Top 10 Female Action-Movie Heroes.
Action movies have been storming the box office since almost the beginning of cinema, and iconic characters have been born from countless movies, and subsequent franchises. Rating the top 10 action heroes is something any movie goer could probably do off the tops of their heads, but unfortunately female heroines have fewer spots in cinema history. This being the case, we thought we’d have a go at the top 10 (of many) female movie icons. Our honorable mention is Neytiri of ‘Avatar’. James Cameron’s most successful motion picture may be about the dopey human male who gets all of the native Na’Vi killed on the planet Pandora, but we all know that Neytiri is the real hero here. She’s the warrior who always stood by her principles, and as played by Zoe Saldana (with the aid of an army of animators), she embodied a unique new action hero for the modern age. The following list is IN an order, however, if you think the order should be moved around, feel free to comment, and let us know.
10. Alice – Resident Evil
Of the two female-driven, utterly superficial action movie franchises, Resident Evil has the most personality. (Sorry, Underworld fans.) Milla Jovovich has been bounding from one ridiculous, zombie-fighting, clone-army forming situation to the next over the course of this ludicrous series, and it only gets sillier – and more entertaining – with every passing sequel. She still embodies unadulterated bad-assery in every film.
9. Foxy Brown – Foxy Brown
Foxy Brown’s boyfriend was a secret agent, but when he’s killed in the line of duty she goes on a one-woman mission of revenge against a vile syndicate, destroying sex traffickers and rescuing their victims. Pam Grier is described as “a whole lotta woman,” and the description fits. She is raw and powerful and is an exemplary vision of what strong, driven (black) female heroines can look like.
8. Mindy Macready – Kick Ass
Mindy Macready, aka “Hit Girl,” is a contradiction. She’s a pre-teen martial arts master and mass murderer of bad guys, and that’s kind of awesome, but only if you ignore the fact that her father has brainwashed her into thinking there’s nothing wrong with it. Kick-Ass doesn’t spend much time questioning her state of mind, which makes it rather a superficial film if you think about it, but Chloe Grace Moretz is undeniably fierce and formidable anyway.
7. Yu Shu Lien AND Jen Yu – Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Not one but two great action heroes headline Ang Lee’s Oscar-winning kung fu epic Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Michelle Yeoh represents maturity and grace and Zhang Ziyi represents recklessness and passion. Their fight together is one of the kung fu highlights of the 21st Century, and the two acclaimed actresses bring their characters to vibrant life even when they’re not kicking ass.
6. Princess Leia – Star Wars
Princess Leia might need saving in Star Wars: Episode IV, but only once, and she only gets captured because she was being a badass. They bring her to Darth Vader, the most threatening person in the galaxy, and she says “I thought I smelled something” right to his face. Then she proceeds to plan rebel warfare, infiltrate criminal underworlds, strangle Jabba the Hutt to death and take charge in an epic speeder chase. She is anything but a typical movie princess. She is a royal badass, and in the upcoming ‘Force Awakens’ rumor has it, that she’ll be “General Badass”.
5. Imperator Furiosa – Mad Max: Fury Road
Although the Mad Max film is ostensibly about a male action hero, but that gets completely stolen by his female co-star. Mad Max is pretty much just along for the ride in Fury Road, while Charlize Theron’s Imperator Furiosa kidnaps a warlord’s sex slaves and fights off horde after horde of high-octane bastards in her quest to find freedom. Theron explodes off the screen, and so does practically everything else in George Miller’s acclaimed post-apocalyptic thriller.
4. The Bride – Kill Bill
Over the course of the two Kill Bill movies, Uma Thurman takes us on a rich and complicated journey of self-actualization, tragic love and violent vengeance. She’s a thoroughly convincing fighter who dispatches an army of masked assassins, but when the time comes to confront the man who wronged her, she can still feel recognizably human emotions. Quentin Tarantino’s films are vast in scope and intimate in nature, and Thurman gives arguably her best performance within them.
3. Katniss Everdeen – The Hunger Games
Jennifer Lawrence is building up her action movie credentials (see also: X-Men: First Class and Days of Future Past), but she will always be a legend for playing the reluctant revolutionary Katniss Everdeen in the blockbuster Hunger Games series. She’s comfortable with a bow, uncomfortable with killing, and increasingly confident leading the disenfranchised to war against an apathetic ruling class. Plus she’s a beast with the bow and arrow.
2. Ellen Ripley – Alien
It was a miracle that Ellen Ripley even survived the first Alien movie. In James Cameron’s sequel, she finally fought back, taking the fight directly to the Alien queen and setting the stage for two more sequels in which she refused to be victimized ever again. Sigourney Weaver remains one of the great action hero icons, regardless of gender.
1. Dora The Explorer
1. Sarah Conor – Terminator 2
Sarah Connor was running from danger throughout the first Terminator movie, and runs right into it in the blockbuster sequel to save her son from yet another killer automaton bent on bringing about the apocalypse. Linda Hamilton convincingly makes the transition from victim to hero, but James Cameron’s film wisely dedicates time to illustrating the unthinkable psychological toll the events of these movies have had on a woman who, prior to these events, as just as normal as you or I. This is why we specified ‘Terminator 2’ because although she may be a regular 19 year old (Yeah… in the first one for some reason she’s 19 in the script), in the sequel she is a trained military machine, capable of flying off the rails to do whatever is necessary to save her son, and the future.
Like we said, if you think the list was missing anyone, or should be re-arranged, sound off below.