No, this isn’t about InRangeTV opening an account on PornHub. (Yes, apparently that’s a thing. No, I haven’t gone looking for it, nor will I.) This is about the facet of much Action Adventure writing known colloquially as “Gun Porn,” wherein the author includes (and often lovingly describes) various cool and interesting firearms in the story. This isn’t particularly new; a lot of Louis L’Amour westerns describe interesting (and sometimes obscure) weapons that aren’t commonly found in the run-of-the-mill western (particularly on screen). But as with any element of storytelling, there’s a right way and a wrong way to go about it.
I got talking action movies with a buddy recently, and we got on the subject of where the line of realism versus entertainment lies. We’re both combat veterans, and we’ve both seen long periods of mind-numbing boredom and moments of chaotic weirdness that happen in combat. There are often comments on action movies, and action novels, about how “realistic” they are. And while some things are easy to quantify, some elements aren’t so much. Including the question, “Just how ‘realistic’ should a piece of action entertainment be?”