Just like Slim Shady, we are back, back again with the final matchups for the first round of our Bad Ass Action Star brackets. Today we look at the second half of the ladies bracket, which features some kick ass matchups. Obligatory plugs first though: follow Carl, myself and of course the Sportcodex accounts on Twitter to keep up with all the bracket-y goodness. Onto the matchups!
2. Sigourney Weaver vs 15. Scarlett Johansson
Now, I do my best not to be biased when it comes to these writeups but here’s a little inside info for you. I wanted Sigourney Weaver to be #1 in these seeds. She is the most bad ass female action star in history. What’s that? Angelina Jolie has a better overall resume? Scarlett Johansson is a bigger name? Sigourney Weaver came up against motherfucking Xenomorphs and lived to tell the tale. Show me the movie where anyone else did that…I’ll wait.
I guess I should talk a bit about ScarJo as well. She has become a household name by portraying (and well, might I add) Black Widow in the Marvel Cinematic Universe since 2010. In saying that, I am trying not to include superhero stuff in this as I believe that is it’s own entity now. Taking all of those out of the equation, ScarJo has three really solid action films under her belt. One of the incredible hack Michael Bay’s best efforts The Island featured a great performance from a not-yet-a-star Scarlett. She then released two more at the height of her powers; Lucy and Ghost In The Shell, the former an interesting look at the human brain with some kick-ass stuff, the latter is…well, ScarJo in a skintight suit killing dudes. She kicks ass though
7. Milla Jovovich vs 10. Lucy Liu
Milla Jovovich has almost become the face of Video Game movies. She is starring in the upcoming (if the ‘Rona virus doesn’t cancel it) Monster Hunter film where she has a giant fuck-off sword and, of course, she is the face of the Resident Evil movie franchise, a franchise that is loved by some and hated by more. What I will say about it though that cannot be denied. Jovovich kicks unfathomable amounts of zombie ass throughout those films in sequences that are just plain fun to see, plausible movie writing be damned. She is also great as Leeloo in the vastly underrated The Fifth Element.
It’s fair to say that Lucy Liu hasn’t done anything relevant in a while. True, she was the “legit” part of Charlie’s Angels. I put that in quotes cos those movies fucking suck. But that doesn’t matter when you can claim to have been one of the all-time most gangster as fuck antagonists in action movie history; O-Ren Ishii in Kill Bill. That sword fight with Uma Thurman is one of the coolest scenes in any movie ever.
3. Charlize Theron vs 14. Zoe Saldana
Charlize Theron has a very underrated action career. Sure, Mad Max: Fury Road gets a lot of praise, and deservedly so. It’s one of the best action movies in history and she is the best part of it (sorry Tom Hardy). But hardly anybody talks about her leading the crew in The Italian Job or her runs in Hancock or Aeon Flux. Fuck, she has a 9-minute one take fight scene in Atomic Blonde that is brutal. In fact, that whole movie is great and underrated. She has even joined the never-ending behemoth that is the Fast & Furious franchise, albeit as a bad guy but still.
Zoe Saldana is a name not many people know but she has had a very solid action career as well. She has been in the likes of The Losers, Star Trek, Takers, Blood Ties, Colombiana and of course, Avatar. No, not the Last Airbender one, the blue people one. Admittedly her most famous role is as Gamora in the MCU, particularly Guardians of the Galaxy but see ScarJo’s writeup to see why I’m not really hyping that up. Regardless, Saldana has had a great, underrated action career.
6. Michelle Rodriguez vs 11. Kate Beckinsale
Michelle Rodriguez got her breakout in Girlfight, a movie about…girls…fighting. But since then she hasn’t been the lead in a really great action film. However, it may be more impressive that people think of her when they think kick-ass women. She has been in Avatar, Alita: Battle Angel, Battle: Los Angeles, S.W.A.T., Machete, the first (and best) Resident Evil film and the behemoth that keeps getting mentioned; the Fast & Furious franchise. Not to mention that M-Rod breaks the restraints of females in that franchise by being more than just eye candy. She owns two of the BEST fight scenes in recent movie history, first by kicking Gina Carano’s ass in Fast & Furious 6, then whomping the fuck out of Ronda Rousey in Furious 7. M-Rod is gangster as fuck.
Bill Simmons has a rule when it comes to action stars: you need to believe that they can kick the ass of anyone and everyone in the room. Of the entire bracket, Kate Beckinsale is the one I struggle the most with when it comes to this rule. When you think of Beckinsale, you don’t really think of her kicking ass, and that’s probably not fair. She has done four of the five Underworld movies, where she kicks the asses of vampires and werewolves and shit, and has also starred in Van Helsing, an underrated action film where she kicks the ass of vampires and monsters and shit. Then she was also the second lead in the entirely unnecessary Total Recall remake which has no vampires, but it has Colin Farrell who once played a vampire. Vampires aside, Kate Beckinsale kicks ass, but mostly vampire ass.
There it is. The final day of the first round matchups is in the books. Who is the baddest of bad ass women in action movie history and why is it Sigourney Weaver?