Art Imitating Life (Finally)

Art Imitating Life (Finally)

I happened across this clip from the movie Sicario this morning in between calls and though I watched the movie a few months ago and had seen this particular snippet before, it struck me as a good training point.

Here’s the clip:

Training Point #1: Situational Awareness

Maintaining situational awareness is critical in any scenario you may find yourself in. Now it would be simple fantasy to assume that you are going to find yourself involved in a PSD detail that has questionable extra-legal issues but we can pull good information and take aways from this particular scenario.

While the actors in this clip are primed for action based on their operational environment, we can be prepared and vigilant in every day life just the same. Now I am not suggesting that you become hyper-vigilant… I’m suggesting that you put down the iPhone for a bit and pay attention to your surroundings. Simply spending a few extra seconds scanning and assessing potential threat zones will pay dividends. You might see something that you would have missed with a casual glance or over-trained, robotic, doing it because someone said to do it but not really seeing anything look.

In other words… pay a bit more attention to subtleties.

Training Point #2: Communication is Key 

Everyone acts differently under stress. Simply put most folks fall in to one of two categories… they either get calmer or they suddenly lose their ability to form a coherent sentence. Generally speaking (sorry… had to), if you take a second to breathe and form an intelligent thought before opening your mouth to speak, communication will become far more effective.

On the topic of breathing: EVERYTHING works better when O2 is introduced in to the body. Short of the short is… Breathing. Do it. Trust me.

Here’s how: When a stressor introduces a body alarm response it can literally take your breath away. Forcing yourself to exhale and expel the built up CO2 that is in your respiratory system will literally breathe life into your body and allow all other critical functions to work at optimal level.

If you can’t breathe, you can’t communicate. If you can’t communicate, you will die.

Training Point #3: Control and Technique

Obviously the actors in this clip did a metric shit-ton of training to act the way they did while engaging targets. Not becoming focused on a singular threat and addressing targets in the order of threat priority guarantees the positive outcome for the good guys.

Some things I saw:

  • Target transitions were on point. Once positive effective rounds were observed the shooters moved on to the next problem.
  • Rate of Fire discipline. While we can assume that the good guys’ hardware included select fire weapons system but controlled, semi-automatic bursts were utilized to engage threats.
  • Communication and ex-filtration. Once the job was done it was communicated among the team members and then they got out of dodge. No need to hang around and high five.

So what do you think of this clip? Let us know in the comment box below and let’s hear your opinion!

Robert Curran

Rob is co-owner of Tactical Dynamics Firearms Training and is a USMC veteran and active Law Enforcement Officer. Rob is a Sig Sauer Master Rated Firearms Instructor and holds several other ratings from various institutions.

  • Armand Lafleche
    Posted at 11:10h, 30 March Reply

    You’re absolutely right. Except that if one team member refuses to move on orders as she did, then things can get really ugly. All guns are needed in a fire fight especially when talking PSD. Those were just two vehicles you can bet in real life there will be more players. As from the Enemy perspective they fucked up they could have created more chaos by firing from one side while the others went out the other side and tried to flank them basically trying to squeeze them into a small corner like you do a mouse or a snake.

    • Rob Curran
      Posted at 11:33h, 30 March Reply

      Very true… but that would’ve killed the plot had she gotten in on the action! She did drop a bad dude so I give her props there.

      The homeboys definitely screwed the pooch on losing any advantage. That whole action beating reaction thing…

  • Steve LeVangie
    Posted at 11:19h, 30 March Reply

    I thought the movie as a whole was well done. Being an action movie guy and growing up in the eighties i grew accustomed to that kind of action. Now in my 40s, films have changed. The good ones are more realistic. Having used firearms in my training i find myself also looking for pros and cons in these movies and what looks real or looks fake. I think this will be a great addition to the email.
    Who can forget the downtown firefight scene in HEAT. I mean it fealt like shell casings were landing next to me.


    • Rob Curran
      Posted at 11:35h, 30 March Reply

      I thought the movie was excellent and plan on watching it again soon. HEAT is another one we plan on picking apart along with Collateral and MANY others.

  • serguei
    Posted at 12:28h, 30 March Reply

    Good teaching tool and right on point. Very helpful.Thank you.

  • Rick
    Posted at 18:53h, 30 March Reply

    Am I the only one that saw the first guy sweep the woman with his rifle? It made me take a breath.

    I agree that increasing SA can benefit anyone out in the real world, from a highway shootout to being the first in line at a traffic light when someone blows through the red on the cross street (4 days ago).

    Nice communication through the event.

    How _did_ they get out of the traffic though?

    • TacDyn-6
      Posted at 01:52h, 31 March Reply

      Didn’t really look like a sweep to me. Funny stuff happens inside vehicles which is why trigger finger discipline and safety management is critical.

      Traffic cleared up and they moved on.

  • Joe Gaccione
    Posted at 19:29h, 30 March Reply

    I definitely enjoy when they get it right. Movies are starting to imitate life much better. A great movie last year was 13 Hours. Another movie that really impressed me was John Wick and they are making a sequel and shows Keanu training for it. ( I would love to see more of this type training incorporated in Carbine 1.5. Or time to step it up to Carbine 2.0.

Post A Comment