Twenty-five years ago, action movies were filled with extremely muscled good guys fighting extremely muscled bad guys in order to save their helpless wives, girlfriends, or daughters…and in some cases to save the world (which everyone appreciates, by the way.) While those films are awesome, there has been a slow evolution of the classic action film in the past twenty-five years. The modern action film doesn’t have to star a bodybuilder of a guy, and women don’t have to be helpless captives. In fact, women have even gone from being a back ground supporting character for the hero to being heroines themselves! Here’s a look at the top 5 action heroines of 2010.
5. Victoria from RED
Victoria’s a lady kicking ass even in her golden years. Her age alone makes her an ultra-badass. She’s a professional uber-assassin, and has lived to see retirement, which is an achievement unto itself. Being an assassin isn’t really a job that’s known for it's short hours, or cushy benefits, so for this chick to get where she is today is a true testament to how awesome she is. Not to mention that she’s a pro sniper, which is a job that requires a steady gaze, cool hands, and a cold heart.
4. Isabelle from Predators
Obviously, Isabelle (Alice Braga) is a badass based on the simple fact that she was hand picked by the Predators to come fight them. Predators are known for their fussy tastes, so being chosen to fight one is really the highest compliment an action star can have. As a member of a select group of badasses, this lady can hold her own against Adrien Brody, Danny Trejo, and freakin’ Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne). The Predators zapped this lady to their planet, thinking “You’re so awesome, we want to see if we can kill you, and then learn from the lengths you take to try to survive.” Bad call, Predators! Maybe a few more of you would’ve survived if you’d picked a few people who weren’t as dangerous as Isabelle.
3. Evelyn Salt from Salt
What makes Salt (Angelina Jolie) an incredible action heroine? She’s sexy, resourceful, and is so mysterious that even Professor X can’t figure what’s going on with her. She’s also somewhat different because even though she is a trained killer, she tries to keep a moral component in the equation by only killing those who really deserve it and sparing the innocent. She is an example of how action stars don’t have to always be extremely hard and cold behind the eyes a la Snake Plissken. Sometimes, the action heroine can engage in a happy, loving relationship… not killing anyone or blowing anything up. That is, until that relationship gets taken away, then Jesus help you, because things are about to start exploding like a guy who has just eaten 100 habanero peppers.
2. Alice Abernathy and Claire Redfield from Resident Evil: Afterlife
Alice (Milla Jovovich) has been splattering zombie brains since the beginning of the Resident Evil series and now she has a partner, Claire (Ali Larter), who may not have the superpowers Alice possesses, but can still take out an undead monster as easily as breathing. These two are hot women (which is always a bonus) that have teamed up to take on the category of villains not any other heroines on this list have ventured into…zombies! So, if your grandma starts shambling towards you, groaning for brains (and you’re sure that gram-gram isn’t just having a stroke again), who are you going to call!?! Alice and Claire! They don’t discriminate against age, shape, or degree of rottenness. If it’s an undead creature, they’ll smash that thing like child’s chair that’s been sat in by a fat guy.
1. Mindy Macready/Hit-Girl from Kick-Ass
The top action heroine from 2010 is easily Hit Girl, from the film Kick-Ass. She’s a young girl with the power to make any roid raging street thug squeal. Played by Chloe Moretz, Hit Girl is an awe-inspiring action heroine. Much like Victoria, age plays a major factor in this heroine’s awesomeness. For any action hero to slice and dice a group of baddies with style is pretty impressive; for a 10 year old girl to do it is absolutely crazy. Hit Girl is the perfect killer: she’s so harmless, so innocent looking, and then as soon as you invite her in, she has your guts hanging from the ceiling fan in a matter of minutes! She’s a great addition to the world of action, and we can look forward to seeing more of her in 2012.Ass Kickers in 2011 and beyond
There you have it. This list of ass kicking women is not all inclusive but definitely hits the high points of 2010’s action heroines. Women are continuing to take on leading roles as action heroines, and perhaps one day soon we will see a female version of The Expendables. One can only hope!
So, what’s next for this year? March 2011 looks promising with the release of Battle: Los Angeles, staring Michelle Rodriguez as an ass kicking soldier. Not to mention the over-the-top action craziness that is Sucker Punch! Get ready to hide your... excitement, folks, because this all-girl ensemble includes Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hudgens, and Jamie Chung all kicking some major butt.
April seems like it will also shower theaters with action chicks. Hanna is about a 14 year old girl (Saoirse Ronan) trained to be a killing machine. Then comes the return of super tough Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) and Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) in Scream 4, and Natalie Portman showing the men how it’s done in medieval times with the comedy adventure Your Highness.
Other films that should be packing some action heroines in 2011 include Conan the Barbarian, Priest, Colombiana, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. Say goodbye to 2010, and thank it for the awesome action heroines the year brought forth; and welcome to 2011, a time where women can kick someone’s ass just for fun and not have to apologize for it!Katrina Hill is a freelance writer on all things nerdy, but focuses of course on Action Flick Chicks. She has hosted panels at SDCC, & can be found at her blog and twitter, amongst other places. Who was your favorite ass-kicking woman of 2010?