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The PAM-10: Female Action Stars

There is nothing sexier than a spandex-clad femme fatale that could beat your face in three times before you hit the ground. And the fact that there are so many enduring franchises on our list says something about the appeal of a strong female protagonist. Player Affinity has rounded up these bloody-thirsty babes into a top ten list in honour of one of the elite of this ilk, Angelina Jolie, whose action thriller Salt hits theatres tomorrow. Let’s lock and load.


10. Holly Hunter as Elastigirl in The Incredibles

You think saving the world is tough? Try raising three superhero children. Brad Bird’s 2004 superhero satire centers on two wed, washed up “supers” (as they are called) Mr. Incredible and the flexible Elastigirl. When their children are put in harm's way, look out, as this bendy babe is not above bailing from an exploding jet at 50,000 feet.

9. Summer Glau as River Tam in Serenity

Sadly, Summer Glau’s River Tam never received the character arc she deserved in the prematurely cancelled sci-fi western Firefly. But whichever adventures she was never able to experience -- and kick ass upon -- she more than makes up for in this big-screen adaptation. Her climatic clash against the repugnant Reevers is among the best fight scenes in recent memory, yet she does not limit herself to twisted creatures.  Perhaps Wash says it best: “Start with the part where Jayne gets knocked out by a ninety pound girl.”


 8. Anne Parillaud as Nikita in La Femme Nikita

Luc Besson’s pulp noir thriller finds one of the few female assassins in film with Nikita, a convicted felon who is reassigned for training as a professional killer. Anne Parillaud’s performance is simultaneously intense and disturbing yet ultimately satisfying. The stylish gun fights she partakes in both incite the blood-lust in all of us, along with our desire to see her survive. Oh, and did I mention the twisted desire to see her obliterate everyone she sees?


 7. Kate Beckinsale as Selene in the “Underworld” movies

Outfitted in shimmering black leather, everyone loves their dames with fangs and semi-automatic pistols. Vampire Selene is one of the Death Dealers' top assassins, waging a centuries old war against the Lycans. (And seriously, if you don’t know what I’m talking about, get with it man). Her sultry stare and ruthless dispatching of her furry foes, all while maintaining her composure, makes Selene a gal you don’t want to meet in a dark alley.


 6. Chloe Moretz as Hit Girl in Kick-Ass

The press surrounding this rising star's turn in the ultra-violent adaptation of the Mark Millar comic goes either the way of slack-jawed admiration or repulsed disgust. Whatever camp your opinions lie in, you can’t deny that this young slayer could, well, kick your ass. Whether it be by knife or gun, Hit Girl will leave you wishing you had stayed in college and forgone a life of sin.


 5. Uma Thurman as The Bride in Kill Bill I & II

Something stolen, (that’s something new) something borrowed that came from you. Never mess with a woman’s wedding. She may yell at you, disinvite you, or slice off your forearm with a katana, all of which are possibilities not worth exploring. The vale-clad bringer of death Beatrix Kiddo slays all those who lead to the halt of her life as she new it. Her siege on the Japanese teahouse remains an iconic scene and easily breaks The Bride into the top ten.

4. Mila Jovovich as Alice in the “Resident Evil” movies

The start of four consecutive franchise women, it is more than safe to say that the “Resident Evil” trilogy (soon to be a quadrilogy) would not have been nearly as successful without Mila Jovovich as the genetically enhanced heroine. Video game movies do not perform well at the box office, and the factors behind this series' sustained popularity must lie somewhere outside of the source material. Alice as our zombie slaying temptress is easily the part of any fanboy’s racy dreams; a red dress and martial art skills can do that to a guy.


3. Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity in “The Matrix” movies

As far as pure unadulterated destruction is concerned, Trinity has few notable rivals. She cuts down enemies with the ruthlessness of a cash-strapped teenager edging lawns, but hey when the people aren’t actually “real” I suppose your job remains fairly simple. She is a necessary compliment to “The One” and remains a staple of the cult franchise. Clearly the final film did her much less than justice, but her first drool-inducing reveal at a techno dance club is enough for us.


 2. Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor in “The Terminator” movies

The battle between number one and two on this list is nearly as intense as that of the battle between the future birth-giver to John Connor and the unstoppable menaces by which she is threatened. Two amazing movies deep, Connor, with guns blazing (I’m talking about her biceps), proves an admirable resistance to the terminator machines. A loving mother above all else, she is as endearing as she is remarkable and single handily proves women can tough it out with the best.


1. Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley in the “Alien” movies

Neck and neck and kill for kill, Ellen Ripley and Sara Connor are easily the winners of this list. What gives Ripley the edge is her military training and ability to survive double the number of films as Connor. Whether by firepower strong, or stealthy seduction she’s got the acid-spitting aliens number. Plus, if you want to count it, she actually “gave birth” to her enemy. Nobody on this list can lay claim to birthing, then slaughtering their offspring to rousing result.


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