However, even if the customary damsels in distress and supportive side-kicks occasionally manage to break out the stereotype and kick, punch, blow up, and shoot their way out of unfathomable situations in films, they are often ignored deliberately or faded under the conventional masculine fortitude of John McClane, Indiana Jones, James Bond and Wolverine.
Nevertheless, in response to the continued criticism, Hollywood has been making leaps and bounds in their treatment of female characters for the last 40 years and introduced the audience to some ultimately badass female characters including the likes of O-Ren Ishii (Kill Bill), Black Widow (Iron Man 2), Letty Ortiz (The Fast and the Furious). Falling primarily in the action and sci-fi genres, the level of badassness showed by some of these hell-roosters will surely make you rethink about the way you perceive women, both in films and real life.
If anybody ever doubts the faculty and might of women, buy them a ticket to one of these 5 badass women led films and they will see the rest for themselves.
The sequel to the 1979 film Alien and the second installment in the Alien franchise, depicts a drastic transition in the role of Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver). In the 1986 sci-fi and action flick helmed by celebrated director James Cameron, the survivor Ripley turns into an action star when the monsters capture her surrogate daughter, Newt.
One of the most well-developed female action heroes, the film threw over the cliché portrayal of women in horror films and brings out the female lead from the perpetual passivity and secondariness of female actors.
According to the creator William Marston, Wonder Woman is “a feminine character with all the strength of Superman, plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman.” This is the first female-led superhero flick since Catwoman in 2004 and Gal Gadot’s Amazonian warrior princess in the film directed by Patty Jenkins has redefined the genre itself because unlike many of her male superhero counterparts, beating people up is the least of her intention. The pacifist mother-protector who wages a war against war itself is probably the most diplomatic superhero DC have ever offered.
What makes Diana so different than her contemporary female superheroes and supervillains? It is the glorious femininity that Diana wears alongside her armour-plated black bodysuit, tiny shorts and tank top, cape and tall boots.
The 1990 film was the first big international hit helmed by French filmmaker Luc Besson. La Femme Nikita chronicles a convicted felon named Nikita (Anne Parillaud), who in lieu of a prison sentence, is given a new identity and trained to be a secret police assassin controlled by the government.
Aside from of all of its shootouts, chase and actions, the film also offers a fair amount of romance and drama when the lead lady falls in love with a man who knows nothing of her mysterious life. Equally celebrated even today, La Femme Nikita went on to have three remakes- first as a Hollywood film, Point of No Return, and as two distinct television series. As Screenrant's Zak Wojnar puts it, “It’s a taut thriller with a human heart at its center, which makes the core story ripe for retelling.”
Quentin Tarantino's adrenaline pumping tribute to the 1970s kung fu cinema features a brand new Uma Thurman as The Bride, aka Beatrix Kiddo, a tough cookie seeking revenge and determined take down of whoever comes in her way, including her femininity. Throughout the way, she cues bloody fights with Daryl Hannah, Vivica A. Fox, and Lucy Liu along with a Crazy 88 Gang, who are reduced by their encounter with the scorned bride, into a gory mess of severed appendages.
The action-packed film is above all an entertaining flick that can be survived only if you have a strong stomach, love blood in the way Tarantino does and are fond of a grand storytelling.
In this 1974 flick, 'Coffy's righteous nurse Pam Grier plays another version of herself. The physically strong and mentally determined black turns into, what some likes to call, a blaxploitation icon. This time the revenge seeking independent woman uses her unparalleled sexuality to get close to her enemies and catch them off-guard. To avenge her kid brother, a pusher himself, and her man, an undercover narcotics agent, all of whom are killed by a gang of dope-dealers, Brown does the killers in the most brutal and erotic ways.
Despite the low-budget, Foxy Brown is still a major crowd-pleaser to date. Impressed with Grier's majestic violence in the film, Quentin Tarantino later cast her as the lead character in one of his own films, Jackie Brown, which pays homage to her 1970s heyday and is an entertaining adaptation of the Elmore Leonard novel, “Rum Punch.”