Make no mistake, women can kick ass, too. With Scarlett Johansson and Jennifer Lawrence taking charge in recent Marvel films, we have a new crop of femme fatales ready to carve up some bad guys.
It wasn't always this way. Decades ago, women were relegated to roles ranging from secretary to damsel in distress. I'm not mad about that at all; I get annoyed when people whine about there not being enough good roles for women. If you don't like it, go write some scripts and get them made. Anyway, back to the women kicking ass on film thing, which experienced a major break through when James Cameron decided to cast Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor in The Terminator and Sigourney Weaver in Aliens (where she continued her role as Ellen Ripley from Alien).
Hamilton of course went on to up the ante on female actions stars in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and her turn as Sarah Connor is legendary. This character even spawned a short-lived TV series, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and while the show was hit or miss, the fact they centered it around her is pretty impressive. These two women proved to Hollywood that you can have a female lead front and center in an action film and have tons of success. Simply make their motivations clear and cast great actresses and you can't lose.
Fast forward to today and we have a new generation of female ass kickers. With Jennifer Lawrence and Scarlett Johansson starring in everything under the sun these days, it's hard to think this new phenomenon will be going anywhere anytime soon. I have to also give a shout out to Milla Jovovich for her role as Alice, the ultimate zombie slayer. Quality of the film aside, you gotta giver her credit for looking hot and doing a great job in the action scenes in the Resident Evil movies.
With Johansson's Black Widow and Lawrence's Mystique rumored for their own spin-off films, there's no telling how far this new sub-genre will go. We also have a female Expendables film called The ExpendaBelles. There is no release date for this one and they are still searching for a director, preferably a female one. Kathryn Bigelow would do a damn fine job with this and give it some needed gravitas.
Oh, and she just happens to be an ex-wife of James Cameron. It's funny how after their divorce he made a film, True Lies, that featured a bumbling female instead of a particularly strong one in the form of Jamie Lee Curtis. Remember that scene of her stripping? Hmm, methinks Cameron was a mite miffed with women during this time period. It worked out fine; hell, we got Curtis doing a striptease, that's something.
Praise should also be given to Joss Whedon, who not only writes very good female characters, but wrote one of the best ever—Buffy, who led the cast of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in kicking undead behind for almost a decade. She set the standard for teenagers being strong and self-sufficient while also having depth and believability.
So is this the Golden Age for women's liberation? Are females busting heads here for good or is it a fad? Or, do you not even like the idea at all and think women shouldn't be action stars, for some reason? Sound off below.