- The Washington Times - Friday, February 24, 2012

Tough girls on the movie screen are no longer an alien concept, yet they rarely win awards. With the Academy Awards upon us, the List looks at the top 10 female action heroes.

  • 10. Kate Beckinsale (Underworld, 2003) — We should watch Kate Beckinsale for her porcelain beauty, but it’s hard not to enjoy her as Selene, the vampire killer, ias she hands out punishment and sends vampires back to hell. This gothfest opens with Selene in an unnamed city’s subway system, battling it out with a roving gang of werewolves.
  • 9. Pam Grier (Coffy, 1973, and Foxy Brown, 1974) — The athletic star of 1970s blaxploitation films, Pam Grier kicks serious criminal butt as a two-fisted, shotgun-toting nurse and an undercover hooker with a mean right hook, respectively, in two of her gritty revenge films, “Coffy” and “Foxy Brown.” Her other films in the 1970s included “Black Mama, White Mama,” “Sheba Baby,” “Scream Blacula Scream” and, in 1997, “Jackie Brown.”
  • 8. Milla Jovovich (Resident Evil: Apocalypse, 2004) — Miss Jovovich reprises her role as Alice in her fight with supernatural evil. As one of two survivors from the first film, Alice discovers the undead virus she previously fought has infested the fictional Raccoon City. She needs all that strength and guile as she teams up with a ragtag bunch of fellow survivors to fight off the undead and the latest tricks up Umbrella’s corporate sleeve.
  • 7. Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, 2000) — The former Bond girl is the elegant combatant Yu Shu Lien, a classically trained Wudan fighter looking for the thief of a legendary sword in “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” The Malaysian-born kung-fu star is well-known for performing her own stunts in the action films.
  • 6. Carrie-Anne Moss (The Matrix Reloaded, 2003) — Miss Moss plays the leather-garbed Trinity, the high-kicking warrior and a member of a band of human insurgents who realize “normality” is a facade constructed for the convenience of “the Matrix,” a despotic artificial intelligence that preys on human emotion. Her balletic fight sequences are mesmerizing. She’s also pretty good on a Ducati motorcycle.
  • 5. Angelina Jolie (Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, 2001) — Miss Jolie is a throwback to vintage Jane Russell with the ability to walk, run, swagger and discharge two gigantic sidearms holstered on her thighs. She is tough and ready to fight, but she’s also feminine. She’s not pretending not to be a girl. The idea is that a woman can be strong and fight.
  • 4. Linda Hamilton (Terminator 2, Judgment Day, 1991) — Mother of the future in the “Terminator” films, Linda Hamilton is the feminized variant of the stoic male tough guy. In this second “Terminator” film, Miss Hamilton returns as a refined Sarah Connor, a demented warrior babe, muscled-up and hard-as-nails as she protects her son from an evil cyborg sent to kill him.
  • 3. Gina Carano (Haywire, 2012) — Gina Carano is the real thing. The retired mixed-martial-arts fighter is beautiful and dangerous in the spy thriller movie “Haywire.” She plays Mallory Kane, an ex-Marine with a thriving career as a mercenary intelligence operative. The part is perfect for Miss Carano  Mallory is athletic and intense and doesn’t waste words. She’s not the sort of secret agent who “wears the dress,” as she puts it. Rather, she’s the one who beats people into unconsciousness with her bare fists and the occasional well-placed roundhouse kick.
  • 2. Uma Thurman (Kill Bill, Vol. 2, 2004) — It’s hard to take your eyes off Uma Thurman as she plays a bloodthirsty assassin seeking  and getting  revenge. The beautiful and very pregnant Miss Thurman is a member of the DiVAS . She’s been gunned down on her wedding day by her ex-mates and remains comatose for four years. When she wakes, the baby she was carrying is gone, and she resolves on revenge. Rarely has a film character, male or female, fought with such unbridled ferocity. Vengeance has never tasted so sweet.
  • 1. Sigourney Weaver (Aliens,1986) — Sigourney Weaver broke the action-hero mold with her performances in the “Alien” series of films. As Ellen Ripley, she is a reluctant warrior in “Alien” but becomes an all-out fighting machine in James Cameron’s terrific 1986 sequel “Aliens.” Miss Weaver earned an Oscar nomination for the film, which was considered as a landmark in challenging the gender role in cinema.

Compiled by John Haydon
Source: Associated Press and The Washington Times