Strong female characters in films usually means a woman who has overcome odds rather than one who has saved the world by taking down the bad guys. For the most part we like our female movie stars pleasant and beautiful not ripped and physical. It’s time for that line of thinking to be eliminated. Action films can be for girls. And in some cases these women are deadlier than their male counterparts.
It is a rare actress who can transform herself into a butt kicker, be believable and still sexy. When you attain that rare trio as an actress you elevate yourself into a very exclusive and well paid group.
Here is my list, in no particular order, of the top 10 movie tough girls who fight their own battles:
1) Angelina Jolie: She has become the face of the female action hero. With her turns in Salt, Tomb Raider, Wanted, and Mr. & Mrs. Smith she has shown that an action film with a woman in it can make dough. And lots of it. Her take charge attitude is in all these films. She brings a believable physicality to the films she does because she insists on doing most of her own stunts. Has no trouble playing characters that can handle themselves in a dark alley. Tough cookie on screen and in real life.
2) Kate Beckinsale: Not exactly the type of woman you’d expect to star in action flicks. She is petite and ultra-feminine, but has the ability to transform herself into a latex wearing, werewolf butt-kicking vampire. It doesn’t hurt that she looks great in leather and latex. Has starred in Underworld, Van Helsing, Underworld: Evolution, and is in the process of filming Underworld 4: New Dawn.
3) Charlize Theron: Stunning and with all that height, physically imposing, Theron has showed she is capable of bringing an imposing physicality to a role if required in films like Hancock, The Italian Job, and Aeon Flux. She is now filming Mad Max: Fury Road, so this Oscar Award-winning actress shows no sign of turning away from the action film genre.
4) Linda Hamilton: One of the original movie tough gals was Sarah Conor. Starring as the mother who will do anything to protect her son in The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Linda Hamilton showed many a female actress that having bulging biceps and toting a gun could be sexy. Tough beyond belief and wanting to save her son from the Terminators while preventing a nuclear war at the same time. Actress Hamilton transformed a scared women from the first film to the ultimate tough mom in the second.
5) Michelle Rodriguez: Not someone you want to mess with, this actress has made a career out of starring in action films like Avatar, The Fast and the Furious, Resident Evil, S.W.A.T., Machete, and Girlfight. So much so that she actually seems a little naked if she does not have a gun in her hand. Michelle also brought a certain menace and physicality to the television series Lost. Has played police officers, boxers and general bad asses. Serious about being seen as a female action star, she has been quoted as saying she is doing films to “make a statement about female empowerment and strength.”
6) Milla Jovovich: Resident Evil, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Resident Evil: Extinction, and Resident Evil: Afterlife have made former model Milla Jovovich one of the leading female action stars working today. Jovovich’s Alice has to do battle with the undead in all these films. With her advanced speed and strength she could take on numerous foes at once.
7) Sigourney Weaver: As Ellen Ripley in the Alien films she faced down incredibly fierce and dangerous aliens without blinking. Handled pulse rifles and flamethrowers in the process. Refuses to take crap from anyone. Bottom line is that anyone who can kill an alien queen is not someone to trifle with.
8) Uma Thurman: Previous to the Kill Bill movies who would have thought that this beauty was actually an ass kicker? Not many, I can tell you. Her character The Bride goes on a rampage looking for all those who wronged her. She knows that the best way to get revenge is to kill. Watching Uma move with her sword is like watching a dance that has death as the end result.
9) Carrie Moss: From the very first scenes of The Matrix this pretty much unknown up until that point Canadian actress showed that she could handle herself physically on film. The incredible fight scenes that her character took part in as part of the film trilogy really elevated her to the top of the list of female action stars. Able to run along walls and then deliver devastating kicks to the head of her opponent while wearing a latex outfit is not something that every actress could accomplish.
10) Jennifer Garner: So her action film Elektra was not commercially successful, Garner still proved herself able to handle the stunts and combat moves involved in an action film. Though nobody really doubted that who had previously seen her on her hit television series Alias where she was required to kick butt in the most outrageous of disguises. She has also been in other action films like The Kingdom and Daredevil.