Kick-Ass 2 opens this week, giving us a second look at one of the most ass-kicking chicks in recent film history, Hit-Girl. It’s been a solid four decades for women since women have been able to stamp out a trail in the action genre, and Hit-Girl is just one example in a longer line of badass babes. So here’s a 5 For Friday dedicated to those women that kick ass and look good doing it.
5. Foxy Brown – Foxy Brown
Foxy Brown may be a badass movie chick, but she’s so much more. In a time and place in film making history where women were marginalized to sexy props (and women of color even moreso), Pam Grier’s Foxy Brown got shit done. The cultural significance of not only a woman, but also an African-American woman headlining a film where she’s strong, smart, resourceful, and uses her sexuality to her advantage (rather than having her sexuality just used by her male counterparts) is one of the most important takeaways from the long lost subgenre of blacksploitation films.
4. Ripley – Alien Series
Ellen Ripley is a goddamn survivor. She goes from being the lone survivor in the Laurie Strode, survivor girl archetype in the original Alien to a formidable badass chick that yells out catchphrases in the action-horror flick Aliens. She was the first of her kind: the first action heroine that all who have followed have been judged.
Most of these women on this list have to take on thugs, crime bosses, and honkeys, but Ripley has to take on unpredictable slimy aliens across four movies in the void of space. And she calls the queen alien a bitch! How badass is that?
3. Hit-Girl – Kick-Ass 1 & 2
Agile and deadly, Hit-Girl is the equivalent to Bruce Lee in a training bra, only more foul-mouthed. Mindy Macready talks like a sailor and filets thugs with a butterfly knife like a short order cook. It’s a character that acts more mature than her years, and has Pedobear and his like-minded brethren scratching their heads. This is all just par for the course in Mark Millar’s over-the-top, violent world and Hit-Girl is one of the major reasons that Kick-Ass and its sequel are such viscerally stimulating joys to behold. It’s the standard that all R-rated superhero films should be judged on, if there were more of them.
2. Sarah Connor – Terminator 2: Judgment Day
As you can see, I make special note that this is the Sarah Connor from Terminator 2: Judgment Day and not that waify, 80’s haircut Linda Hamilton from the original film. T2 is a vastly superior film, in my opinion, and part of the reason is how awesome Linda Hamilton is in the movie. Transformed from your basic damsel in distress archetype from the original, time spent in a mental institution has turned the mother of Earth’s savior into a hardcore woman of reckoning who’s not above putting a syringe to your throat or cocking a shotgun with one hand. There isn’t a more badass way to cock a shotgun, either.
1. The Bride – Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, especially when that woman is a trained assassin that was left for dead on her wedding day by her former employer/lover and his assassin crew. Did I mention she was pregnant? Tarantino’s revenge flick opus is four hours of a badass woman doing badass things and looking pretty fine doing it, too.
The Bride, real name Beatrix Kiddo, leaves a lot of dead in her wake in order to climb the ladder to the Bill that the title speaks of. Not to spoil anything, but let’s just say that when she’s done, her to-do list is pretty much finished. The scene at the House of Blue Leaves is one of my favorite Tarantino scenes and the Bride wields that Hatori Hanzo sword like a skilled samurai.