Earlier in January, a little-known action flick titled The 355 was released which saw a group of women working together as spies to thwart a deadly plot that could bring about the next great war! Think of this as a female version of Mission Impossible or The Kingsman if you will. Since that movie was released, we thought it would be nice to reflect on some of the badass women in cinema who have displayed some skills when taking on the bad guys. So, let’s take a look at these five movies that showcased the very best of our female stars who are not just great actresses, but can handle themselves when the time arrives.
Quentin Tarantino is a formidable writer and director who knows how to give the audience a thrilling experience. Here we follow The Bride (Uma Thurman) who has only one objective; to kill those who murdered her soon-to-be husband and left her for dead. She already has a list of those who shall fall to either her hands or her trusty blade. The Bride may be a small-framed woman but one shouldn’t underestimate her capabilities. From the iconic fight at the beginning of the first film to the Battle of the Crazy 88, the final fight between her and Lucy Liu, and everything else that unfolds in Volume 2, Kill Bill is an exhilarating ride from start to finish. The violence is bloody, over-the-top, the dialogue is a treat to the ears, and Uma Thurman proved to be one of the most brutal revenge killers that cinema has ever witnessed.
Finally, DC Comics had a worthy film that most audiences could appreciate, even those fans from the Marvel side of the aisle. Gal Gadot shines as the Amazon Princess whose only quest is to protect the world from that pesky Aries. As a movie, Wonder Woman was a treat for female audiences that showcased a smart, thinking woman who didn’t have to play the “damsel in distress” for once. This Amazon warrior has plenty of skills to utilize and when she leaves her home for the first time, her appearance and actions as viewed from the modern world are perceived as peculiar. One thing that makes this film stand out is the performance from Gal Gadot who is perfect for this iconic character. Lynda Carter may have captured our attention in the ‘70s but Gadot is here to bring the story of Wonder Woman here for the modern age. This is also the first good attempt at bringing a solo story of a female superhero to the big screen. Both Captain Marvel and Black Widow (both Marvel films) tried to match what DC Comics brought to the table but it has never matched in terms of entertainment, originality, and just a joyous time in watching it. Big praise for Gal Gadot for bringing this lovely character to life!
Angelina Jolie has always been an eye-catching star! Her filmography is proof of that. Her roles in Wanted, Lara Croft Tomb Raider, Those Who Wish Me Dead, and Mr. and Mrs. Smith are prime examples of her mark on the action genre. Salt is the movie that is her absolute best. Here she plays an agent of the CIA who comes under suspicion after she is accused of being a Russian spy. We aren’t sure exactly if she is a legit agent who is being set up or if she’s the real thing and is a Russian waiting to be “activated”. One thing that is truly special about Angelina Jolie is that she performs her own stunts and can throw punches, kicks and can disarm any agent after her in quick succession. As a movie Salt does have a preposterous plot but it’s all part of the fun that makes this movie a real edge-of-your-seat thriller. We love seeing her on the big screen and we love her, even more, when she kicking ass like you haven’t seen before.
While Alien was a slow-brewing thriller that blended mystery, science fiction, and horror into a splendid masterpiece, Aliens is a straight-action movie that dares you to even breathe. Sigourney Weaver is the Queen of Science Fiction for a reason and in Aliens, we get all the proof we need. After surviving her first encounter with the famous xenomorph, Ellen Ripley has been in hypersleep for over fifty years. After she is discovered, everyone dismissed her claims about the alien species that she and her crew first encountered. She learns that the very planet they found the creature is now inhabited by a large colony that has since lost radio contact. The hunt is on and Ripley joins an elite force of Colonial Marines in finding out what happened on LV-426. Despite a largely male cast in the movie, Ripley stands out as the greatest. The connection she makes with the only survivor named Newt is one of maternal protection and her battle with the xenomorph queen secured her stance as the female Rambo for action movies forever. While the Alien franchise hasn’t reached the awesome level as the first two films we remember purely for Ellen Ripley. Sigourney Weaver became the first female actor to receive an Oscar Nomination for her performance in Aliens (a rarity for action films) and even to this day we are still quoting that infamous line that everyone knows all too well. Without Ellen Ripley, the Alien saga wouldn’t have the sheer impact that makes it one of the most special sci-fi films of all time!
The Brave One
Jodie Foster is best known for her dramatic roles and she is a really fine actress. While The Brave One isn’t an action-packed movie, it still harbors a thought-provoking message that tugs at the heartstrings of audiences. In the film, Foster and her fiancé are savagely attacked in the park. She survives her beating but her fiancé doesn’t. Faced with depression, anger and guilt, her character has to pick up the pieces of her life and find a way to move forward. Even if the movie does show scenes of revenge that Foster takes against the men who attacked her, the movie is smart enough not to romanticize her actions. Instead, we feel for her character and the pain that she is going through. Jodie Foster is perfect in this role and Terrence Howard is also an equal match when his character encounters Fosters’. The Brave One is an exciting and often heartbreaking movie but one that you won’t soon forget.
What are your favorite female-led action movies? What female actresses inspire you? Let us know on Facebook!