Saturday, April 16, 2016

GIRL POWER! : MY TOP TEN ACTION HEROINES

These days, in literature, television, comics and of course movies; we get more and more action heroines. We've become more accustomed to strong, independent women who can fight back, think for themselves, stand up for themselves and have better things to do than trail after men who believe it's their main duty to be their protectors. Well, no boys... damsels in distress are slowly becoming a thing of the past! Action heroines slowly began springing up from the 60s and now in this digital era, the list of action heroines have gotten really long. As such, it took a lot of effort to narrow down the list to 10 and some people may not agree with the ranking! Here they are, in my opinion, the top 10 action heroines:



10.    
MAX GUEVARA  a.k.a X5-452

Wonderfully portrayed by a much younger Jessica Alba, Max was one of many genetically enhanced children-trangenics- trained to be super soldiers in the science fiction T.V series, Dark Angel . I was immediately taken in by Max, not just because of her abilities but  her strong personality and her determination to survive, find her 'siblings'  at the same time evading Manticore, the establishment she and the other children escaped from. I would describe Max as diamond in the rough; while she wasn't above petty theft and at times appeared a person with no scruples , she was protective of the people she cared very much about and didn't like using guns if she could help it. But Max also had a vulnerable side, which she rarely allowed to see; most times in the series, her inner thoughts were expressed through voice overs at the beginning and end of each episode. Max was a fighter; going through all difficult obstacles to achieve her goal.



9

                                                               BUFFY SUMMERS 

Buffy Summers played by Sarah Michelle Gellar in Buffy, The Vampire Slayer  is another action heroine I adore, but not at first sight however. I thought she was a tad sarcastic and cynical for such an important post,  but as the series progressed saw her differently, apart from a fierce ass kicking young woman.  Her 'vampire slayer' status and her doomed love affair with her most significant lover, the vampire-with-a-soul Angel, added more spice to her character. 



8.
BEATRIX KIDDO  a.k.a The Bride a.k.a Black Mamba 


Beatrix (played by Uma Thurman) is more of an anti-heroine. Her first appearance in Kill Bill Vol. 1 was in the aftermath of a massacre in a church, her face all bloodied and a calm voice telling her his action was 'not sadistic'. We immediately sense that this woman would be on a revenge mission and a bloody revenge mission it was! Beatrix did not allow anything or anyone to stand between her and the man she ultimately wanted to kill... Bill; ironically the father of her baby and the man who shot her on the head. Beatrix went through the ordeal of a 4 year coma, being pimped out by an unscrupulous male orderly (even in her comatose state), was able to persuade a retired master  swordsmith to make her one of his much coveted swords before hunting down her enemies, one by one. Before the events of the movie, she had to undergo rigorous training from a misogynistic martial arts trainer; earning his reluctant respect (and an extra technique) in the end.  Her versatility in martial arts, sword fighting, use of weapons and her cold blooded determination to achieve her aim, including fighting her way out of a casket after being buried alive, makes her a very memorable action heroine. 





7.  
                  
                                                            MARION RAVENWOOD

I love this lady a lot because nothing and nobody can shut her up! Played by Karen Allen in Raiders Of The Lost Ark & Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull several years later) 
is a woman you don't want to mess with. Tough as nails, feisty, stubborn, self sufficient and utterly non- submissive even with threats or a  gun to her head, Marion Ravenwood has all it takes to survive in a man's world. Cynthia Rothrock she is not, but she definitely has a way with words and sly tricks. Even after Indy's unfair treatment of her; (he ditched her a week to their wedding), she still managed to have a life of her own and raise her son- first with another man whom she married and then on her own after he died. She is such a spitfire that no one is in doubt that this is a woman to be reckoned with. Definitely cannot be described as a damsel in distress! 







6.                            
GIACINTA 'JINX' JOHNSON 

Played by Halle Berry in the Bond movie Die Another Day; Agent Johnson is the quintessential action heroine. In the movie, she's a sassy but well trained  NSA operative who crossed paths with 007 and being a liberal woman, wasted no time sleeping with him after he hit on her. Later on, we see that she's not a person who loses her head in an emergency, is quick with her weapon and can hold well under torture. She's also witty besides sassy; exchanging banter with  James Bond and then with Miranda Frost, whom she later battled in an epic sword fight on a plane. Besides that, she's fiercely independent, telling Bond 'I don't like being tied down.' That's more than obvious, this lady is not one to be pinned down by anyone! It's just too bad this character wasn't given her own spin off franchise that was originally planned. 




5. 
PRINCESS LEIA ORGANA (later on General) 

The main female protagonist in the Star Wars franchise is one of the earliest female action heroines, thus a model for action heroines after her. Even after all these years, Princess Leia (played by Carrie Fisher to date)remains an icon. She's royalty yet a woman of action; skilled in weapons' use and combat and  more than willing to join in a fight rather than take a backseat.She coolly faced Darth Vader even at the threat of death, blasted her way through star troopers and went out of her way to rescue Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt, eventually strangling that ugly beast. Even the way she accepted the bombshell that Luke Skywalker-whom she shared a close bond with- was her twin brother and their mutual enemy, Darth Vader, was their father was admirable. No hysterical screams or protests, just simple acceptance after the initial shock. And her skills as a born leader is shown again in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, where she is now a General- leading the Resistance against the First Order. And of course...the Force is strong in her! 


4.                            
GUINEVERE 

Played by Keira Knightley in King Arthur, she's completely different from the previous incantations of King Arthur's Queen, who were usually damsels in distress. From the moment she was rescued from a torture chamber by Arthur and his men, she was revealed to be a young woman who isn't afraid to speak her mind, strong willed, skilled with a bow and arrow and is a trained warrior- fiercely participating in the battle between her people- the Britons- and the Saxons. 



3.

                                                               COLONEL WAI LIN

Played by Michelle Yeoh in the Bond movie, Tomorrow Never Dies, Wai Lin is another very good example of an action heroine. Like Agent Johnson, she  crossed paths with 007, but unlike Jinx, she made it clear to him in the beginning that she had better things to do than sleep with him- yet saying so in a graceful, dignified way.  She was  well skilled in guns but she made more use of her spectacular martial art techniques to defend herself from the bad guys. She also refused to let Elliot Carver use her as bait. The bastard had a gun to her head to make 007 back down but what did she say? "What are you waiting for? Shot him!" 
 This character too was meant to have her own franchise but the idea was dropped, which is a pity. 



2.                  
ELLEN RIPLEY 

Another iconic action heroine in science fiction; played by Sigourney Weaver in Alien (her big break), Aliens, Aliens 3 and Aliens: Resurrection. Ellen is a heroine who had to face a lot of challenges and battles, first of which fighting off a vicious Alien after it killed her colleagues in the first movie of the franchise.She's a woman of guts and steel, ready to sacrifice herself to save others and uses her fists as well as her guns. Anything or anyone that stands in her way, she fights back! 



And now NO. 1... WHO IS... 






                                                              SYDNEY BRISTOW 

The main character in the T.V series Alias, is the ultimate action heroine. Sydney (played by Jennifer Garner), has everything an action heroine should have. Strength, both physical and mental, able to break walls in achieving her assignments and nerves of steel, though she did have her moments of vulnerability. Sydney had to face a lot of heartache and pain  but she had far more strength to face them than she  thought. And she was more than excellent in her fighting skills and use of weapons,  her use of aliases to get herself in and out of tricky situations and going the extra mile to rescue and protect the people she loves.

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