There’s always that one special bowhunter we all looked up to as a kid, whether it was a family member or a close friend. Many, however, owe their love of archery to a fictional character, one whose bravado and skills with a bow in hand made the sport all the more enticing—and if we could shake their hands, surely we would.
And the trend continues today, with movies like The Hunger Games and The Avengers introducing a whole new generation to archery and bowhunting—and in some cases, the stars themselves come out in support of hunting. Maybe they’re not your cup of tea, but you can’t help but admit these movie characters are doing archery and bowhunting a big favor when they prompt a kid to turn to his dad and say, “I want to do that!”
So in honor of all the silver-screen stories that inspired us, here are eight of our favorite movie archers of all time.
Favorite Movie Moment: The film's heroine, Neytiri, uses her bow to take down the film's cold-blooded villain before he can kill the main character, Jake Sully. Talk about some quick thinking.
Favorite Movie Moment: How about that broadhead that drills through a solid door to connect with a vampire and vaporize him? A broadhead that eliminates all obstacles in the way—talk about a fantasy.
Favorite Movie Moment: "Squeeeal like a pig!" 'Nuff said.
Favorite Movie Moment: By far, Rambo's coolest bow kill came in the second installment of the series, Rambo: First Blood Part II, when Rambo uses an explosive broadhead to dispatch an enemy soldier. Certainly not appropriate for hunting, but definitely memorable.
Favorite Movie Moment: In the triology's final installment, Return of the King, Legolas scales an overgrown pachyderm while taking down the enemy soldiers riding it. Then, he arrows the massive beast and rides down it Fred Flintstone style—all the while keeping a tally of his kills. Talk about big game hunting.
Favorite Movie Moment: During an alien siege on New York, Hawkeye fires an arrow at a swiftly moving Loki, who catches the arrow before it can connect—but Hawkeye gets the last laugh, as the explosive broadhead sends Loki reeling.
Favorite Movie Moment: While displaying her talent in order to gain the attention of potential sponsors in the first film, Katniss becomes impatient with their disinterest in her abilities. So to gain their attention, she shoots an apple out of a sponsors hand, sarcastically curtsies and saunters away. Now THAT is some good aim.
Favorite Movie Moment: It's been shown over and over again, and it's the feat he's most famous for. While competing at an archery competition set up by Prince John to capture him, Robin Hood shows up the best archer by splitting his arrow in two with his own shot.