This last chapter in Washington’s film career includes a whole lot of great roles and great films, including his very first sequel ever, setting up The Equalizer action franchise, that is a reboot of a 1980s TV show—plus a dystopian future movie that got lost in a glut of end-of-the-world and zombie apocalypse movies of the time (but is worth another look) and Denzel’s first ever Western.
The Book of Eli (2010)
Though its not one of Washington’s better known movies, this is perhaps my favorite guilty pleasure on this entire list. It came out in the midst of zombie mania, where every film seemed to have a dystopian wasteland backdrop, but Book of Eli had a very different flavor—and there are no zombies. I’d say its a more realistic version of the kind of world shown in the Mad Max movies. If you haven’t seen it, do so, and know that people will forever argue about the “twist.”
Eli (Washington) carries a weathered Heckler & Koch HK45 pistol, likely an LEM variant, judging from the bobbed hammer and no manual safety. This is his sidearm throughout the movie, and sad to say, it has never-ending-movie-magazine syndrome. Which is more disappointing as so much is made about the fact that ammunition is scarce in this world, and that a lot of people are discovered to be carrying unloaded guns.
The gun was only about a year old when the movie was made. The weathered and artificially worn movie gun is on display at the National Firearms Museum at the NRA headquarters in Fairfax, VA.
Eli carries two weathered firearms on nearly all the time—the other is a short-barreled Remington 870 “Withness Protection” model with a lot of artificial weathering and a handle covered in tape.
At the end of the movie, Solara (Mila Kunis) inherits the shotgun as she goes out into the scarred world.
Eli carries the short shotgun in a scabbard attached to his backpack, and can draw it fairly quickly. One would imagine a shotgun would be particularly useful in such a world, as shells can be reloaded a bit easier than rifle or handgun ammunition, and a variety of materials can be used as adequate projectiles—from simple balls of lead to pieces of stone.
As a third and particularly useful weapon, Eli carries a sort of kukri machete with several circular cutouts in the blade, presumably for balance or weight management, or both.
He uses the simple weapon to great effect, especially when he can lure enemies into close quarters combat. We see he keeps it in excellent condition, sharpening and cleaning it each night when he cleans his pistol. The 870 isn’t seen getting much love though. He carries the machete in a leather inverted scabbard over his right shoulder, with the handle facing down. Most of it is usually concealed beneath his pack when he’s wearing it.
Like his shotgun, Eli keeps the machete on his back, but instead of being attached to his pack, it seems to be in a separate scabbard. The machete and shotgun are arranged in such a way that neither interferes with the other.
This is a great movie. It doesn’t have anything to do with guns, and we only see one through the whole thing, but still, it’s a great movie and the trailer is awesome. So enjoy that.
The movie is about Capt. Whip Whitaker (Washington), an alcoholic, drug addict, commercial pilot, who is suddenly thrust into the national spotlight after performing a miracle landing of his crippled airplane, saving everyone on board.
The one gun we do see is a simple 12 gauge double barreled side-by-side shotgun that Whitaker keeps at his farm house. He is seen brandishing the long gun when Hugh Lang (Don Cheadle) comes to visit him as part of the crash investigation. The gun is never used.
Safe House (2012)
Safe House is a good example of filmmakers in the 21st century trying to revive the buddy cop movie formula from the 1980s. It sort of works.
It stars Ryan Reynolds as Matt Weston, a low-level CIA agent who is put in charge of a not particularly active CIA safe house in Cape Town, South Africa.
One day, he receives a highly dangerous guest, Tobin Frost (Washington). When the house is breached by a team of highly trained commandos, Weston and Frost find themselves on the run from both government agencies and criminals. Washington does a typical job as the abrasive and arrogant Frost, and Ryan Reynolds is being Ryan Reynolds, constantly spouting off one-liners full of pith.
The South African Police Service officers are seen carrying Vektor Z88 handguns as their sidearms—a licensed, locally manufactured version of the Beretta 92. Frost takes one from a dead officers and then uses it for the majority of the movie.
Frost briefly uses a Steyr M9A1 pistol as his sidearm in Cape Town, but dumps it before entering an American embassy.
The Steyr M is a series of semi-auto pistols made by, of course, Steyr Mannlicker of Austria for police and civilian markets. It’s been around since 1999, but still has an extremely modern look. Variants are chambered in 9mm, .40 S&W, and .357 SIG. The platform is also available compact models.
As you can tell from the photos, the gun is designed to move the shooters grip higher up and bring the relative bore axis lower for better control and recoil management.
2 Guns (2013)
This one sounded like it was going to be a blockbuster—and action movie with Mark Whalberg, who was at the height of his stint of action-heavy movies, and Denzel. How could it miss.
Though you can’t tell, this action comedy was based on a comic book series of the same name from 2007.
There’s a lot of goofy names and a confusing plot about drug smuggling and Mexican cartels and the main characters being undercover and double agents. Its kind of a mess, and in my opinion, Washington and Whalberg didn’t have much on-screen chemistry.
During the big finale, DEA agent Bobby Trench (Washington) uses a nicke-plated SIG Sauer P226, a gun Washington should be very familiar with by this point in his career.
The character uses another gun Washington knows well, a Beretta 92FS. The one he uses to threaten Quince has wooden grips. We also see the same guns being used by U.S. Naval personnel at Corpus Christi, without the wood grips of course.
During the confrontation at the Mexican border, Bobby takes a Ruger Redhawk revolver off a militiaman that appears to have a 7.5″ barrel and custom grips emblazoned with the Texas flag. Bobby points the gun at Michael “Stig” Stigman (Whalberg) when they’re back in the neighborhood at the end of the movie.
The Equalizer (2014)
This one isn’t a straight up remake, though Washington hasn’t shied away from those in his career, but an adaptation of a 1980s TV show by the same name. Washington plays Robert McCall, a former U.S. covert operative living under an assumed identity in Boston, working as a manager at a big box store (think Costco, not Walmart).
McCall decides to use his skills to take on the local Russian mob when a young prostitute he befriends is brutalized. They didn’t quite steal his car and kill his dog, but motivation is motivation.
McCall doesn’t really use a lot of guns in this movie, instead relying on what looks like some kind of Krav Maga and excellent situational awareness to disarm his enemies and take them out with melee attacks.
In one scene, Andri (Vitaliy Shtabnoy) pulls a Springfield XD on McCall, who promptly takes it away from him after asking if it’s a Heckler and Koch.
We briefly see McCall using a Sa. Vz.61 Skorpion machine pistol, just like the one Washington used way back in Virtuosity.
One of the guns he uses the most is actually a nail gun, which proves remarkably effective during the ambush McCall sets up for the Russians in the store where he works.
Though McCall doesn’t use guns often, he certainly has a few on hand. We get a quick look at the secret armory closet at his house, which is a nod to the original TV series.
We see several handguns on the back wall, including one with a suppressor, and what looks like a Serbu Super Shorty shotgun on the right side.
The Magnificent Seven (2016)
Yet another remake, Washington starred as Sam Chisolm in this Antoine Fuqua directed version of the 1960s classic, alongside his Training Day costar Ethan Hawke as Goodnight Robicheaux and a stellar cast that includes Chris Pratt, Vincent D’Onofrio, Byung-hun Lee, and Peter Sarsgaard.
Several members of the “Magnificent Seven” carry the nickel Artillery model of the Colt Single Action Army revolver, including Chisolm and Vasquez (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo). Chisolm carries two of the revolvers in a double gunbelt rig.
The Winchester Model 1873 rifle is another gun used by several characters, including Chisolm, Billy Rocks (Lee), and Robicheaux. All of the 1873 rifles for the movie were provided by Cimarron Firearms.
The Equalizer 2 (2018)
Washington reprised his role as as Robert McCall for a sequel to his 2014 film—this is actually the first sequel of his entire career.
McCall finds himself reunited with some of his old associates when one of his former bosses is brutally attacked. Fuqua also returns as director, marking 4 collaborations between the two.
While he still relies on his hand-to-hand skills, McCall uses a lot more firearms in this one than in the first movie.
In a scene that makes up almost the entire trailer, McCall takes an M1911A1 off a gangster and duel wields it along with a Smith & Wesson M&Pc, and then with a MAC-10.
When McCall duel wields pistols, he tends to cross his arms instead of holding them more akimbo, which is a little strange.
A Glock 17 is seen in the hands of a gunman involved in a fight with McCall…which ultimately ends up in McCall’s possession, as bad guy’s guns are wont to do. It also appears that McCall keeps a Glock 17 in a drawer in his home.
Being sure to stay current, we see an operative using a SIG Sauer MPX fitted with a full stock, suppressor, and scope. McCall takes the operative out and uses the gun in the film’s final act.
SIG introduced the MPX to the general public in 2015 as a gas-operated submachine gun, usually chambered in 9mm. It fires from a closed, rotating bolt, making for supremely reliable, accurate sub gun. It also features SIG’s short stroke push-rod gas system to reduce recoil and improve reliability. SIG used the same gas system for its MCX carbine.