I wish to present you with my top three female characters that kick butt. What qualities was I looking for whilst compiling this list? I was looking for characters that are strong (and I don’t necessarily mean bulging biceps and quads that Arnold Schwarzenegger would be proud of). I was looking for women who could handle whatever situation they were thrust into, women who could push their fear aside and challenge the unexpected. I wanted women who were smart, sassy and, well, strong.
Sigourney Weaver defied gender stereotypes and kicked some serious butt whilst playing Warrant Officer/Lieutenant Ellen Ripley in the Ridley Scott’s famous sci-fi Alien movie franchise. The role of Ripley was probably Weaver’s most famous one, and she even received a best actress nomination for the Academy Awards, which was groundbreaking, as it was practically unheard of actors to be honoured for sci-fi roles. Ripley is a clever cookie, and most of the drama in the Alien movies could be avoided if the big-wigs just listened to her in the first place. She is strong in the face of adversity, donning guns and weapons of all kinds and taping them together to make a mega-gun. She still has a soft side, and she clearly gives in to her maternal instincts, but she isn’t afraid to say what she thinks, and is tough as nails. Entertainment Weekly said that Ellen Ripley was ‘one of the first female movie characters who isn’t defined by the men around her, or by her relationship to them’… I couldn’t say it better myself.
The Bride/ Beatrix Kiddo/ Black Mumba
Uma Thurman played a character with many nicknames and many facets. Black Mumba is not someone you want to mess with. This character can kick some butt…and she does, for two loooooong movies. Somehow, you just don’t get sick of watching her though. She is on a mission, and when this woman sets her mind to something…well, don’t get in her way. She is skilled in martial arts, has mastered the samurai sword, and is a trained and highly experienced assassin. Black Mumba has extremely good reflexes, no tolerance for injustice, and frankly – a bit of a potty mouth. There is one scene where she takes on the crazy 88, so she kills at least 88 people in a matter of minutes! Extra bonus points go to Black Mumba for getting out of the terrifying and extra frightening-being-buried-alive-situation.
Linda Hamilton approached this role with some serious guns, as in muscle, although she did have guns too. Who could forget that scary scene where Sarah Connor is in the mental institution and doing pull-ups whilst staring directly at the camera? All that heavy breathing and sweat and glaring was intense. Once again, Sarah Connor is driven by her maternal instinct to protect her son. We see Sarah change from a waitress to an incredibly buff, and very cluey soldier who is willing to step up and do what she can to save humanity.
Honourable mentions go to Trinity from the matrix, Alice from Resident Evil, Lara Croft from Tombraider, Selene from Underworld, and I am sure that there are many, many more. Who is your favourite?