The cowboy shot is usually associated with westerns. Filmed from waist height and usually showing a gunslinger’s hand resting on their revolver, this style of shot evokes classic western like The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (1966).
As noted in Empire Magazine, this shoot usually indicates that “Clint Eastwood is about to shoot your ass.”
In The Matrix (1999), the Wachowskis referenced this shot during a subway standoff between Neo (Keanu Reeves) and Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving). You’ll also notice it in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) as Indiana Jones stands off against a whip-wielding cultist.
Although this shot is limited in its use, who doesn’t love a good western reference?