My Fave Five Kick-Ass Movie Heroines

Hello, friends!

As you may know, the latest video game to film adaptation, Tomb Raider, hit theaters several weeks ago to mixed reviews.  While I myself enjoyed it, it was not the most original adventure film. However, there is no denying the tenacity and ferocity and overall bad-ass-ity of Alicia Vikander’s Lara Croft. This got me thinking of other strong, kick-ass women in film, especially over the last several years when there has been an influx of leading action ladies it seems. I’ve decided to narrow down my picks for this list to films made after 2000, otherwise this could have easily become a fave ten list. Here are my five favorite kick-ass movie heroines.

Mako Mori (Pacific Rim)5) Mako Mori (Pacific Rim / Pacific Rim: Uprising)

In a world dominated by male Jaeger pilots, Mako Mori showed that she was just as capable. When Raleigh was looking for his partner to pilot Gypsy Danger, he could tell right away that Mako was the perfect fit. Despite her adoptive father’s reluctance, he let her get into the Jaeger with Raleigh because he saw her determination and willingness to do what she knows is right.  Once inside the giant machine, she proved that she was indeed the perfect partner for Raleigh, ensuring together the Kaijus were defeated.

Lara Croft (Tomb Raider)4) Lara Croft (Tomb Raider)

The inspiration for this list. In the latest big screen iteration of Lara, she isn’t portrayed as an invincible hero. Rather, she get bumps and bruises along her journey, showing she is, in fact, vulnerable. She is also smart, creative, and physically fit. She puts these skills and traits to good use to dispatch men who are twice her size, as well as find the island where her father went missing and navigate through Himiko’s tomb. If there is anyone I’d want at my side for my next globe-trotting adventure, it’s Lara.

Hermione Granger (Harry Potter series)3) Hermione Granger (Harry Potter Series)

Hermione Granger makes this list for several reasons. One, she is a fantastic and powerful witch, knowledgeable in many charms and spells. Two, she is one of the few people Ron and Hermione are actually afraid of, especially when she gets angry. Three, she would do anything for her friends, whether that would be help them learn a spell or hunt Lord Voldemort. Fourth, and the most important, she made the ultimate sacrifice of erasing her very existence from her parents’ memory to protect them. Hermione proved several times over that she is one of the strongest women around.

The Bride (Kill Bill(2) Beatrix Kiddo aka the Bride (Kill Bill)

Calling the Bride a heroine might be a bit of a stretch but the Kill Bill movies are all about her quest for revenge so I’m not going to argue. If there is anyone on this list to be most afraid of, it’s the Bride. After getting shot and left for dead, she hunts down those responsible and takes them down without mercy. I could watch her fight scene with the Crazy 88’s or Vernita Green over and over again. Her body count alone between both films is enough to cement her status as a genuine bad-ass.

Princess Diana (Wonder Woman)1) Princess Diana (Wonder Woman)

I have to be honest, I lied to you a little in the introduction. While Tomb Raider was the motivation to create this list, Wonder Woman was the film that first made me think about creating this list and who should be on it. The Amazonian princess sees the good in the world and those around her. She did not hesitate to cross No Man’s Land when she knew doing so was dangerous but was necessary to help the greater good. Not only is Diana pure of heart, she is strong as hell! She fought the god of war and came out the victor. Wonder Woman’s purity of heart, desire to do what is right, and literal god-like strength easily puts her number one on my list of kick-ass heroines.


Honorable mentions include Katness (The Hunger Games series), Furiosa (Mad Max: Fury Road), and Lorraine Broughton (Atomic Blonde).

Who are some of your favorite kick-ass movie heroines?

Until next time, cheers!

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Tomb Raider Review

Tomb Raider movie posterSynopsis
Seven years after her father went missing and was presumed dead, Lara Croft (Alicia Vikander) discovers his hidden office containing research on Himiko, the ancient Japanese “Angel of Death.” Along with boat captain Lu Ren (Daniel Wu), she travels to the hidden island containing Himiko’s tomb, facing many perils along the way, including her father’s old associate Mathias Vogel (Walton Goggins).

Review
Mentioning a film is a video game adaptation is often met with a moan and a groan. While some are a few diamonds in the rough, most are OK at best, if not downright dreadful. Going into the theater to see Tomb Raider, I was cautious but at the same time hopeful. The Angelina Jolie take on the character was fun and I really liked what I saw in the trailers. It helped, too, that I’ve heard a lot of good things about the 2013 Tomb Raider game reboot (which this is what this film is based on). Leaving the theater, I was actually optimistic about the future of an Alicia Vikander-led Tomb Raider series.

One thing this movie is not lacking in is adventure. From start to finish, Lara is zooming from one place to another, running from something or fighting someone. Not exactly edge-of-your-seat stuff but it was exciting. There was an Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade or National Treasure element to it so of course I was going to enjoy it. Even when the film was between action pieces, it kept your attention, moving Lara towards the end goal.

My mom watched this with me and when it was over I asked her if she liked it. Her response was “Yeah, it was easy to follow.” The plot wasn’t overly complicated. Nothing felt extraneous or unnecessary. There were no extra side-plots, nor any crazy twists or turns. Every scene had one goal: getting Lara to the tomb. There are clear breadcrumbs laid to be picked up in potential future sequels but they do not take away from this film. This is the correct way to start a film franchise.

Lara Croft is an iconic video game character. Portraying a character who is beloved by so many can be intimidating. Luckily, Alicia Vikander is up to the task. She was fantastic as a younger, less experienced Lara. She nails the look of Lara’s most recent incarnation to a tee. And the muscle she put on for the role is remarkable. It really help sells that Lara would be able to pull the crazy stunts she does, no matter how improbable they may seem. In the same vein of films like John Wick, she, despite being the hero, isn’t invincible; She constantly is getting beat and bruised but continuously finds a way use her brain and skills to come out on top. Vikander performed many of her own stunts, clearly showing a love and dedication to the role that comes across on screen.

It seems lately Hollywood has been moving away from making women in film damsels-in-distress or helpless love interests. Instead, we are seeing more bad-ass and kick-ass heroines than ever before. The beating Lara endures throughout the movie is what you would expect from an 80s action hero. It’s over-the-top, insane, gritty, and quite frankly, unbelievable but oh-so enjoyable to watch and root for. I can’t think of many films where the lead role is a woman and can be comparable to an Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kurt Russel, or Sylvester Stallone role. If that’s not progress I don’t know what is.

I thought Tomb Raider was GOOD 🙂 Director Roar Uthaug not only managed to make a decent video game movie, but a decent adventure movie as well. While it was mostly unoriginal as an adventure movie, pulling inspiration from many successful adventure films, and generic, it was generic fun. And really, fun is all I ask for.

Trailer

Cast & Crew
Roar Uthaug – Director
Geneva Robertson-Dworet – Screenplay / Story
Alastair Siddons – Screenplay
Evan Daugherty – Story
Tom Holkenborg – Composer

Alicia Vikander – Lara Croft
Dominic West – Lord Richard Croft
Walton Goggins – Mathias Vogel
Daniel Wu – Lu Ren
Kristen Scott Thomas – Ana Miller
Derek Jacobi – Mr. Yaffe
Alexandre Willaume – Lieutenant
Tamer Burjaq – Mercenary
Adrian Collins – Mercenary
Keenan Arrison – Mercenary
Andrian Mazive – Mercenary
Milton Schorr – Mercenary
Maisy De Freitas – Young Lara (7 years old)

Trailer Round-Up – 1/22/18

Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot teaser trailer

Love, Simon trailer #2

The Death of Stalin

Beast of Burden

Tomb Raider trailer #2


Which of these films are you excited to see?

If you are interested in participating in the Ultimate 70s Blogathon, you can find all the information here.

Trailer Round-Up – 9/25/17

Just Getting Started

All I See Is You

November Criminals

Friend Request

Breathe trailer #2

Revolt

Cook Off!

Tomb Raider

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle trailer #2

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle international trailer #2

Wonderstruck

Ferdinand trailer #2

The Guardian Brothers

The Commuter international teaser trailer

Murder on the Orient Express trailer #2

Peter Rabbit

Isle of Dogs

Maze Runner: The Death Cure


Which of these films are you excited to see?