characters, so yep, sure enough, when I watch TV or movies, I like to see them…however, I want them to be…believable, and all to often, they simply aren’t. Yes, there are good ones, in TV and movies past and present, some that spring to mind right away are Fiona from Burn Notice, Ziva on NCIS, Sarah on Chuck, Annie on Chase (who is actually a bit over the top), Olivia on L&O SVU, Gina Torres as ANYONE she has ever played (Zoe on Firefly, Cleopatra, forget her name on Hercules) Ripley from The Alien Series (esp. the later movies), Vasquez from Aliens (the actress who played her also played other tough gals in Near Dark and Lethal Weapon 3), Lorna from the Lethal Weapon movies, and, of course, the often mentioned Linda Hamilton from T2 (I would also add Major Houlihan from MASH, a tough gal of a different sort)…and oh damn, the gal who did the guest spot on Leverage as the Other Team’s version of Elliot Spencer (hottest fight scene ever!) And what is it that makes these tough gals awesome IMHO as compared to, oh, the gals in the current incarnation of Nikita, or either of the Catwomans, or Zoe Saldana in The Losers, or Angelina Jolie in Wanted (not so much in some of her other films), or Silk Spectre 2 in Watchmen, or tons and tons and tons of other movie and TV tough gals?
They are believable in the parts! The way they look, the way their fight scenes are choreographed, the weapons and tactics they use…well, heck, they work as badasses! It works, it flows, as a viewer, you think “hey, that could work!” The actors playing the characters possess a physicality which makes their badassness believable. The directors have them using moves and fighting styles that work for them. Even Fiona of Burn Notice- who is a petite, slim (very buff) gal- well, the way they do her badassness- it works! Which is awesome, because I can tell you, other times, it does not. In the Losers, I was really sitting there going “There is no damn way, no matter how drunk he is, that Zoe Saldana’s character would be able to kick the crap out of Jeffery Dean Morgan’s character…no way”-let alone hold a rocket launcher steady to get off a shot like that. In Wanted I was fairly certain that a very, very, very skinny Angelina Jolie would not actually be able to run a block, much less as much running she did in the film at such..velocity, let alone even pick up half the guns she was using. And yes, sometimes, due to the nature of the character, you can have a hot, supermodel skinny actress play a bad ass (Meg and Ruby from Supernatural come to mind) because well, they aren’t…fully human. Any actress can play a vampire or alien or whatever and be a badass, because, well, they are “special”, but even then..I really do like it when the gals playing tough gals are believable at it.
I remember how just amazingly pleased I was with the two tough gals in the film Strange Days, played by Angela Basset and Louise LeCavalier…because you know, they both LOOKED the part. These were two women characters you did not want angry or coming after you- both were professionals Basset’s
character a bodyguard and mother, LeCavalier’s character (a bit part, but there none the less) a hired thug and club crawler. And sure enough, both of them kick some butt…and look like they could!
And you know what else I pay a lot of attention to when determining a tv or movie tough gal? The ones who are good? They will pull their hair (if it is long) up or back when they are knowingly about to get in a fight or go to work- where as the sexxxay ones won’t because hey, it’s not as hot, and more times than not? Unbelievable tough gals…well, they run, shoot, fight, kill, kick ass, all that…in six inch heels. I even have noticed in some movies the sexxxay female tough gal walks into the scene in crazy heels, but in the fight, when she is actually doing the movies, magically, they are flats! (ahem, Watchmen, Batman Returns). HAHAHAHAH.
(oh, and for anyone who has ever worn it, no way in hell someone can actually do cool ass karate and stuff in…full tight ass vinyl).
So yeah, let’s hear it for good, believable TV and Movie tough gals!