'The Reaper' Special Ops Sniper Says There Are Two Sniping Movie Scenes That Are Perfectly Realistic

Dominic Smithers

Published 
| Last updated 

'The Reaper' Special Ops Sniper Says There Are Two Sniping Movie Scenes That Are Perfectly Realistic

Featured Image Credit: Insider/YouTube/Alamy

Nicholas Irving was one of the most lethal snipers the world has ever seen.

The former member of the 3rd Ranger Batallion (75th Ranger Regiment), Irving, from Fort Meade, Maryland, killed 33 people in less than four months of his deployment in Afghanistan.

He went on to become one of the most feared marksmen in the US military, earning the nickname 'The Reaper' on account of his impressive figures.

Now out of the military, Irving is a best-selling author, releasing a memoir about his life in the force, as well as a book detailing his most secret missions.

With such a wealth of knowledge and experience, Irving can spot whether or not movie crews have done their homework when it comes to making a war film.

Nicholas Irving was one of the most deadly marksmen in the world. Credit: Alamy
Nicholas Irving was one of the most deadly marksmen in the world. Credit: Alamy

And he sat down with Insider to go through some of the most famous sniper scenes to decide which ones got it right and which ones really didn't.

Irving cast his expert eye over almost a dozens scenes from blockbusters such as The Hurt Locker, Jarhead, Enemy At The Gates, and Shooter.

He had plenty of praise for Will Smith's portrayal as a deadly marksman in Gemini Man, giving his attempt a solid 8/10.

In the tense scene, Smith is up on a hill and takes a shot at a passenger in a fast-moving train from a few hundred yards away.

Discussing the performance, Irving said: "His use of the equipment was really, really good. He has his, you know, his pad to lay on, he has his range finder, he can measure the wind, barometric pressure, the altitude, density altitude, his DOPE (Data On Previous Engagements) book so he can go back and refer to all these things that he's engaged before. I rarely see that in movies."

However, the scene was let down due to the fact it was a simply a very unlikely shot.

The vet was also impressed by a scene in 2005 war bio Jarhead, in which Jake Gyllenhaal is interrupted mid-shot, awarding it a 9/10.

While he wasn't too sure about how the officer stormed into the hut, he felt Gyllenhaal and his spotter were on point.

"I can see the emotion behind it," he said.

Surprisingly, Saving Private Ryan missed out on the top spot.

While it's often held up as the best of the best, Irving could only find it in his heart to score it 9.5/10. Which isn't too shabby.

Discussing the scene where Private Jackson shoots a German sniper hiding in a bell tower, he said: "That's target detection at its finest. That is something you do teach, or learn, in sniper school."

Instead, two other scenes stood out for their authenticity and, ultimately, believability, each scoring 10/10.

The first was 2013 release Lone Survivor.

Irving was very impressed by the shootout in 'Lone Survivor'. Credit: Universal Pictures
Irving was very impressed by the shootout in 'Lone Survivor'. Credit: Universal Pictures

Analysing a shoot out in the woods, Irving said it was about as real as it gets.

"That was really, really good. Lone Survivor is one of the most realistic movies I've seen when it comes to combat," he said. "This should be, like, the modern-day standard for wartime movies."

The second was Enemy At The Gates, which came out in 2001 and starred Jude Law as a Russian sharpshooter.

In the scene, Law is lying on the ground, aiming his rifle at his target through a small hole in a wall.

And Irving siad the British actor's performance was flawless.

He said: "That was epic. That was a really... I was almost playing along in my head with them as, you know, who would I take out first? And it was in that order."

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]  

Topics: Film & TV, US News, Entertainment, Military

Dominic Smithers
More like this

Chosen for YouChosen for You

Celebrity

Kanye West hits out at 'liar' Khloe Kardashian and says family 'kidnapped' his daughter

3 hours ago

Most Read StoriesMost Read

Velma officially confirmed as lesbian in new Scooby-Doo movie

a day ago