The 2020 Shot Show is done and the most common question I’m asked repeatedly is, “what was the one thing that stood out most from everything you saw there?” I have an answer, but it’s not what you think! If you’re expecting me to tell you about the coolest gun, knife, tactical (insert whatever), or swag, stop reading now and move on. There will be no product reviews here. There are plenty of other sites that do that much better than I can. What I saw was something epic in my humble opinion. It was a Hollywood celebrity going out of his way to do something larger-than-life.
If you don’t know who Max Martini is, stop reading and look him up. The guy has been around for years and his acting credits include, Saving Private Ryan, 24, The Great Raid, The Unit, 13 Hours, Captain Philips, Pacific Rim, and countless other movies and TV shows. I have searched long for an American actor that oozes with masculinity, the same way John Wayne and Clint Eastwood once did. Well, enter, Mr. Martini. Ok, enough of my man-crush on him.
If you are unfamiliar with SHOT, there is the main atrium where thousands of people walk back and forth from one end of the show to the other. It’s the portal to gun heaven. I was walking to a meeting when I spotted Mr. Martini talking to some fans. Man crush activated again. I walked right up to him just in time to see him giving a person a postcard and I heard him say, “Hey man, I just released a movie about veterans, and it’s called Sgt. Will Gardner. If you buy the DVD, 30% of the profits go to helping veterans’ organizations.” The guy took the card and walked off. Before I had a chance to talk to him, a few more fans walked up and again, Mr. Martini did his thing.
To make a long story short, I said hi, got a photo with him, and told him that I already had seen Sgt. Will Gardner and it was fantastic. I told him I would share the postcard on my social media because it was a great film. He thanked me and I walked off. But as I was walking away, I heard Mr. Martini get right back to work. This, in my opinion, was the greatest thing at SHOT and here is why.
Full disclosure, I never met Mr. Martini up until that point nor do I get anything out of writing this article. These are my thoughts and opinions and no one else's.
To begin, getting a Hollywood celebrity to walk into a gun show is damn near impossible. I mean, it does happen but let’s be honest, it’s rare. Like seeing an Orthodox Jew with a camo yarmulke at Circle bar rare. But what set Mr. Martini’s veteran advocacy apart from everything else I saw at SHOT was the fact that HE was advocating for veterans. He didn’t hire someone else to stand there handing out a card, prompting people to support veterans’ organizations. No. He stood there, on his own two feet, hustling like everyone else at SHOT. He put in the hard work to educate people about a fantastic movie that hits home to many veterans out there.
In other words, Max Martini is the real deal. He not only makes movies that help veterans, but he is out there, trying to make a difference. Seeing a Hollywood celebrity do that, behind the scenes, with no camera crew filming him, no publicist pushing him, and no press recording his actions, truly made Mr. Martini’s deeds the greatest thing I saw at SHOT Show 2020.
I have included an image of the back of the card he was giving out so you can scan the screen (not sure if it will work) and order the movie. Again, Mona Vista Productions will donate 30% of the profits to the charities shown in the photo.