Friday, October 15, 2010

Ten ass-kicking movie babes!

In “Aeon Flux,” Charlize Theron gets to fight back against the Man in an entirely different way than she did in 2003’s “Monster” or this year’s “North Country.” Rather than shooting misogynistic Johns or filing sexual harassment suits, she joins the elite ranks of black clad butt kickin’ movie superbabes! In honor of this live action cartoon, we now present our highly subjective top ten list of cinematic women you don’t wanna cross.

10) Selene in “Underworld
“Underworld” (2003) isn’t a great movie. Heck, it’s not even a good movie. And yet, the promise of the sequel, “Underworld: Evolution” fills us with glee for one reason: the prospect of more footage of a Goth Kate Beckinsale as death-dealing vampire Selene doing battle against the evil Lycans and looking absolutely perfect doing it. A plot would just be gravy.

9) Leeloo in “The Fifth Element
Luc Besson’s 1997 sci-fi thriller features Milla Jovovich as the titular force, the embodiment of life and love personified as a really cute, reeeeaaaally strong orange-headed girl who teams with a cabbie (Bruce Willis) to battle no less than the force of Evil. While Leeloo is initially clumsy with her powers, we’d feel confident fighting alongside her, even if we’d be constantly distracted by how frickin’ adorable she is.

8) Mystique in “X-Men” and “X2
There’s nothing more attractive than confidence; A strong sense of self can go a long way in compensating for physical drawbacks such as thinning hair, shortness or, say, being blue with scales all over you. In the “X-Men” movies (2000 and 2003), the Brotherhood of Mutants’ shape-shifting member Mystique (Rebecca Romijn) not only holds her own against the likes of Wolverine, she does so whilst naked! You try fighting an invincible scrapper with adamantium claws while wearing no clothes (and looking great)! Bet you can’t.

7) Xenia Onataopp in “Goldeneye
Picking just one battlin’ James Bond babe (villain or sidekick) is a difficult task. You’ve got your Pussy Galores, your Honey Riders, your Kissy Suzukis. But if there’s one Bond Babe that we’d both love and hate to tussle with, it’s gotta be Xenia Onatopp (Famke Janssen) from 1995’s “Goldeneye.” This lusty Russian assassin revels in the glory of vanquishing her opponents by crushing them with her mighty thighs...! No more comment.

6) Ursa in “Superman II
Clad in a black leather jumpsuit with strategically placed slits, Kryptonian villainess Ursa (Sarah Douglas) finds more than liberation in the super powers she gains when released from the Phantom Zone in “Superman II” (1981). She fries snakes with heat vision, arm wrestles rednecks through walls and flattens the Man of Steel with a manhole cover. She also gains super-cattiness, as she slinks into the Daily Planet and, sizing up Lois Lane, sniffs, “What an undemanding male this Superman must be.” Mrowr!

5) Varla in “Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!
“Ladies and gentlemen... welcome to violence!” So begins Russ Meyer’s masterpiece, the 1965 feminist manifesto (albeit of the Valerie Solanis variety) “Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!” Go-go dancing, Jaguar-driving, cat-fighting, man-bashing supervixens Rosa, Billie and Varla aren’t exactly out for vengeance.... they’re just generally angry and bored. But pity the poor straights who get in their way. While all three Pussycats are forces to be reckoned with, it’s the judo-chopping Varla (Tura Satana) who leaves the biggest imprint.

4) Catwoman in “Batman Returns
No disrespect to Halle Berry.... no, on second thought, ALL disrespect to Halle Berry, as her embarrassing, 2004 fashion-victim Catwoman wouldn’t last five seconds in the litter box with Michelle Pfeiffer’s anti-heroine in 1992’s “Batman Returns.” Master of whips, claws and double-entendres, Selina Kyle has Batman (Michael Keaton) wrapped around her little paw as she fights both male chauvinism and female submissiveness.

3) “Coffy
Pam Grier never made a movie in which she DIDN’T kick butt in one way or another, but in 1973’s “Coffy,” she’s at the peak of her badassedness. Sent into a frenzy by the OD of her younger sister, Coffy goes on a one woman rampage against dope dealers, pimps and gangsters. In true gritty 70s fashion, the film’s violence is visceral and brutal, and the statuesque Grier towers over the few contemporary female vigilantes of the time. “Coffy” just slightly edges out 1974’s semi-sequel, “Foxy Brown,” in which Grier hides a revolver in.... her afro!

2) Yui Hsui Lien in “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Martial Arts master Michelle Yeoh has done battle in dozens of films starting with “Yes, Madam” in 1985. But most people know her best asYui Hsui Lien in Ang Lee’s “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” (2000). As the majestic Lien, Yeoh projects an ethereal nobility and intense sensuality while being able to soaringly hold her own against anyone wielding a blade.

1) The Bride in “Kill Bill” Volumes 1 & 2
Created by Q & U, Uma Thurman’s vengeance-fueled mad mama Beatrix “the Bride” Kiddo tallies up a higher body count in Quentin Tarantino’s “Kill Bill” duology than all these other women combined. Whether it’s plucking out Daryl Hannah’s eyeball or facing down a nightclub full of crazy Japanese Yakuza, she’s a lethal weapon with unsurpassed style and humanity whose only weakness is a toy gun fired by her long-lost daughter.

And the list doesn’t stop there. We omitted Ripley from the “Alien” movies, Lara Croft, Elektra, “The Matrix”’s Trinity, “Charlie’s Angels” redux, Buffy, Alice from “Resident Evil,” the prison hellcats of “Caged Heat,” and Barb Wire. Okay, Barb Wire not so much, but it is a PROUD HERITAGE to which we happily add Ms. Theron. She may not get another Oscar for playing Aeon Flux, but she’s won our hearts! Which don’t look nearly as good on a mantel.


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