Women and girls kick major butt! This list looks at those femmes fatales who take no prisoners and simply own the men around them.
This list was tough–turns out there are a LOT of kick-ass females, especially over the last decade. It just became impossible to stay at 10, so I will start with a few …
Trinity (The Matrix trilogy, 1999–2003)
Trinity was a great computer hacker that Morpheus pulled out of the Matrix and into the Real World. She was also a hopeful believer in the prophesy of “the One” and was the first to contact Neo. Plus she knew bullet-time kung fu. She just missed the Top 10 because she had to be rescued by Neo just a few times too many.
Evelyn Salt (Salt, 2010)
CIA spy Evelyn Salt may have been a Soviet sleeper spy who came to be loyal to her adopted country, but that doesn’t stop the U. S. government from treating her like a criminal. She kicks a whole lot of butt on both sides in order to escape and track down the other sleeper spy, killing him just in time to save the world from a nuclear war.
Foxy Brown (Foxy Brown, 1974)
Though the tagline for an earlier Pam Grier vehicle, Coffy (1973), called her the “godmother of them all,” it is 1974’s more successful Foxy Brown that really established Ms. Grier as a butt-kicking chick from the streets. For that reason, she gets an honorable mention as the original bad woman that inspired a generation of bad women.
And now the Top 10…
10. Mrs. Smith (Mr. and Mrs. Smith, 2005)
A cold-blooded assassin who gets the assignment to kill her husband, who is also a cold-blooded assassin. An awesome battle between the two ensues. Then they realize they love each other and decide to take out the people trying to take out Mr. Smith. More awesome battles ensue. Angelina Jolie might be a humanitarian in real life, but she is a bona fide action star on screen.
9. Gail and Miho (Sin City, 2005; Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, 2014)
Gail (played by Rosario Dawson) leads a gang of prostitutes that rules the “Old Town” section of Sin City. Miho (played by Devon Aoki) is a straight-up killer. Click here to watch Miho fight Jackie Boy. (Warning: this video is violent and many not be appropriate for all audiences. The clip comes from a movie rated R.) ‘Nuff said.
8. Black Widow (Marvel Cinematic Universe, 2012–present)
Some of you have not yet seen Avengers: Age of Ultron, so this rating is only based on her appearances in earlier Marvel movies (no spoilers!). Natasha Romanoff is a former Soviet spy and current agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. and member of the Avengers Initiative. She can easily take out multiple men simultaneously, single-handed. She is so bad that she holds her own as part of a team featuring a Super Soldier, the Hulk, and a freakin’ thunder god!
7. The Grindhouse girls (Deathproof and Planet Terror, 2007)
Grind House really consists of two separate films: “Death Proof” by Quentin Tarantino and “Planet Terror” by Robert Rodriguez. Both stories contain butt-kicking female characters. In “Planet Terror,” Cherry Darling (Rose McGowan) is a go-go dancer who ends up fighting zombie-like “sickos.” At one point in the movie, her leg is torn off by sickos, but she survives. It is initially replaced by a table leg, but is later fitted with a modified M4 Carbine and grenade launcher. Yes, her leg can shoot and throw grenades. (See the photo above.) She kicks a bunch of butt and leads a group of survivors away from the zombie apocalypse.
In “Death Proof,” Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell) kills young women by car accident, himself protected by his “death proof” driver’s-side compartment. He probably thought he had found his newest victims when he started messing with Abernathy (Rosario Dawson), Zoë (Zoë Bell), and Kim (Tracie Thoms). Zoë and Kim were stuntwomen who did not take the threat lightly. The trio chases him down, runs him off the the road, then beats him to death.
6. Charly Baltimore (The Long Kiss Goodnight, 1996)
What are the odds that Geena Davis would appear in the “Top 100 Most Butt-Kicking Females in Film,” much less the top 10? A “chick-flick” mainstay (think Thelma & Louise and A League of Their Own), Ms. Davis showed that she can, in fact, kick serious butt. Samantha Caine (Davis) is an amnesiac housewife throughout the first half of the movie. As Samantha slowly starts to regain her memories, she becomes her real self: Charly Baltimore, an elite CIA assassin. She goes after the rogue CIA agents that are trying to kill her, taking them all out in a blaze of glory.
5. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, 1992)
Kristy Swanson portrayed Joss Whedon’s Buffy character in the eponymous 1992 film. As a high school cheerleader, she learns martial arts and sharpens her fighting skills under the tutelage of her watcher, played by Donald Sutherland. Buffy takes on the vampires who have threatened her Los Angeles neighborhood and wins. The film also features a classic death scene by Paul Reuben (of Pee-Wee Herman fame) after Buffy stakes him. To be honest, though, Buffy gets extra points from the spinoff TV show, where Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy kicked major vampire and demon butt for seven years.
4. Baby Doll (Sucker Punch, 2011)
Something comes over every one who watches Baby Doll dance. Something even more exciting happens to us, though. During each dance routine (which we never see), Baby Doll uses kung fu and various weapons to battle enemies from giant stone samurai statues to steampunk World War I-era German zombies. While everyone else seems to admire her dancing, it’s the action sequences that we see during those routines that qualify her to be so high on this list.
3. Lucy (Lucy, 2014)
Lucy is an unwilling drug smuggler, with a package surgically stashed inside her. When an assault causes the psychoactive drugs to enter her bloodstream, she is suddenly able to use an increasing amount of brain power–eventually becoming near-omnipotent and near-omniscient. She takes out Yakuza gangsters without breaking a sweat. At one point she defeats an entire room of them by simply willing them unconscious. She would be higher if she had actually done more fighting, but she was ultimately able to avoid fighting for much of the movie due to her unfathomable power.
2. Hit-Girl (Kick-Ass and Kick-Ass 2, 2010–2013)
Speaking of taking out a room full of gangsters, Hit-Girl almost takes top prize, and she’s only a kid! She was bound to get tough, though, her father would shoot her in the chest for fun (OK, so she would wear a bulletproof vest)! What else would you expect from a father like Nicolas Cage?
1. Beatrix Kiddo (Kill Bill, vols. 1 & 2, 2003–2004)
Hell-bent on revenge for her own attempted murder and the presumed murder of her unborn child, “the Bride” systematically hunts down a team of the deadliest assassins in the world and takes them out one-by-one on the way to their boss who ordered the kill: Bill. She takes out an entire room of Japanese gangsters (notice a theme here?) with her sword, kills another assassin by snake bite, and kills Bill with the “five-point-palm exploding heart technique.” Turns out her baby didn’t die, though, and she recovers the now-a-bit-older daughter from Bill who had been raising her. That five-point-palm exploding heart technique really takes the cake—and the top honors in this list.
What do you think? Who did I miss?