As we progress through the mens brackets, it is time to introduce the other bracket we are doing; the women’s bracket. Because, it’s not just men that can kick ass. Today, we look at the first half of the first round for the women and there are some really good matchups here, so let’s just jump right in. As always, make sure to follow us on Twitter to keep up with all of the action.
1. Angelina Jolie vs 16. Jessica Alba
When most people think ladies that kick ass, they might think Ronda Rousey or Michelle Rodriguez or if they’re older like me, they might think of Linda Hamilton or Sigourney Weaver. But Jolie has a very respectable action movie career where she is a believable bad ass. She was Lara Croft in two Tomb Raider flicks, she curved bullets like a gangster in Wanted, and tried to kill Brad Pitt in Mr. & Mrs. Smith (although she only managed to kill his marriage to Jennifer Aniston). So whatever you think of Jolie’s affinity for wrecking homes or adopting third world children, it can’t be denied that she kicks ass.
Now I know what you might be thinking. Jessica Alba?! Really? But think about it and it makes sense. Granted it was on the small screen but she kicked serious ass on the TV series Dark Angel for two years which launched her onto our screens. She would make the transition to comic book films with the two Fantastic 4 films (that shit that came out a few years back doesn’t count. It sucks!) and the surprisingly enjoyable Into the Blue. She’s an underdog, so can she pull off the upset?
8. Linda Hamilton vs 9. Pam Grier
If anyone under the age of say, 25 is reading this, you might be thinking “who the fuck are these two people?” And I couldn’t blame you. Linda Hamilton rose to fame in The Terminator in 1984 but she became a bad ass in the sequel, Terminator 2: Judgement Day. Pam Grier made a name for herself in blaxploitation flicks in the 70’s like Coffy and Foxy Brown. The latter has appeared in a few things over the years since, most famously as Jackie Brown in the Tarantino film of the same name but she also appeared in a couple of John Carpenter vehicles; Escape from L.A. and Ghosts of Mars, the latter of which she was completely believable as a bad ass soldier at 60 years of age. Speaking of believable bad asses at 60 years of age, Linda Hamilton made her return to acting last year in the latest Terminator film, Dark Fate. Just look at the picture above. She is shooting a fucking rocket launcher at 63 years old. If that isn’t bad ass, I don’t know what is.
4. Uma Thurman vs 13. Zhang Ziyi
In terms of action films, Uma Thurman hasn’t done many when it comes to quantity. Her last credited action role was in 2006 in John Woo’s Paycheck, an underrated action/sci-fi. But what gets her so high on this list is the quality of her role as ‘The Bride’ in Kill Bill, the two film series by Quentin Tarantino. The Bride is easily one of the most gangster bad ass women ever to hit the big screen.
Zhang Ziyi isn’t a common name in the US or really anywhere except Hong Kong and China, but her resume is impressive. At just 21 years of age, she was in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, just her second ever film. She held her own against Chow Yun-Fat and Michelle Yeoh in that one and later starred in Hero with Jet Li. This is martial arts film royalty and Ziyi went toe-to-toe with them all. She did finally get some mainstream recognition as the baddie in Rush Hour 2, but her martial arts films are really where it’s at.
5. Michelle Yeoh vs 12. Jennifer Lawrence
Michelle Yeoh is so underrated. Seriously, before she came to the US to try and ‘make it mainstream’ she not only held her own, but some would say showed up Chow Yun-Fat, Jackie Chan and Jet Li in different films. That’s the Hong Kong trifecta and all three show up in the mens side of the bracket (Jackie won his first round matchup against Kurt Russell). She got some American attention as the Bond girl Wai Lin in Tomorrow Never Dies, but her most impressive work came in 2000 in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. She never really got a big break action-wise, appearing in garbage like Babylon A.D. and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. But make no mistake. Michelle Yeoh might be able to kick everyone’s ass in this entire bracket, including the men.
While Yeoh is underrated, I believe everybody knows Jennifer Lawrence. While she may be trying to put her action roots in the rearview mirror, it can’t be denied that she was excellent as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games, a quadrilogy of films that are surprisingly quite good. She also appeared as Mystique in the X-Men reboots so that’s two massive franchises before the age of 30. That’s pretty bad ass.
So there we are for the first day of the womens action star brackets. Keep voting and stay tuned for a fresh set of matchups tomorrow. Peace