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The Top 10 Female Action Heroes

"Action is not just for boys"

The fourth entry in the Mad Max series, Mad Max: Fury Road has been a hit with critics and audiences alike, being a great return for the action icon. But there has been a sector of so-called men’s rights activists – or to use a more accurate term, morons, who have demanded audiences boycott “Fury Road” because it is ‘pro-feminist’ propaganda – because a group of women wanted to be more than baby factories. The boycott has been led by Aaron Clarey who posted a blog on Return of the Kings, denouncing the movie as a trojan horse to enforce a leftist, pro-feminist agenda ruining an American action icon – ignoring the series is Australian. So let’s annoy Mr Clarey and irk even more by looking at and celebrating other bad-ass ladies in action cinema.

10. Tauriel – The Hobbit Trilogy
the hobbit tauriel

The Elven warrior Tauriel was a character created especially for The Hobbit film trilogy to give the prequel series more of a female presence. Lost‘s Evangeline Lilly earned the role of Tauriel, the captain of King Thranduil’s guard who becomes the center of a love triangle with Thranduil’s son Legolas and Kili the dwarf. Like other elves, she is agile, light on her feet and skilled with a bow and arrow and a blade. She fight offs giant spiders, at the vanguard of protecting her kingdom from an invasion of orcs, with Legolas gives chase to the orcs to Lake Town, discovers an army being formed at the ruins of the Kingdom of Angmar and fights in the Battle of the Five Armies. She was more believable and vulnerable than Legolas who was the Middle-Earth version of Superman

9. Alice – Resident Evil Series
resident evil - alice

Model turned actress Millia Jovovich has been associated with action roles for most of her career and her most famous, or infamous depending on how you look at it, is Alice from the Resident Evil series. Created as an original character for the movie series, Alice is a woman with suffering from amnesia and constantly battles the Umbrella Corporation whose expert business strategy is to release hordes of zombies and mutated monsters on the world’s population. Their actions make the planet uninhabitable. During the series, Alice shows off her aerobatic skills, her ability with hand-to-hand combat, guns and knives, develops superpowers, looses those superpowers, gets cloned multiple times and gets trapped in a virtual reality world.

8. Katniss Everdeen – The Hunger Games Series
the hunger games - katniss
Based on a popular trilogy of young adult novels, The Hunger Games has become a highly popular movie series and turned Jennifer Lawrence into a star. Set in the post-apocalyptical, dystopian world of Panem, Katniss Everdeen is a 16-year-old girl who lives in poverty in the poorest district of the nation. Described in the books to look younger than she really is, Katniss learns how to hunt with a bow and arrow to feed her family and volunteers for the 74th Hunger Games, an annual fight to the death, to protect her young sister. Katniss quickly becomes a fan favorite in The Capital despite her lack of media skills and ends up being the symbol and rallying call for the brewing discontent and rebellion, becoming a celebrity in The Capital even after becoming a rebel. Despite all this, her only real interest is to protect her family and friends.

7. Hanna Heller – Hanna
Hanna saoirse ronanHanna has become a cult hit since its release in 2011, known for its brilliant action sequences and its score by the Chemical Brothers. Irish actress Saorise Ronan starred as the titular Hanna, a teenage girl raised in the Northern Finnish wilderness by her rogue CIA agent father, Erik Heller. She was taught to fight, to hunt, use weaponry and trained to assassinate her father’s ex-handler Marissa Wiegler. Genetically modified to be faster, stronger, more intelligent and have no pity, Hanna is a ruthless killing machine, taking on highly trained black-ops soldiers, escaping from a CIA facility in the middle of Morocco, travels across Europe and fights off mercenaries that were hired to kill her.

6. Sgt. Rita Vrataski – Edge of Tomorrow
edge of tomorrow - rita vrataski

Rita Vrataski is the most recent character to make this list and she was one of the major highlights in 2014’s Edge of Tomorrow. Played by Emily Blunt, Rita is a soldier and war hero, becoming the poster girl of the war effort against the Mimics. Dressed in a battle exo-skeleton and armed with a sword, Rita earned the nicknames the Angel of Verdun and Full Metal Bitch. Rita was so successful on the battlefield because she was inflected with Mimic blood and able to relive the same events over and over again, knowing how to pass any challenge that she has to face. But she suffers from seeing her friends repeatedly dying on the battlefield and every time she tells anyone about the time loop she has ended up enduring the pleasures of a lobotomy. Naturally, this effects her social skills, even when she is meant to mentor humanity’s last hope.

5. Black Widow – Marvel Cinematic Universe
black widow - scarlet johannson

In a world filled with super-soldiers, high-tech flying suits and gods from the depths of space, a highly trained spy seems rather unremarkable: but then Natasha Romanova is no ordinary spy, being able to fight alongside with Captain America, Iron Man and The Hulk. Black Widow is one of Marvel’s most prominent female characters, first appearing in  Iron Man 2 as an undercover S.H.I.E.L.D agent to keep taps on an unhinged Tony Stark and was causally able to beat her way through Justin Hammer’s goons with throws, flips, and an array of funky spy toys. It gets better from there, easily beating a small group of Russian thugs while tied to a chair, being prepared to face a man who could turn into an invisible green rage monster at any given moment, fight her mind controlled friend and being on the frontline to battle aliens and robots. Scarlett Johansson has said she would like to star in a solo Black Widow movie and many fans of Marvel Cinematic Universe would be happy to see it.

4. Hit-Girl – Kick-Ass and Kick-Ass 2
hit girl punching damico

Since the release of Kick-Ass back in 2010 it has become a cult classic and Chloë Grace Moretz’s Hit-Girl was the breakout character, stealing the show from title character. Based on the comic book series by Mark Millar Hit-Girl is the toughest 11-year-old ever, being trained from the age of 4 in martial arts and weaponry by her father so they can take down the crime lord Frank D’Amico. Hit-Girl starts Kick-Ass by getting shot in the chest by her father, for her 11th birthday gets a butterfly knife and shows herself to be more than capable with guns and a staff with blades. She took on an apartment of heavily armed goons, fought a man three times her size and the only character able to take on the muscular Mother Russia.

3. The Bride – Kill Bill Vol. 1 and Vol. 2
kill bill - the bride
From the mind of Quentin Tarantino and Uma Thurman is Beatrix Kiddo, AKA The Bride, AKA Black Mamba, AKA Mommy and the pair ended up creating one of the most popular characters in cinema. The idea originated when Tarantino and Thurman were working together on Pulp Fiction and developed Kill Bill as a homage of martial arts movies. The Bride herself is one of the best assassins in the world and a part of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, led by Bill. But when The Bride leaves the team after she became pregnant, the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad beat her nearly to death and she ends up in a four year long coma. When she wakes up she goes on a course of bloody vengeance against the men and women who wronged her, taking on a small army in Tokyo, punching her way out of a coffin, killing equally skilled assassins and having to fight her old mentor. During her mission she beats a man to death who sold her for sex during the coma, despite being unable to walk and convinces a swordsmith who has given up the trade to forge her a special sword. Good luck yellow haired warrior.

2. Ellen Ripley – Alien Series
aliens - ripley and newt

Ellen Ripley is the archetypical female action hero, a precedent that other female action heroes are judged upon. It was the role that made Sigourney Weaver into a star and evolved with the character during the progression of the series. She was the space version of the merchant sailor in the first movie, her ship and crew being used as bait by her employers to capture the ultimate predator for weapons research. Armed with a flamethrower Ripley and her pet cat Jones are the only survivors from the Nostromo. Ripley truly shines in Aliens, going back to LV-426 with a team of Colonial Marines to battle a swarm of Xenomorphs and does everything she can to protect the young girl Newt from the horrors facing them. Ripley wrestles the Alien Queen in the Caterpillar P-5000 Work Loader, uttering the famous line ‘get away from her you bitch!’ Ripley was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice in Alien 3 to prevent the company Weyland-Yutani from capturing the last Alien Queen.

1. Sarah Connor – Terminator Series
t2 - sarah connor

One of the most iconic female action in cinema is Sarah Connor from the Terminator franchise. It is Linda Hamilton’s best known role, Lena Headley played the role on TV and her Game of Thrones co-star Emilia Clarke will be take on the role this summer. In the first movie, Sarah is an ordinary young woman, reacting like anyone would if they found out a large muscular cyborg is trying to kill her because she will be the mother the leader of the human resistance, being scared shitless! She becomes a stronger character at the end, carrying Kyle Reese, shouting ‘On your feet, soldier’ and crushing the T-800 with an industrial press.

It was in Terminator 2: Judgement Day where Sarah becomes the action hero fans know her as. Having committed terrorist acts and gets locked into a maximum security psychiatrist hospital with her introduction in the movie being her working out in her cell. She became a physically and mentally hardened woman when she attempted to escape, threatening to inject Dr Silberman with floor clearer and working with The Terminator to fight the liquid-metal T-1000 and assaulting Cyberdyne Systems to destroy the artificial intelligence Skynet.

Even in death she was ready to fight, using her coffin for storage of a mass of weapons for the third the T-800 to use when the TX came back to 2003.

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