10 Super Women Who Could Kick Man of Steel's Ass
With the latest Superman incarnation Man of Steel hitting theaters Friday, it got me thinking….where’s the Wonder Woman movie? Batman, Iron Man, Thor and even the Green Lantern have been on the big screen. Isn’t it time for a female superhero to have her explosive, action-packed, cape-and-tights wearing, theatrical moment?
I know they tried (and failed) with Catwoman feature, but even 2004 was a different era. The runaway success of the Hunger Games franchise, however, proves that audiences are anxiously anticipating the next big female superheroine to save the universe. Well, maybe not the universe, but definitely New York!
Hollywood power player Joss Whedon, the writer/director of a couple of tiny indie projects, including The Avengers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Firefly recently pointed out this disparity.
“It actually pisses me off," he said. "My daughter watched The Avengers and was like, ‘My favorite characters were the Black Widow and Maria Hill,’ and I thought, Yeah, of course they were. I read a beautiful thing Junot Diaz wrote: “If you want to make a human being into a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves.”
So, while we're waiting for one of Hollywood's action writers and producers to conjure up a female driven popcorn flick, let's honor the women who have kicked ass all over the cinema.
Hollywood, you're officially on notice!
10) Michelle Rodriguez – The Fast and Furious, Avatar
Bisexual (maybe?) actress Michelle Rodriguez is proof that you can be beautiful and tough. She is known for her her action roles, making her debut in 2000 in the female boxing flick Girlfight, revved up the Fast and the Furious franchise and kicked butt in the megahit Avatar. Whether it’s with her fists, behind the wheel of a car, or flying a futuristic ship in an alternate universe, don’t mess with her.
9) Linda Hamilton - Terminator & Terminator 2: Judgment Day
The original Sarah Connor made her debut in 1984's The Terminator, but it wasn’t until she resurfaced in the 1991 seque1 when we realized this woman is fierce, with the best arms on the planet. Millions of women hit the gym after the movie premiered. With relative ease, she took on Schwarzenegger, who played the robot assassin who came to earth to destroy her son, and mankind, earning her an MTV Movie Awards and Saturn Award for best actress.
8) Carrie-Anne Moss – Matrix Trilogy
Moss went from internationally known model to the gun wielding, leather wearing (we will NEVER forget that suit), cyborg fighting Trinity, in the blockbuster sci-fi action franchise The Matrix. Keanu Reeves (Neo) and company would not have succeeded in their quest to destroy their evil controllers in their alternate reality without Trinity. Moss is due to star in the upcoming historical, natural disaster film Pompeii—something tells me it won’t end well.
7) Milla Jovovich – Resident Evil
This Ukrainian beauty went from international supermodel to stoner in the indie cult classic Dazed and Confused. But, it wasn’t until the zombie apocalyptic thriller Resident Evil (based on the wildly successful video game franchise) premiered in 2002 that Jovovich became an internationally known force. She went from being the highest paid supermodel in the world (2004) to Alice, the zombie slaying heroine in the five—soon to be six—action hits.
6) Uma Thurman –Kill Bill, vols 1 & 2
This 6-foot stunner has been in the industry for years, but her most memorable characters may have come from controversial director Quentin Tarantino in Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill. In Kill Bill she starred as martial arts assassin Beatrix Kiddo (The Bride), who awakens from a four-year coma to enact the ultimate revenge on her would-be killers, who massacred her and her friends during her wedding ceremony. Thurman received two Golden Globes and a BAFTA nom, as well as international acclaim for her most physically demanding role ever. She trained for more than three months in martial arts and swordsmanship.
5) Kate Beckinsale – Underworld
Beckinsale is an English born, Oxford educated actress but she has become widely known for her various action hits including the Underworld franchise, Van Helsing (2004), and the Total Recall reboot in 2012. And, she’s easy on the eyes, regularly appearing in People and Esquire’s annual gorgeous people lists. In Underworld she plays Selene, a vampire trying to save her race from extinction at the hands (or paws) of the Lycans, vampire hunting werewolves. Another one who looks stunning in a full body leather suit!
4) Jennifer Lawrence – The Hunger Games
This Kentucky-born 22-year-old has already been nominated twice (won once) for an Oscar, but she might be best known as Katniss Everdeen, our herionie in the big-screen adaptation of the literary phenomenon The Hunger Games. Everdeen outplayed and outlasted 11 other opponents in this fictional battle-to-the-death-style reality game show. In preparation for the film, Lawrence worked out twice a day, and studied archery with Olympic archers. And she has at least two more sequels coming, starting with The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, which is slated for release later this year.
3) Pam Grier – Foxy Brown
Grier has been on the scene since the 70s, when she starred in the cult action classics, Coffy and Foxy Brown. Tarantino once said that Grier may have been cinema’s first female action star and went on to pay tribute to her with his 1997 action flick Jackie Brown, which earned her a Golden Globe nomination that same year. And, the movie database Rotten Tomatoes ranked her as the second Greatest Female Action Heroine in film history, coming in behind Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon star Michelle Yeoh. Grier also starred in Showtime's lesbian-centric drama The L-Word.
2) Angelina Jolie – Tomb Raider, Wanted
Jolie burst onto the scene in 1998 with her portrayal of lesbian supermodel Gia Carangi in the HBO movie Gia. But she’s more associated with the title “Action Star” with her roles as Lara Croft in the movie adaptation of the successful video game franchise, Tomb Raider, female assassin in Mr. & Mrs. Smith and Wanted, and CIA agent on the run in Salt. She underwent extensive martial arts training in preparation for playing Croft, and the success of the film established Jolie as one of the highest paid actresses in Hollywood. Empire magazine once published that “when it comes to selling incredible, crazy, death-defying antics, Jolie has few peers in the action business.” And it looks like we’ll see more of Angelina, since the sequel to Salt was just announced. Like Madonna, we’re thinking that she should drop Jolie and just go by Angelina. Enough said.
1) Sigourney Weaver – Alien, everything else she's ever been in.
We were first introduced to Warrant Officer/Lieutenant Ellen Ripley with the release of the first Alien in 1979. Since then we’ve seen three more sequels where Ripley takes on the ferocious ET’s with a vengeance. Her portrayal of the tough as nails, uncompromising servicewoman is legen...wait for it...dary. In fact, her 1986 acting Oscar nomination for Aliens is considered by many in the biz as landmark because it was the first time a role in a sci-fi, action/horror movie was recognized by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. And the character of Ripley is ranked 8th on the American Film Institute’s 100 Years: 100 Heroes and Villains list.