signal boost: What Makes A Perfect Female Action Hero?
May 6, 2011 Leave a comment
Action heroines are rare creatures. The earliest were female versions of pre-existing male heros, like Wonder Woman, BatGirl and SuperGirl. Some more recent heroines have their roots in fantasy or sci-fi, like Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Selene from Underworld, or Alice from Resident Evil. But while there are plenty of realistic male heroes who run, jump and fight without being cartoony or existing in a vampire realm — think Jason Bourne, James Bond or Ethan Hunt — there are very female counterparts.
Deadline reports that a writing team has been hired to reboot the Tomb Radier franchise. These writers — the Iron Man and Cowboys & Aliens writing team of Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby — are male. Can they come up with a good female action hero? Maybe. We need to define what we mean by “good.”
First of all, it would be great if she could exist in the here and now. Today’s world. Not the future, or some kind of Underworld, or a mythical town in California set upon by vampires. Usually women are allowed to be heroes in those scenarios because, duh, it’s not real. It’s fine for a woman to be strong and know how to shoot to kill if werewolves or aliens are involved. She might even do it in her underwear, like Ripley.
Melissa Silverstein of Women and Hollywood agrees with Dargis, and writes,
There is a deep fear of female power that drives a lot of the misogyny in our culture. It’s just everywhere and the movies are one place where it seems to be acceptable and that’s what some people in the culture like and thrive on.
With a new Tomb Raider, the filmmakers have a chance to create someone closer to the ultimate female action hero. Not a girl, but a woman.
With that said, everyone should check out the trailer to Zoe Saldana’s new film, Colombiana.