Why does Hollywood insist on movie remakes that mess with a classic film or an iconic character? Take my childhood idol Wonder Woman. They’ve made a new, updated, “improved” Wonder Woman movie. Improved, my aching backside. From what I’ve read about it, they changed her uniform so drastically she is no longer recognizable as the Wonder Woman I grew up admiring. To add insult to injury, it’s possible she may not self identify as an amazon any longer because there will be hints that she swings both ways. It wouldn’t surprise me if she becomes ambivalent about her gender identity. This is Hollywood, after all. Maybe they’ll make her politically correct in the next movie and call her Wonder Person.
Do I seem bitter? Good, because I am.
I wrote at length about badass female heroines three weeks ago. There were more on my list, but the post was getting kinda long so I stopped. Picking up now where I Ieft off.
A gal pal and I went out for dinner and a movie while our husbands were out of town on business. Fortunately, we had an early dinner because we wouldn’t have been able to eat a thing if we saw the movie first. The movie we chose without remembering that we would each be sleeping alone that night was Alien. It is to our credit that my friend and I didn’t empty our stomachs of the dinner we ate earlier.
While Alien scared the bejeebers out of me and certain scenes made me want to puke, I loved that Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver’s character) was tough, a survivor. She was smart, strong, gutsy, heroic and more resourceful than the men in the crew who were killed one by one. Even in moments when she was one on one with the alien and terrified, she kept her wits about her and kicked its ass, figuratively, by blowing it out the hatch into space.
Not that anyone’s interested, but I did go to bed with every light in the house turned on that night, and I didn’t get any sleep until the sun came up.
Linda Hamilton’s second turn as Sarah Conner in Terminator 2 had her kicking butt and taking names. In the original Terminator film, she was on the run, protected by a man from the future who saved her from being killed by a terminator from the future. In T2, she had toughened up. She became a badass who had learned how to use weaponry and how to fight to protect herself and her son. She didn’t hang around waiting to be rescued. She took an active part in destroying the second terminator sent to kill her.
The least serene character in the movie Serenity was River Tam, played by Summer Glau. River was a brilliant child prodigy tortured and brainwashed by a totalitarian government of the future. She escaped with the help of her brother but healing was slow. She is a slip of a girl. Her appearance is deceptive. Her fighting prowess is unexpected, She doesn’t just kick butt. She becomes a killing machine, the ultimate badass, and she is the Serenity crew’s savior in battle.
My favorite female butt kicker in a TV series was NCIS’s badass Ziva David, as played by Cote de Pablo. Ziva was fearless, a one-woman wrecking squad. She outfought and outshot the guys on her team. She even shot her own half brother when he went rogue and tried to kill Gibbs (Mark Harmon, the Silver Fox). Ziva had an aura of danger about her. She was not to be messed with, but she could be fun too. Part of her charm was her imperfect command of English. She was always messing up colloquial expressions to comic effect. I was bummed when Cote de Pablo left the show. Even more so when the producers killed her character offscreen a few years after she left. The show hasn’t been the same without her.
Last but not least, I’m going to give a nod to Charlie’s Angels. They weren’t badasses, but when they came on the scene on TV in the seventies, female private investigators were still a novelty. The angels were women doing a dangerous job usually reserved for big, strong, tough male PIs. The angels did the job in high heels and gorgeous fashions. What’s not to like about that? 🙂