hall of action ladies

Well I saw Mad Max: Fury Road for the second time yesterday. This is the first movie I’ve been obsessed with in I don’t know how long. I’m an action movie fan who has been increasingly disillusioned with the genre, watching it descend into bland, washed-out gibberish presented in quick-cuts to disguise the lack of decent choreography, full of tropey plotlines about dudes getting revenge for victimized female relatives. Don’t tell me action movies are stupid entertainment, because I can tell the difference between a good one and a bad one! Punch punch punch yawn. Fury Road‘s action hardly lets up for two hours, but it is never boring or difficult to follow, and it conveys more heartfelt character development than I’ve seen in forever.

When I die I’m going to ride the highways of Valhalla in the arms of a biker grandma, and Doof the Warrior will serenade my journey with his flaming guitar. What else do I need to say about it?

In honor of Imperator Furiosa, the Sister-Wives, and the Vuvalini, today I am honoring some of the other kickass ladies of the scifi/fantasy/action genre pool. Don’t get me started on the fact that all of these are from the ’80s or ’90s, or else I will rant day and night about how action women have been gradually reduced to one-dimensional ballbreakers in stiletto heels instead of being believable fighters. Ahem.

I am including a soundtrack for you to listen to as you appreciate my action hall of fame. Play it as many times as necessary.

[Aside: Do you know how hard it is to find a piece of classical music when you can’t remember the name?? Thanks TV Tropes!]

Sarah Connor in “Terminator 2,” 1991Valeria in “Conan the Barbarian,” 1982

Zula in “Conan the Destroyer,” 1984

Melina in “Total Recall,” 1990

Notice a trend? Arnold, the King of Action, isn’t threatened by a lady team-up. Now I’m going to go watch Jamie Lee Curtis come into her own in True Lies.

Leeloo in “The Fifth Element,” 1997

Trinity in “The Matrix,” 1999.

Lorna Cole in “Lethal Weapon 3,” 1992.Bonus points for Rene Russo kicking ass while pregnant in Lethal Weapon 4.

And of course, my queen:

Ellen. Fucking. Ripley!