To the average social justice warrior, “Wonder Woman” is the most important movie. Full stop.
It’s the first time a female superhero led the box office charge. We’ve had female superheroes on screen before (Black Widow, for example). But, since the current superhero craze began with 2008’s “Iron Man,” no woman has anchored a super franchise.
The SJWs have a modest point, ignoring how Hollywood swung and missed with previous female-powered projects like “Catwoman,” “Supergirl,” and “Elektra.”
Yet we’ve been cheering for female action heroes for some time now. Audiences don’t mind rooting for a starlet to kick butt and save the day. We’ll likely do just that when Charlize Theron’s “Atomic Blonde” hits theaters July 28.
For now, let’s celebrate five movies where female action heroes saved the day with spectacular results.
Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley survived Ridley Scott’s 1979 classic “Alien.” Call her a reluctant warrior, battling the title creature for survival.
James Cameron’s “Aliens” was different. Weaver’s Ripley took charge in the 1986 sequel. She fought the alien wave and won. And, in the film’s dramatic finale, used a construction ‘bot to fight Mamma Alien mano a mano. She did it while providing maternal comfort for the young, orphaned Newt.
“Kill Bill” (Vol. 1 & 2)
Uma Thurman is a one-woman wrecking crew in this flawed but deliriously exciting twin bill from Quentin Tarantino. The narrative is as jumbled as other QT projects, and the story itself is rather thin.
It doesn’t matter when Thurman swings into action.
The battle sequences are legendary. And there’s not a second where you doubt Thurman’s Bride character isn’t a convincing assassin.
How in the wide world of sports did this 2011 action film not spawn a franchise? The great Saoirse Ronan stars as a teen raised to be an assassin. Nothing else. Those skills come in handy when the CIA decides to take her and her father out … for good.
Director Joe Wright (“Atonement”) should have scored a half-dozen superhero gigs after crafting this slick thriller. That hasn’t happened yet. It’s still fun to consider what he could pull off with a beloved comic book hero after watching this. Any way he could snare Ronan for the gig, assuming it happens?
Technically, young Chloe Grace Moretz is a super sidekick in this rude, R-rated romp. She steals the 2010 smash all the same.
The tale of a teen who fashions himself a superhero gets upended when Moretz’s pre-teen joins the fray. Hit Girl is oddly credible as a killing machine, with or without her potty mouth. The sequel proved dispiriting, but the original film remains a kinetic treat.
“Terminator 2: Judgment Day”
“I’ll be ba-ack,” but so will Sarah Connor.
Arnold Schwarzenegger may have stood tall in this exceptional sequel, but his tag team partner was no slouch. Linda Hamilton bulked up to play an empowered Sarah, mother of the man who brought the franchise into focus.
She brought the guns, and the attitude, that made the sequel so much more than a standard cash grab.