5 Brilliant Chekhov's Gun Movie Moments That Are Right On Target
Sometimes an unremarkable plot detail can affect the story in the least predictable way.
Chekhov's Gun is a narrative principle which, simply put, means that everything introduced in the story should pay off one way or another by the end.
Nowadays, it is mostly reduced to subtly foreshadowing events with completely unexpected outcomes.
So here are five of the most amazing Chekhov's Gun movie moments that hit the mark perfectly. Beware of potential spoilers.
Knives Out (2019)
Clearly inspired by the classic literary murder mysteries, it's fitting that Knives Out has perhaps the most literal use of the trope.
Throughout the story, we constantly see an impressive display of knives looming in the background of the main room.
When one is used in an unsuccessful attempt on Marta's life, it leads to a hilarious reveal that they are probably all fake.
Bullet Train (2022)
Throughout the story, you can see the same water bottle appearing here and there, but it all makes sense in the climax of the movie.
Before Yuichi Kimura uses it in a desperate attempt to save his father's life, viewers get a nice recap of the surprisingly long road the bottle traveled before playing its crucial role in the plot.
Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
It took four years for this gun to finally fire, but the spectacular result was well worth the wait.
In Age of Ultron, we saw the Avengers try to pick up Thor's hammer Mjolnir, only to fail, except for Steve Rogers, who managed to move it slightly for a second, making Thor visibly uncomfortable.
It all paid off in the final battle of Avengers: Endgame (2019), where Steve used the hammer to take on Thanos himself.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019)
After we saw Rick Dalton burn Nazis with a flamethrower in a movie-within-a-movie, and learned that he actually practiced with the weapon, it was never mentioned in the story again, except for the climax of the movie.
It was incredible to see him come back with it and completely obliterate one of the Manson cultists who attacked him and Cliff in this alternate version of real life events.
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
When Andy Dufresne received the now-iconic poster of Raquel Welch, no one could have predicted what he would use it for.
But when an enraged Samuel Norton accidentally threw a rock through it, it revealed a passage Andy had been hiding all these years.