Saturday, March 01, 2008

More Women of Action

I don't know how many people out there monitor their blog traffic, but I do to a small extent. I have a blog counter that lets me know how much traffic I get and where it's coming from. I don't check it that often, but every now and then I like to take a look.

One thing I've noticed is that most people who come to my site via Google usually arrive by typing in a search that revolves around the female sci-fi/action hero. Surprisingly, I don't get a lot of people who type in naughty search queries, but I suppose I keep this blog family friendly.

I don't know precisely how many people have come here looking for posts about the women of sci-fi, but I've had thousands of hits on this blog from Google, and most of those hits are from people looking for more hot, tough women.

Well okay then. Here you go.

In my last post about female action heroes, I mentioned Wonder Woman, Ellen Ripley, Xena and the Bionic Woman among others. It was a post that featured the women of the past, the ones who paved the way for the women of today. So now I'm going to feature some of my current favorites and you can chime in with your choices.

Jennifer Garner
I have made fun of Garner's acting in the past, a lot. But I have to admit, if there is anyone who has the athleticism needed to pull off some heroic stunts it's Garner. I enjoyed her in "Alias" before the plot got too outlandish and loved watching her spin her sai in "Elektra" (though she was way too easy to kill IMO). Is she a great actor? Probably not. But she can run, flip and jump with the best of them and that makes her a great woman of action.

Michelle Yeoh
I love Michelle Yeoh. I think she is beyond cool. I first noticed her in the James Bond movie "Tomorrow Never Dies" and thought she was the best thing about the movie. But it wasn't until "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" that I really realized how fabulous she is. This is a woman who can act and perform one hell of a fight scene. I don't know if the third Mummy movie is going to be any good, but with Yeoh as part of the cast it has a chance of being half-way decent.

Kate Beckinsale
Who would have thought that the beautiful and delicate looking Beckinsale could be such a kick-ass heroine? If I had only seen her in "Pearl Harbor" I wouldn't have thought it was possible but she proved me wrong with her portrayal of the vampire Death Dealer Selene in "Underworld." I didn't actually think I was going to like "Underworld" much when it came out but Beckinsale brought a dry wit to the role that made it so much more interesting. And somehow, even vampire teeth look okay on her.

Angelina Jolie
Jolie is another actress who fooled me at first. She is so beautiful and, like Beckinsdale, very delicate looking. I really wasn't sure she'd be a good Lara Croft when I heard they were making "Tomb Raider," but happily she was great. Jolie is my kind of girl too. She keeps on making movies that feature strong, if not conventional, women. From "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" to the upcoming Wanted Jolie shows a fearlessness in her choice of roles--even at the risk of being over-the-top. They might not always be Oscar winning material, but they're the kind of movies I like to watch.

Katee Sackhoff
Sackhoff is one of those actresses that I am a little on the fence where she is concerned, but I chose to include her on this list because she still kicks butt. I really didn't know if I was going to like a female Starbuck when the new BSG first aired, and I still have my moments when I wish Starbuck was a guy. But Sackhoff won me over in the role because she walks such a fine line with the character between sanity and just plain crazy-- and does it well. I just wish that her character in "Bionic Woman" was less of the same character so we could get a chance to see if Katee can play it straight.

Summer Glau
River may very well have been my favorite character in "Firefly," though I must admit to loving the whole cast. Glau is another of those women who might, at first glance, appear too fragile to take on an action role. And through most of "Firefly's" run River wasn't one of the tougher character. But boy, in "Serenity" she shows all the guys how it's done. I haven't watched all the the "Sarah Connor Chronicles" yet, so I don't know if she works as a Terminator. But I still think she's cool.

Gina Torres
Torres has been around awhile and I don't think she gets the credit she deserves. I remember first seeing her years ago in a couple of episodes of "Hercules" and thinking she played a great tough chic. And mostly, that's been where you'd see her, in episodes of your favorite TV shows, from "Alias," "Angel" and "La Femme Nikita." Finally she got a lead role in a TV show with "Firefly," though that proved to be way too short lived. Hopefully, we'll see more of Gina soon.

Those are just some of my favorites. I'm sure there are plenty more, though my brain is short-circuiting at the moment. So please, tell me who you would add to the list. If I keep getting the Google searches looking for more women, I may have to deliver more lists!


furiousBall said...

I commented about Pearl Harbor in my blog this week too, let's shake on not mentioning that crappy film again ok? I promise if you do.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

A great collection of action ladies there.

Fab said...

I loved Summer Glau in Serenity. I guess her ballet background really came in handy for the fighting sequences. She rules.

Charles Gramlich said...

I'm afraid I'll have to disagree with you on Jennifer Garner. I watched Elektra and really thought she failed to pull off the aggressivness needed for the role.

Yeoh was very good, as was Angelina Jolie in Laura Croft. My favorite female action star, though is Kate Beckinsale, with Mila Jovanovich (spelling) from the REsident Evil movies second.

SQT said...

Charles, I have always thought Garner was marginal as an actress and didn't particularly like her as Elektra. But Schwarzenegger, Van Damme and Segal proved you don't have to be able to act to be an action star. I'm pretty much putting Garner in the same category.

Di Francis said...

I was a real fan of Yancy Butler in Witchblade. And I also loved Sigourney Weaver in the first two Alien movies anyhow. And Linda Hamilton in Terminator II was really good. And let's not forget Grace Jones in Conan The Destroyer. And I tend to agree with your list, btw. And then there's Cote de Pablo (Ziva) on NCIS . . .


Nepharia said...

I like to see smart, saavy action ladies that aren't necessarily trying to sell their bodies as part of the package.

Although, I must admit that I liked Halle Berry's part in Die Another Day and she was intelligent, street-smart AND sexy. Same with Michelle Yeoh: she's awesome. :D

However Jennifer Garner and Angelina Jolie both leave me cold and I'm unconvinced of their portrayals of strong, action-hero women. Sorry. :(

Great post tho. Loved finding out just how many women "heros" are out there.

SQT said...


My previous post had both Sigourney Weaver and Linda Hamilton. I love them! Cote de Pablo is another favorite of mine.


I can see what you mean but I think Halle has been objectified just as much as anyone else. I'm flashing back to the gratuitous nudity in "Swordfish."

But I think that's part of the deal in Hollywood. If an actress won't wear the skin tight costume she'll just be replaced. Sucks, but that's the way it is.

Di Francis said...

Oh, speaking of the skintight costume . . Mystique. Who is not really a hero, but she rocks action-wise.

But you're right, in hollywood there is a need for the women of action to be kittens in bed also. Blech. Probably why I liked Yancy Butler and Linda Hamilton and Sigourney Weaver . . . not a lot of fake kitten behavior going on for any of them. But real emotional development.


Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator said...

I really like Kate Beckinsale and am hoping that some day she will be in a good movie. ;-)

I'm growing into a Summer Glau fan as well. I just read in the avclub about how they developed her fighting style for Serenity. Pretty cool.

Jhianna said...

Charles beat me to the punch, but I'd add Milla Jovovich for Resident Evil and The Fifth Element. She's becoming one of my favorite names on a marquee.

For a one shot, I'd say Radha Mitchell for Pitch Black.

And as far as oldies, how about Buffy? Joss is fantastic at writing action roles for petite women who will kick your butt.

SQT said...

I thought about Buffy.... I don't know. She kinda started irritating me toward the end. I ended up liking Eliza Dushku better. I should add her to the list...

wondertrash said...

You forgot Milla J