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Top Ten TV and Movie Heroines Who Kick Ass

Heroines

In honor of the unveiling of Adrianne Palicki’s fantastic new Wonder Woman costume, I am taking a look at the top 10 woman who just plain kick ass.  No betting, please.

10. Catwoman

Catwoman would rank higher if she was actually a heroine.  But Hollywood typically portrays her as a villain or at best an anti-hero.  I’m going to focus on Michelle Pfeiffer’s turn as Catwoman in Batman Returns.  While Julie Newmar rocked the catsuit, she rarely kicked ass in it.  And I’ve never endured the horrors of the Halle Berry movie.  So that leaves whip-cracking Pfieffer as confused anti-heroine, Selina Kyle who inexplicably has some kind of cat powers…?  Can’t wait to see what Anne Hathaway does with the role.

9. Sydney Bristow

Since the show was called Alias, you tend to remember all the crazy fetishistic costumes Jennifer Garner wore when going under cover as Agent Sydney Bristow.  But no matter how high the heels or the skirt, Sydney kicked the ass of would-be world conquerors.  She, most of the plots were too byzantine to be untangled by the entire CIA.  But as long as Bristow was wearing latex and busting heads, no one really cared.

8. Starbuck

When the Battlestar Galactica remake dared to recast Starbuck as a woman, the fan boys lost their shit.  But when they saw cigar-chomping, bad-attitude-having Katie Sackhoff as Kara “Starbuck” Thrace, they all shut their pie holes right quick.  Starbuck was the best pilot left in the whole human race.  And if you pissed her off, she’d knock your teeth in without hesitation.  Later, the show got into some weird territory with her character.  But she kicked ass to the last.

7. Angelina Jolie

This one is a total cheat and I don’t even care.  Angelina Jolie has kicked a lot of ass in a lot of movies.  The problem is, none of the characters are very memorable.  And most of the movies are equally forgettable.  But I’m giving Jolie her props as the reigning queen of ass kickery at the box office.  She’s the only reason I made it through Wanted.  Twice.

6. Trinity

I have spent the last several years erasing my memories of the Matrix Reloaded and Matrix Revolutions.  I refuse to acknowledge their existence.  Even so, there’s no denying that Carrie Anne Moss rocked the leather look.  Her ass-kicking defined gravity and slowed time down to a crawl.   To paraphrase Neo, “Whoa.”

5. Sarah Connor

I’m going to ignore the TV show that softened Sarah Connor.  Instead, we’re kicking it James Cameron old school with Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2.  In the first Terminator, Sarah was just a waitress on the run.  But in T2, she has transformed herself into a soldier in the war against the machines.  Cameron was making a point about how the Terminator had become more human than an actual human.  But whatever his point was, the only thing you really need to know is that Sarah Connor kicked a lot of ass.

4. Alice

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If there is a dumber movie franchise than the Resident Evil films, I don’t know what it is.  (Maybe the Look Who’s Talking films…)  Fortunately, smarts aren’t a requirement for this list.  The only thing that matters is that you kick ass.  And Mila Jovovich’s Alice kicks zombie ass all over the place.  I don’t think a single one of the movies makes a bit of sense.  But Alice kicks so much ass that she sometimes splits into multiples of herself just to kick ass exponentially.  Plus, she looks good doing it.

3. Buffy Summers

buffy summers

Into every generation a “chosen one” is born.  And for this generation, the Slayer was a blonde high school girl in Sunnydale, CA.  Buffy Summers was your typical teenage girl in just about every way except that she had super powers.  And with great powers came the great responsibility of killing every undead thing that crawled out of the hellmouth (the show’s plot device to allow for one threat after another to menace Buffy and her Scooby gang).  Most fans remember the smart and funny dialogue.  But Buffy was first and foremost a hot chick who kicked ass.

2. Ellen Ripley

biehn - aliens

In the first Alien film, Sigourney Weaver was just another member of the doomed crew of the Nostromo.  (And really, when your ship is named after a vampire, you know right from the start that your crew is doomed).  But in Aliens, she transformed from underwear-clad victim to ass-kicking surrogate mom.  We’ll pretend Alien 3 and 4 never happened even though Ripley kicked her share of drooling alien ass in those movies too.  Aliens set the standard for ass kicking heroines and that film alone earns Ripley the number 2 spot on this list.

1. The Bride

Uma Thurman’s “The Bride” in Kill Bill Volumes 1 and 2 went on a blood-soaked rampage of revenge mowing down anyone who stood in her way – or just looked at her funny.  In the second volume, things slows down just a little bit so we could learn more about the character (like her name).  But by that point, the Bride had already kicked more ass than Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger combined.

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Posted on March 19, 2011, in Movies, TV and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 21 Comments.

  1. lebeau you should also mention how tough jamie lee curtis was in blue steel as well as the halloween movies and true lies. i liked when she was a tough babe. she’s just as good as sigourney weaver. i would pick blue steel and true lies over freaky friday any day of the week.

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    • I wasn’t a hug fan of Blue Steel. I didn’t hate it either. I was just disappointed. I expected more. I love True Lies and I loved Curtis in it. But she didn’t really get to kick a lot of ass. Her striptease is pretty terrific. Sexy, funny and vulnerable. I’m not sure she so much kicked ass in the Halloween movies (I didn’t see the later ones) so much as she showed her resolve by enduring attack after attack. But you’re right that Curtis is an actress who kicks much ass.

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  2. i liked how ron silver was the villian in blue steel up against jamie lee curtis.

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  3. blue steel was just as good as true lies and it managed to be a good action film i liked from kathryn bigelow as well as point break.

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    • I like Kathryn Bigelow. I assume you have seen Near Dark. If not, see it.

      It’s been a long time since I saw Blue Steel. I actually saw it a month or so before it was released in theaters, but not since. I remember being a little disappointed in it. But it had potential. Point Break is dumb, but it’s also a lot of fun.

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  4. point break is fun and easy to understand. it is not dumb. the hangover movies are dumb. point break is more easy to understand than the hangover. the hangover is so freaking stupid i couldn’t understand it. maybe i’ll watch near dark. blue steel i gotta see again. i haven’t seen it in a long time. i remember seeing clips of it on channel 11 15 or 16 years ago.

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  5. I actually like films that require some thought on behalf of the viewer.
    …not that “The Hangover” movies are good examples.

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    • Sometimes, I like a good dumb movie. I enjoyed all of the Resident Evil movies even though none of them are any good. When I say a movie is “dumb” that’s not necessarily an insult. Point Break is a dumb movie, but it’s supposed to be dumb. It succeeds at being a dumb, fast thrill ride. If that’s what I am in the mood for, Point Break delivers. The Hangover (I haven’t seen the sequel) was slightly smarter than the average guy comedy and I think that’s a good thing. Generally, I prefer films that challenge me at least a little bit. But there’s a time for dumb movies too.

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  6. oh thought you meant it was bad. my mistake. point break is still one of my favorite cult movies i still can anytime i want.

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  7. Hi, I really love your blog, the stuff you write is wonderfully entertaining and spot on!
    I was wondering, could you write a “what the hell” on Linda Hamilton? That’s one subject I would sure love to read about through your observations.
    I understand you’re probably very busy writing other stuff, but thanks for considering it anyway.
    Keep up the good work!

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  8. Good list. I would have been disappointed if Mila Jovovich wasn’t on it, both as Alice and Lelu. Katie Sackhoff kicked butt on Riddick and Longmire, as well.

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  9. No China O Brien? Cynthia Rothrock was hot and a bonafide black belt.

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    • Cynthia Rothrock is going to be a pretty obscure reference to most people who aren’t familiar with the low budget 80s & 90s martial arts action movie world. This list has characters that are pretty recognizable to the majority of movie and TV fans.

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  10. Lebeau, are you confusing Nostromo with Nosferatu? Nostromo is an Italian seafaring term that means “boatswain.” It is also the taken name of the title character in a famous novel about a seafaring adventure written by Joseph Conrad. The novel was inspired by a story about a sailor who single-handedly stole a large amount of silver. I’m guessing that the spaceship from Alien was named this to emphasize that the crew was not particularly heroic in nature, simply as a homage to the novel, or maybe just because it sounds cool and mysterious. It does call to mind the ship scenes from Dracula in which the crew disappears one by one and arrives a “ghost ship” in England.

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  11. No Hit-girl? What’s up with that?

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