->''We don't want your forgiveness; we won't make excuses. We're not gonna blame you, even if you are an accessory, but we will not accept your natural order. We didn't come for absolution, we didn't ask to be redeemed, but isn't that the way it is? Every goddamn time. Your prayers are always answered, in the order they're received.''
''The Way of the Gun'' is the first film directed by screenwriter Christopher [=McQuarrie=], best known at the time for his Oscar-winning script for ''Film/TheUsualSuspects.'' After several unsuccessful attempts to get films off the ground, [=McQuarrie=] ultimately caved to studio pressure and wrote another underworld film, this time attempting to subvert the genre by pointedly exploring the characters' lack of morality. The film centers on two criminal low-lifes who, having chosen to live off the grid, stumble upon a way to strike it big: kidnap the young surrogate mother of a Mafia accountant's child.
It stars Ryan Phillippe, Creator/BenicioDelToro, Creator/JulietteLewis, and Creator/JamesCaan.
!!This film provides examples of:
* ActionFilmQuietDramaScene: Several. Most notably, Joe Sarno has a cup of coffee with Longbaugh.
* AffablyEvil: Joe Sarno, Mr. Chidduck's enforcer who, in his words, handles all his dirty laundry, which is implied to be ''far'' worse than the white collar crime and drug trafficking front Mr. Chidduck is the front man for. He takes Parker out for coffee and they trade stories about their lives of crime.
* AntiHero: Parker might ''juuust'' qualify, seeing as he does have enough human decency to insist that they abandon the kidnapping, and even seems to be motivated at least ''somewhat'' by a concern for Robin and the child's safety. Even Longbaugh, when confronted with [[spoiler:the emergency c-section, takes a moment to ensure that the doctor continues working to save the baby.]]
* AntiVillain: Joe Sarno, the bagman who, as it turns out, [[spoiler:is trying to rescue his daughter]] as much as he is supporting his boss and [[spoiler:ensuring his own financial security]].
* BackToBackBadasses: The final showdown.
* BadassGrandpa: Joe Sarno (played by James Caan). He lampshades the trope early on, noting that "the only thing you can assume about a broken down old man is that he's a survivor."
* BlackAndGrayMorality: Deliberately pursued by the director. Parker and Longbaugh are, by default, the protagonists, and they display more morality than some other characters, but they're still cold-blooded killers. The camera lingers on bystanders who were killed through their actions. On the other side of the gun is a corrupt figurehead for corporate abuse and mafia dealings.
* [[spoiler:BolivianArmyEnding: The movie ends with the protagonists lying in the dirt, presumably dying. This is itself a ShoutOut to the ''original'' BolivianArmyEnding, as Parker and Longbaugh are metafictional counterparts to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.]]
* BookEnds: The film begins with the pair on their backs, having just gotten the shit kicked out of them. [[spoiler:The film ends with the pair on their backs, having just gotten the shit shot out of them.]]
* BottomlessMagazines: Deliberately averted. The characters are frequently shown reloading, except for one exception, where Parker blows more than twenty rounds from an IMI Galil chambered in 7.62x51 NATO during the final act of the movie.
* BriefcaseFullOfMoney: [[DefiedTrope Defied]]. Parker and Longbaugh demand $15 million in mixed small bills, clearly anticipating a briefcase of money. Jeffers yells at them, "Do you know how much that'll weigh? Try a couple thousand pounds!" Even in hundreds, the ransom comes in three giant dufflebags. The director notes that in reality, it would be even more.
* ChaseScene: Noteworthy in that this one is a car chase at ''walking speed.''
* ClusterFBomb: SarahSilverman's cameo. Her character is named [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Raving Bitch]].
* DeathSeeker: One of the hitmen is introduced sitting alone at home playing RussianRoulette. With ''six'' revolvers.
* FilmNoir: A deliberate example. While some of the major action takes place during the day, the film is generally not only lit like film noir, but it also features many of the tropes which define the genre, such as dubiously-moral protagonists, complex plotting, and characters with multiple layers of motivation.
* GenreSavvy: Most of the characters either are or think they are.
* GrievousBottleyHarm: Parker jumps into a dry fountain for cover, discovering too late that it's filled with jagged broken beer bottles. It's the most gruesome scene in a film filled with shootings, torture, and forcible surgery.
** Used prominently in the MisAimedMarketing, which made the moment out to be ''wacky''.
* HollywoodDensity: The BriefcaseFullOfMoney was changed to three dufflebags after Benicio Del Toro casually asked during filming how much $15 million in cash would actually weigh; in the commentary, the director acknowledges that [[AcceptableBreaksFromReality in reality, it would be quite a few more.]]
* InterruptedSuicide: One of Sarno's old hitmen buddies is in the process of playing RussianRoulette for whatever reason when he's called up by Sarno for one last job.
* KickTheDog: Jeffers finding cover by placing a gun underneath Dr. Painter's chin and threatening to kill him if Parker and Longbaugh don't put down their guns in the final act.
** Jeffers and his partner deciding the best way to handle the confrontation is to leave Robin and the Doctor for dead.
* IndyPloy: Before the final shootout, Parker and Longbaugh agree that "a plan is just a list of things that don't happen."
* LawOfInverseRecoil -- One of the few really noticeable firearm gaffes in the film is when Longbaugh fires a fully automatic burst through a wall. The bullet holes appear in a perfectly straight horizontal line across the wall.
* MeaningfulEcho: "Every goddamn time." Blink and you'll miss the first one, though.
* MeaningfulName: The main characters use the aliases of [[ButchCassidyAndTheSundanceKid Parker and Longbaugh]].
* MexicanStandOff: Parker and Longbaugh attempt one when kidnapping Juliette Lewis. It doesn't work the way they expect it to.
* NoodleIncident: "What happened in Baltimore," Dr. Painter's shame and the reason why he's forced into this mess. It's implied it was a botched delivery or surgery.
** Parker giving half of his sandwich to Robin, after a bout of her being in pain.
** Parker and Longbaugh later playing cards with Robin.
** Obecks shows Robin that his finger is off the trigger to assure her that he's bluffing about shooting her. When he pulls her to safety, he whispers, "You're okay."
* PregnantHostage: Taken hostage ''because'' she's pregnant with a mobster's child.
* RageQuit: The director points out in the commentary how the first scene is an example of this trope. Parker and Longbaugh realize that they're going to lose the bar brawl because they're outnumbered, so instead of trying to win, they steal their opponent's victory by decking his girlfriend.
** Based on actual advice given by one of the director's friends, who suggested exactly this tactic when a fight seemed imminent in RealLife.
* RedOniBlueOni: Parker and Longbaugh, in that order. Parker is moody, yells and screams a lot, and is generally unstable. Longbaugh [[TheQuietOne doesn't say much]] and is generally aloof.
* ReliablyUnreliableGuns: Averted. At one point Benicio Del Toro's character is firing a pump-action shotgun and it suffers a stovepipe malfunction. He simply takes a moment to clear the jam and resumes firing.
* TheReveal: Several:
** The baby is [[spoiler:not the Chidduck's. It was Robin and Painter's, at the behest of Painter, after the attempts at fertilization were unsuccessful.]]
** Dr. Painter is [[spoiler:Mr. Chidduck's son.]]
** Jeffers is in a relationship with [[spoiler:Mrs. Chidduck, and impregnated her. Remember that part of the reason the plot was kicked off was because Mrs. Chidduck supposedly didn't want all the hassle and trouble of being pregnant.]]
* RussianRoulette: a variation with one round in each of six revolvers, which are then picked at random from a pillowcase. It's implied that the man playing is going to work his way through all six revolvers, one by one.
* ShaggyDogStory: Somewhat - [[spoiler:Parker and Longbaugh are dying and did not get the money, but the baby is not the Chidduck's, and it turns out that Mrs. Chidduck is carrying Jeffers' baby.]]
** "Everyone will assume they made off to [[ButchCassidyAndTheSundanceKid Bolivia.]]"
** Additionally, Parker and Longbaugh are Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid's actual surnames, and the set is supposedly where that film was made. [[spoiler:They also get also got a [[RealityEnsues similar]] ending.]]
* ShowTheirWork: The film is notable for the accuracy of its depiction of firearm usage, with a Navy Seal serving as adviser. The [[http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/The_Way_of_the_Gun famously nitpicky Internet Movie Firearms Database]] points out many excellent examples of gun usage, including the above-mentioned on-screen clearing of the stovepipe jam of Longbaugh's shotgun, Jeffers firing his handgun without flinching and using his shotgun left-handed when appropriate, and Sarno ''using the damn ejector on his revolver''.
* SmugSnake: Jeffers (played by Taye Diggs) and to a lesser extent his partner Obecks.
* TerribleIntervieweesMontage: Parker and Longbaugh at the sperm bank. Longbaugh gives, "[[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial I've never killed a man]]," as one of his qualifications to donate. Parker sees fit to start ranting about homosexuality in modern culture.
--> "Because nobody brings up ''SEX WITH DEAD PEOPLE!'' " "You should."
* VillainProtagonist: The main characters are kidnappers who leave collateral damage in their wake, and the antagonists are trying to get the hostage back. Parker, at least, does decide to make ''one'' moral choice in his life and walk away from the kidnapping after getting to know the mother.