The Female Action Hero

Last night i watched Tomb Raider with Angelina Jolie and i started thinking of all her recent action roles along with other female celebrities like Milla Jovovich  from Resident Evil movie series. Has the woman's role in movies changed from damsel in distress to the hero of the movie that the male is now the one in need of rescuing and men and women are both willing to see the movie and accept the premise?
 
I am curious if women action movies get the same turn out as guy action movies or more since i recently saw Sucker Punch and it was pretty good in a weird way which made lots of money but then i remembered how poorly the Wonder Woman pilot did and if it had anything to do with sexism against the females. Do people think its okay to see a female action hero in the big screen for an hour and a half then to see them regularly on TV, is it acceptance or simply tolerance?
 
 
Another thing i was thinking was are the female action stars being watched b/c the female hero is appealing or simply b/c the female hero happens to be extremely attractive and even in an action movie sex appeal is more important then script?
 
If we removed Sweet Pea from Sucker Punch and instead replaced her with a more moderate looking woman maybe slightly older and changed her outfit would people still enjoy the movie and be willing to go see it?
 
My thoughts led me to the next female action hero Laura Croft and if the same holds true to her, by the way her second movie sucked hard, it was horrible. Back to Laura Croft the main physical attributes of the character is her extremely large breast and short shorts that of course was made sure to be put in the movie and focus on her physical attributes. Now this is Hollywood so i guess it is expected but how important is it really for the overall success of the movie and do the male counterpart action movies worry as much with their action star's physical appeal or is it slightly less important since they know guys are going to watch it anyways just to see things get blown up and people dying?
 
 
I guess one of my big questions is are the female action hero movie focused more on getting the guy viewings by using attractive females or are they trying to get women viewers and worry about them more so then the male viewer, or is it a healthy mix of both, who are these movies made to attract?
 

16 Comments
16 Comments
Posted by Samimista

  Coming out of a female I'm glad women are becoming more strong instead of the damsel in distress role however in this day and age I notice it's more about the sex appeal for the men just like what you said about Lara Croft being the big breasted woman who wears short shorts. It would be more nice if the creators of the character or whatever instead of focusing on sex appeal would focus on personality. It would be refreshing to see a happy go lucky strong independent woman with a deep dark past yet stays strong by cracking jokes and keeping everyone happy. I'm not speaking just about movie wise though since I hardly watch movies or anything in general but I also mean in other genres such as video games. There needs to be refreshing female characters that us women can look up to that aren't just about the sex appeal. Plus it's also called role models for young girls becoming women there needs to be more of that.

Posted by King Saturn
Zoe Bell would make a Great Female Action Star
Posted by ragdollpurps
@King Saturn said:
Zoe Bell would make a Great Female Action Star
She kind of already is. 
Posted by King Saturn
@ragdollpurps said:
@King Saturn said:
Zoe Bell would make a Great Female Action Star
She kind of already is. 
is she ? I have only seen her in a few movies
Posted by ragdollpurps
@King Saturn: She's a professional stunt double. I'm sure you've seen her in Death Proof. 
Posted by King Saturn
@ragdollpurps said:
@King Saturn: She's a professional stunt double. I'm sure you've seen her in Death Proof. 
indeed... but unfortunately the work of a stunt double does not always translate into action star... more so action stunt double... lol
Posted by ragdollpurps
@King Saturn: But what's better? Being able to do all those stunts, or playing the part of someone who does them? With someone like Zoe though, it shouldn't be too hard for her to make the full transition. 
Posted by King Saturn
@ragdollpurps said:
@King Saturn: But what's better? Being able to do all those stunts, or playing the part of someone who does them? With someone like Zoe though, it shouldn't be too hard for her to make the full transition. 
Well she has to be able to act as well... she has the action and stunts part down well... but until we can see Zoe play in some more movies with lead roles... I don't know if she can really be seen as a Female Action Hero yet... not until she blows with a film of her own...
Posted by Bearded Justice

Female action heroes rarely work for me, and I'm not really sure why.  I like them here and there, but never consistantly.  It might have something to due with the actress. 
I'm not too big on Angelina Jolie, but I liked the first Tomb Raider movie.  Not too crazy about the games, though I liked watching my dad play them when I was younger. 
Posted by SC

To me, its about not trying to dilute your end product by trying to make the lead female role, appeal to too many different audiences. It sucks when they make a false action girl, aka a lead female character whose appeal is half sex appeal, it ends up making them potentially one dimensional. For one, it doesn't always guarantee success either, two, to paraphrase a famous quote, if a male lead action movie fails, no one will say, it failed because it had a male lead, but if a female action lead movie fails, that will be considered. Actually this is a lot like all media, comics included. Unfortunately it reflects the fans and the fact this all comes down to money. That being said, there are ways to get around these things. People in the movie industry? Speaking of Zoe Bell, look at Quentin Tarantino? Kill Bill was his, and thats why it can be made. Sucker Punch? Zack Snyder would have been a big reason it helped get green lit. Ultimately its not about who is leading, the movie, but about good movies, and good movies that sell. A few things need to line up. Also a lot of foreign cinema movies are aiding as well. Doing well with female lead representation. It helps prove to the countries with bigger movie industries that such movies can be successful. So much so in fact that in last few months we have seen them actually take a few Scandinavian movies and redesign to be made in America lol 
 
 
PS. Zoe Bell is awesome in real life. 

Moderator
Posted by The Stegman

Another thing i was thinking was are the female action stars being watched b/c the female hero is appealing or simply b/c the female hero happens to be extremely attractive and even in an action movie sex appeal is more important then script? 

unfortunately i think this is the case in a lot of movies where females are the lead, even if we don't know it, for example when you watch Blade you don't think man it's a hot guy in leather fighting vampires, you just think, he's badass, however when you watch Underworld, really although Selene kicks butt, she is still thought of as a sex symbol in tight leather first, the same could be said for Lara Croft, they choreograph scenes to make her sexiness stand out, make her look as seductive as possible, however they don't do that with say, Indiana Jones.really the last time i can think of where a woman wasn't just sex appeal was Ripley in "Alien"
Posted by B'Town

@SC said:

To me, its about not trying to dilute your end product by trying to make the lead female role, appeal to too many different audiences. It sucks when they make a false action girl, aka a lead female character whose appeal is half sex appeal, it ends up making them potentially one dimensional. For one, it doesn't always guarantee success either, two, to paraphrase a famous quote, if a male lead action movie fails, no one will say, it failed because it had a male lead, but if a female action lead movie fails, that will be considered. Actually this is a lot like all media, comics included. Unfortunately it reflects the fans and the fact this all comes down to money. That being said, there are ways to get around these things. People in the movie industry? Speaking of Zoe Bell, look at Quentin Tarantino? Kill Bill was his, and thats why it can be made. Sucker Punch? Zack Snyder would have been a big reason it helped get green lit. Ultimately its not about who is leading, the movie, but about good movies, and good movies that sell. A few things need to line up. Also a lot of foreign cinema movies are aiding as well. Doing well with female lead representation. It helps prove to the countries with bigger movie industries that such movies can be successful. So much so in fact that in last few months we have seen them actually take a few Scandinavian movies and redesign to be made in America lol PS. Zoe Bell is awesome in real life.

Of course I would agree with you on this. haha.

Posted by SC
@B'Town:  *red* thanks! We know where its at movies and comics wise *smile*
Moderator
Posted by SC

Oh, which reminds me, Chocolate. Its a movie released in 2008. Its a kung fu/action movie. Amazing movie, female lead. Great protagonist. She's a genuine and authentic badass in the River Tam mold. I really, really wish Ms Marvel, Janet aka Wasp, or Monica Rambeau, or more female characters were in Avengers, but Joss Whedon directing it at least I know Black Widow and or Maria Hill will get some cool moments. Plus he might lay some ground work so Carol might show up in sequels.

Moderator
Posted by riri4life

#Catwoman 
#Elektra

Posted by Caligula

the Wonder Woman fail wasn't because of her being a female. it was because it sucked.

Salt, Domino, Azumi, Red Sonja, Aeon Flux, Resident Evil, La Femme Nikita, Alien/s/3/Resurrection, Kill Bill, Xena all argue that female action heroes are just as cool as male action heroes and just as Marketable.