The Situation: I’ve always preferred tomboys to the more fluffy and frilly “girly” girls. An extension of this proclivity is that I tend to gravitate towards movies and TV shows that feature gals who kick some serious ass. I’ve assembled a list of four ladies who’ve been kicking a good deal of ass lately (which means I’ve intentionally ignored the four names that normally show up on lists like this: Sigourney Weaver, Linda Hamilton, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and Lucy Lawless).
The Criteria: There is a difference between the Ass-Kicker and the Femme Fatale. Yes, they are both strong and independent women. Yes, they’ll do whatever it takes to get what they want. However, unlike the Femme Fatale, the Female Ass-Kicker does not want you dead. In fact, she’ll usually be the one risking her own butt to save yours.
1. Summer Glau
Don’t let her size fool you, this Tiny Texan Terror can kick some serious ass. Whether she’s playing the “morbid and creepifying” telepath River Tam in Firefly and Serenity, or the benign killing machine from the future in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, this former dancer can take down guys three times her size.
2. Milla Jovovich
Let’s be honest, there’s something fitting about a former Ukrainian model kicking ass (hell, it’s downright Bondian). Jovovich has made a career of fighting aliens (The Fifth Element), zombies (The Resident Evil series), and the English (The Messenger), and doing it well.
3. Katee Sackhoff
As Kara “Starbuck” Thrace on the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica, Sackhoff out drinks, out flies, out fights, and out swears every guy around her. Even if you’re not a fan of sci-fi, you have to give this tough-as-nails dame credit.
4. Keira Knightley
You might think she’s too frail. You might find her prominent jawline off-putting. But, when she’s packing heat in Domino, covered in blue paint in King Arthur, or masquerading as a swashbuckler in the Pirates of the Caribbean flicks, Knightley kicks her fair share of ass. Of course, I am a sucker for a sword-wielding gal in a corset.