For nearly a century, on-screen fights have served to drive home the plot points and culminate the conflicts that have been building throughout a film. In the early days of cinema, these fight scenes featured almost exclusively men, save for a few instances in which women played minor roles in these intricate and violent dances. That trend changed in the 1960s and 1970s when fight scenes between women and involving women fighting men became increasingly popular.
Today, female driven action movies have become a genre of their own after finding significant success at the box office. Some of the most famous actresses in the world have taken on these roles to expand their acting repertoire and even managed to transform their careers to become action stars, roles previously reserved for men. These trendsetting women have changed the way that people watch movies and have helped promote gender equality on the silver screen. In addition to that, they have inspired a new generation of action stars.
In 2015, society is certainly familiar with many female action stars. Whether it is Mila Jovovich kicking serious butt in the roles she plays or Angelina Jolie shooting out with her villain of choice, female action stars are here to stay. These powerful women have become cultural icons and pop culture phenomena, while smashing both box office expectations and any opponent that dare cross their path. These scenes have impacted the way that female stars are depicted and continue to influence the roles that prominent actresses choose to portray.
10 Charlie’s Angels Full Throttle Ship Fight
Charlie’s Angels evolved from a 1970’s television action series into a gigantic action franchise, starring some of the biggest actresses of the time. Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, and Lucy Liu team up to repeat their roles of Natalie, Dylan, and Alex and this fight scene is the epitome of the franchise. The fight starts off with the Angels disarming their opponents before Lucy Liu begins her intricately worked high wire fight with several goons. The scene descends into a full scale melee, with the camera jumping between the film’s protagonists as they proceed to utilize all of their expert training.
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8 The Bride vs. O-Ren Ishii
Quentin Tarantino’s masterpiece Kill Bill Vol. 1 has many fantastic fight scenes, making it difficult to narrow down, which is truly the best. After The Bride sliced her way through a restaurant full of people, she turned her sights to her main target, the deadly assassin/yakuza boss known by the names of O-Ren Ishii or Cottonmouth, played by Lucy Liu. The scene builds with a musical intro before the two engage in fantastically choreographed swordplay that is the trademark of this franchise.
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3 Black Mamba vs. California Mountain Snake
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1 The Bride vs. The Crazy 88 and Gogo
Kill Bill: Vol. 1 has another impressive scene that tops our list. The Bride arrives at the House of Blue Leaves to confront O-Ren Ishii, but first must deal with her legion of bodyguards known as the Crazy 88. Black Mamba begins the fight by announcing a challenge before slicing off the arm of Sofie Fatale. The Crazy 88, though numerous, fall short of their number, but rush to the aide of their boss only to be cut down by the Bride in succession. Following the fall of the Ishii’s personal army, the Bride duels with the teenage assassin Gogo.
Gogo refuses the Bride’s pleas to leave, and so begins an incredible battle of katana against a ball and chain. Gogo is in the ascendancy for the majority of the fight, dealing several critical blows to Black Mamba, but suffers a setback when the Bride treats her weapon like a baseball. The knockdown enrages Gogo. As she attacks with a fury, she manages to wrap her chain around the Bride’s neck. However, the deadly teenager makes a fatal mistake by entering the Bride’s range and is killed with two well-placed blows from an improvised morning star.
Sources: complex.com, bettyconfidential.com, vh1.com
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