty boy Orlando Bloom’s character Paris’ love for Helen sparks an all out war between nations. This proves yet again that behind every downfall there is a woman. Or a pretty boy with a bow. The only saving grace to this mess of a movie comes when pretty boy Bloom shots pretty boy Brad Pitt with a bow.
#17 – Eragon
Not only does Christopher Paolini’s character Eragon have crazy-stupid bow skills but he’s usually atop a dragon when he lets his arrows fly. As if that wasn’t enough, Eragon is the only Dragon Rider in Alagaesia other than Galbatorix and also knows the “Ancient Language” of the Riders. Get it?
#18 – Susan Pevensie
Also known as Queen Susan the Gentle or Queen Susan of the Horn, Susan Pevensie is the rocking chick archer in C. S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia series.
#19 – Clint Barton/Hawkeye
Marvel Comics’ Clint Barton aka Hawkeye developed his archery skills that make him “The World’s Greatest Marksman” when he escaped an orphanage and joined the circus. Hawkeye first appeared as a villain in 1964’s Tales of Suspense but in the years since has become a marksman for good. Actor Jeremy Renner portrayed Hawkeye in a “blink-and-you-miss-it” cameo in Thor (he almost shoots Thor with his bow). He reprises his role in the summer’s The Avengers.
#20 – David Spritz
In 2008’s The Weatherman, Nicholas Cage’s character, David Spritz, takes up archery as a “way to build his focus and calm his nerves.” Is there any question why he’s last on our list? Wimp! Go hunt something! Who’s your favorite Hollywood archer? Let us know in the comments section!
Katniss Everdeen wasn’t the first famous archer and she’s definitely not the baddest either. We rank the 20 coolest movie archers.