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Saturday, July 21, 2007

How'd I Miss This?

Netflix, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

I just finished watching Equilibrium starring Christian Bale and Taye Diggs. I recommend it to any sci/fi fan and I'm not sure how it managed to slip by me back in 2002 when it was released. The action sequences are well choreographed, even if the plot is fairly trite by my standards. If I were to describe it as Minority Report meets 1984 meets Fahrenheit 451, you'd pretty much know what you need to know.

Still, there was one very original element called the "gun kata." It is a take on traditional martial arts training katas adapted for close quarters firearm combat. It is described thusly.

"Through analysis of thousands of recorded gunfights, the Cleric has determined that the geometric distribution of antagonists in any gun battle is a statistically-predictable element. The Gun Kata treats the gun as a total weapon, each fluid position representing a maximum kill zone, inflicting maximum damage on the maximum number of opponents, while keeping the defender clear of the statistically-traditional trajectories of return fire. By the rote mastery of this art, your firing efficiency will rise by no less than 120%. The difference of a 63% increased lethal proficiency makes the master of the Gun Katas an adversary not to be taken lightly."
I doubt that such a tactic would work in real life, but the statistical nature of it was intriguing. A master of gun kata employs defensive maneuvering based solely one statistical modeling. He would presumably move the same way regardless of how many opponents he faced or where they stood. Of course, if it were truly statistical, one would expect the odd missed shot, which of course our hero never suffers. It certainly makes for a visually impressive sequence, though. If you like the genre, you ought to check it out.

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