With Terminator Genisys (2015) coming out soon, my first thought was “why” are we getting another Terminator movie? It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the first two movies, but I am somewhat critical of all timeline story angles. Stories that involve altering timelines are always problematic because of temporal paradoxes.
However, the release of Terminator also reminded me of Sarah Connor. Clearly Sarah Connor is an amazing action-hero, and one of the few really good female action-heroes. Sarah Connor is one of the women I think about whenever I try to create women action-heroes.
So, that got me pondering. Who are the greatest female action-heroes of all time? I tried to limit it to live-action origin, or first visual was in a live-action film. This eliminates cartoons, video games, and comic books. With that said, let me give a nod to Wonder-Woman… without a doubt the greatest fictional female hero of all time. In addition, Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft is perfection. However… the Lara Croft films, which had video game origins, needed better writers and better directors.
Below are my top 5 female action heroes, but feel free to add others in the comments.
5.) Katniss Everdeen, The Hunger Games trilogy
She came from District 12, a poor coal mining district, and survived the very dangerous and very political Hunger Games… a televised fight to the death.
4.) Trinity, The Matrix trilogy
In a world dominated by machines, Trinity is one of the top soldiers in humanity’s fight against the machines. She is clearly a soldier who shoes little fear in the face of overwhelming odds.
3.) Sarah Connor, The Terminator series
She fought the T100 and the T1000 when the life of her son was put in jeopardy by the time-traveling assassins. Instead of running away, she ran toward the danger to save her son… and to save the future of humanity. Probably the most noble of all the women on this list… and her action sequences were believable.
2.) The Bride, Kill Bill Volume 1 and 2
The Bride is rated higher than Sarah Connor because she did action-scenes, and combat, in a way equal to the greatest male action-heroes. Sarah Connor may have done action that was more believable… but let’s be honest, the greatest male action-heroes do lots of stuff which pushes our ability to suspend disbelief. On this list it is quite a feat to rate higher than an action icon like Sarah Connor.
Jumping, slicing, and fighting her way until she finally finds Bill… The Bride is a powerful action-heroine.
1.) Ellen Ripley, The Alien Series
I base this on Alien and Aliens, the first two movies of the Aliens franchise which were both really good. The acid bleeding aliens killed Ripley’s friends, and the aliens killed the Marines… but Ripley killed the aliens. The thing that separates Ripley and Sarah Connor from the Bride, is that Sarah Connor and Ripley feel iconic… whereas the Bride just doesn’t feel iconic to me.
So that’s my list. The top three were separated by tiny details, and on another day the top three might be in a different order. So what are your thoughts?