Who are the fiercest female fighters in film and TV?
Combative, formidable female characters in movies and TV are here to stay. Whether it’s Black Widow “picking-up after the boys” in the Avengers franchise, or Supergirl beating up baddies just as mightily as her fellow Kryptonian, the girls are showing the boys how it’s done. Let’s take a look at five of the best.
To say that Wonder Woman stole the show in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is understating things. Played by Fast and Furious star Gal Gadot, this Amazonian fighter needs no rescuing from our muscular superheroes. Gadot served as a combat trainer in the Israeli army – and it shows. The upcoming Wonder Woman and Justice League movies will cement her character’s reputation as a force to be reckoned with.
The real star of Kick-Ass, she may be tiny and (at first) only 11-years-old, but she sure can run rings around nasty gangsters. Tutored by her tough former cop dad, AKA Big Daddy, she is adept at the use of a wide range of weaponry. Played by a young Chloë Grace Moretz, she is also foul-mouthed, turning the air blue wherever she fights. If that’s not enough, she can also run up walls and ceilings and – perhaps most lethal of all – pretend to be an innocent young schoolgirl looking for help. Just before running you through with a Japanese blade, that is.
Psychopathic, maybe, but useful to have on your side, definitely – as Daredevil found out during the brilliant television show’s second season. Elektra is an Olympic-level athlete and gymnast, with superhuman strength, speed and agility. She is also a superb martial artist and trained assassin. In one episode, Elektra, played by Elodie Yung, tricks Daredevil into meeting her at an apartment to fight a band of Yakuza assassins. She beats most of them to a pulp, seemingly without much help needed. Be careful, Matt Murdock.
Originally a 70s TV classic, this band of proficient combatants (technically, private investigators) work for Charlie, who sends them out on various missions, which invariably involve ass-kicking of one sort or another. The movie upgrade in 2000 put Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu together for mutual support, and was notable for emphasising the comedy aspects of the concept. Despite this, there was no let-up on the action, with enough fight scenes to keep fans happy.
Beatrix Kiddo (AKA The Bride, codename Black Mamba)
Is Bea the biggest, baddest female pugilist of all film and TV? There certainly is a case to be made. For one thing, she sees off the “crazy 88” – a team of masked killers numbering that exact amount – in a showstopping fight scene in Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill Volume 1. Like Elektra, Beatrix (Uma Thurman) is a trained assassin, working for the eponymous Bill, who she swears to slay after he left her for dead at her wedding. The two volumes of the deliciously over-the-top epic tell the story of this journey, and the blood, sweat and tears of Beatrix’s fightback – and she’s truly unstoppable.