Awesome female action heroes Then & Now
While watching Alien 3 for what must be the 100+ time in my life, i starting thinking if there was any other modern actress that matched the awesome raw power of Ripley’s Character, whats great about Ellen Ripley is that she is totally flawed, she’s angry and emotional at the loss of her family and the hypocrisy of the system. Of course then you get the typical contenders from a few years ago like Sarah Conner and of course The Bride from the Kill Bill movies, both of which kick ass in their different ways for different motives.
I think what sets apart a female action hero to just an aggressive character, is that you truly see them as unstoppable, even against the worst odds, you’d put a bet on them coming through it alive.. injured..but alive. Hollywood has gone through a dry period with regards to female action stars of late, but recently we have seen a few rearing their heads. Iron Man’s Natasha Romanoff twirling around on the floor in her skin tight pants and even underworlds Selene’s leaping into the abyss after hideous werewolves, but neither of these convinced me that they were list material.
So for this list i give you the ultimate in female kick ass action stars or yesterday and those that have raged onto our screens in the last year, in order of pure genius!
1. Ellen Ripley
Film – Alien / Aliens / Alien 3 / Alien Resurrection
Actress – Sigourney Weaver
The main protagonist of all of the Alien films and is celebrated as the main character to challenge gender stereotypes in the sci fi genre. Ripley even won the American Film Institute 8th greatest hero in American history in 2003. It is said of Ripley that she was the first female movie characters “who isn’t defined by the men around her, or by her relationship to them”.
Ripley also survived death on the Fiorina 161 in many comic books and it just continues from Aliens.
2. Sarah Connor
Films – Terminator / Terminator 2
Actress – Linda Hamilton
Sarah Connor is the heroine of the first two Terminator films, her character has also been given new life in the TV series – Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, with Lena Headey taking over the role. We follow Sarah through from her life as a somewhat flaky waitress to a revolutionary solider set to destroy a future corporation called Skynet and mother of the saviour of the human race John Connor.
Film – Matrix / The Matrix Reloaded / The Matrix Revolutions
Actress – Carrie-Anne Moss
A famous hacker who has escaped from the matrix, Trinty works as a middle man to Morpheus within the Matrix, meeting potential candidates whom they wish to rescue from sleep. She is skilled in computer programming, has major fighting skills and can skillfully operate vehicles in and out of the matrix.
4. Cherry Darling
Film – Planet Terror
Actress – Rose McGowan
Unbelievable action from start to finish, this character is put through hell and back and comes back fighting. Cherry is threaten a go-g dancer who moves to a new town only to find that its infected with zombies. Through the next 24 hours, Cherry is threatened with rape, beaten up, has her leg ripped off by zombies and still manages to fight her way out using pure gumption and a semi-automatic replacing her leg.
5. Alabama Worley
Film – True Romance
Actress – Patricia Arquette
Film – Resident Evil
Actress – Milla Jovovich
Alice is the heroine of the Resident Evil film series, she began her life as a security officer working for the Umbrella Corporation, but is soon is discovered that she had been about to expose Umbrella’s experiments to the press. In the second film Alice finds that she has been genetically altered by exposure to the T-virus. She adapts to the virus gaining super human strength, agility and speed.
Film – The Long Kiss Goodnight
Actress – Geena Davis
We meet her as Samantha the mother and schoolteacher living in small town America, but it soon becomes clear that she is something else entirely. Samantha dispatches a escaped convict that breaks into her home with deadly skill, and as she takes to the road with Mitch Henessey, we soon start to see the real women behind the mask called Charly. Charly is a CIA assassin who disappeared 8 years ago, around the time that Samantha was found, and she is on a mission to finish what she started.
8. Beatrix Kiddo (The Bride)
Film – Kill Bill Vol. I & II
Actress – Uma Thurman
Star of this epic-length revenge film, The Bride is seen at the start of the movie, covered in blood before being shot in the head. It turns out that she was a member of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad led by Bill. She had tried to leave this life and marry, but Bill had found her and arranges the wedding chapel massacre. One by one she tracks down members of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad and kills them. He final mission is to rescue her daughter B.B from Bill.
The New Contenders – in order of awesomeness
9. Mindy Macready (Hit Girl)
Film – Kick ass
Actress – Chloë Grace Moretz
Raised by her father, an ex cop that goes by the name of Big Daddy, Hit Girl is a fully functioning vigilante assassin. Hit Girl is a lethal weapon, she is weapons trained and knows martial arts, she is also as cunning as a fox and outwits her opponents during every fight.
10. Aisha al-Fadhil
Film – The Losers
Actress – Zoe Saldana
Aisha is based on a Comic book character published by Vertigo imprint of DC Comics. Hailing from a hard childhood in North Africa, Aisha was trained to fight even as a kid against the Soviet army in Afghanistan. She is trained in combat, melee and reconnaissance, and is part a CIA black ops team who has been marked for death. In a conversation with Jensen another member of The Losers, she is asked “Do you have any hobbies? she answers “When I was little, I collected human ears”. Aisha prefers to kill than leave survivors, she is accustomed to violence and is a deadly opponent.
11. Princess Fiona
Film – Shrek Forever After
Actress – Cameron Diaz
Cursed by a witch at birth, Princess Fiona spends her days as a beautiful human and her nights as an buxom Ogress. Fiona shows she has fighting spirit from the start when she takes out Robin hoods men in the woods, then battles Charming’s fairytale creatures in Shrek the third. But its in Shrek forever after that we really get a sense of the action hero she is. Shrek finds his beloved has turned into the leader of a group of Ogre resistance fighters, battling against the evil empire of Rumpelstiltskin.
Film – Tron Legacy
Actress – Olivia Wilde
Quorra is a program, who is the perfect warrior within the Grid. The prodigy of Flynn who disappeared into the program 20 years ago. She is described as like a Joan of Arc, full of innocence, optimism and driven by some bigger power.
Film – Machete
Actress – Michelle Rodriguez
Described as a “a taco-truck lady with a rebellious spirit and revolutionary heart”, Luz also helps Machete to recruits Padre, Machete’s “holy” brother. She is an awesome fighter and skilled in weaponry.