You know, RoboCop has something of a reputation for being early with awesome weaponry. It wasn’t the first, but it was among the first to show off not one but three Desert Eagles. If you look closely, the Bradley Fighting Vehicle makes its movie debut on Dick Jones’ video package. Probably even better is the Barrett .50, which unless I’m mistaken, makes its movie debut in RoboCop as well. Although it’s the basis for a fictional weapon: The Cobra Assault Canon (state of the art, bang bang!). The Cobra is actually an M82 with some type of futuristic optics. This rifle doesn’t appear again in RoboCop 2, another rifle stands in as the same weapon. The M82(A1) can be seen again in Predator 2 minus distinct muzzle brake when Scorpio’s men suit up in the armoury, as well as in Navy Seals used by God – that would be Bill Paxton.
More recently the M82(A1M) can be seen in The Hurt Locker. It’s put to great use here in an excellent shoot out at the halfway point of the movie, one of the best from the 00’s. It isn’t just another weapon during this shoot out, it plays a significant role and is used for purpose. Kathryn Bigelow may be the best female director of Manly Movies. A more recent appearance is the 107 update in The Mechanic (2011), the remake of the Bronson original. Not sure it was used much in that movie, but definitely used by Statham when training Foster as his apprentice. ‘Billy The Kid’ emulates Schoolboy from Rambo IV by keeping an eye on Stallone with another Barrett in The Expendables II. I’m not sure God, or even Bill Paxton for that matter, could’ve taken out the troops surrounding Sly in the way he did at the start though.
Probably the most impressive use of this weapon is its appearance in Rambo IV where it’s used by Matthew Marsden/’Schoolboy’. The M107 in Rambo is a significant character in the movie. Schoolboy turns the tide with the weapon several times. As Stallone himself said during promotion: “This is the first time we really see what a .50 will do to a human body”. Suppression and night vision included. The scene where Rambo orders Schoolboy to discharge the weapon in order to draw the enemy shows just how powerful and imposing the gun is. The muzzle blast clearly has a concussive effect on the camera, the kinda thing that’ll burst an eyeball if used by amateurs willy nilly. More than a few heads are popped with this weapon. Though I kinda wish Rambo himself was using it, we know from Rambo III deleted scenes that among other things, ol’ Johnny Boy is a trained sniper. An honorary mention goes to the Barretts used by Ving Rhames in Mission: Impossible III, mounted on remote tripods and used to devastating effect.