' ' Cinema Romantico: The Hierarchy Of Cinematic Female Ass Kickers

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Hierarchy Of Cinematic Female Ass Kickers

My friend Brad, movie buff extraordinaire, recently left a comment on the Facebook that went like this: "Listen 'Fast & Furious' franchise, I've learned to suspend my disbelief with your various vehicular stunts and lax grasp of physics. I will not, however, believe for one second that Michelle Rodriguez, tough though she may be, could ever hold her own (let alone win) against Gina Carano in hand-to-hand combat. That is simply asking too much."

I have, of course, not seen the movie in question, and will not see the movie in question, but, nevertheless, this, as it must, got me to thinking. Could Michelle Rodriguez really defeat Gina Carano in hand-to-hand combat? After all, Carano is a former mixed martial artist, once ranked as high as third in the world at her weight class.

Well, no. She couldn't. Not in real life, anyway, but what we're discussing here is movie life. And that's different. And while Brad is very much talking about movie life, not real life, I submit that in movie life Michelle Rodriguez could win in hand-to-hand combat against Gina Carano.

I submit this because winning in hand-to-hand combat in movie life goes beyond the physical specs. Winning in hand-to-hand combat in movie life is based not simply on billing but on je'ne sai quoi, and, most crucially, The Humphrey Bogart Factor.

The Humphrey Bogart Factor stipulates that a small, short man with lifts in his shoes and a toupee is the greatest badass the movies have ever known. Thus, Michelle Rodriguez could win in hand-to-hand combat against Gina Carano.

Which brings us to the ultimate question: where does Michelle Rodriguez rank in The Hierarchy Of Cinematic Female Ass Kickers?

The Hierarchy Of Cinematic Female Ass Kickers

The Jessica Chastain Level (level one). 

The back room brawler. Smoking cigars, calling shots, reciting terse monologues, taking names on legal pads, remotely kicking ass.

The Jennifer Garner Level (level two). 

The nicey-nice ass-kicker. She's in the field, but she also needs her ass-kicking to be morally justified. Revenge is questionable, consummate badassery is on a case-by-case basis.

The Michelle Rodriguez Level (level three). 

The bar room brawler. Sucker punching. Trash talking. Whiskey bottle over head breaking. Probably doesn't like you (but that's mostly because she doesn't like anyone). Could easily handle the nicey-nice ass-kicker because, you know, she'd cheat.

The Kate Beckinsale Level (level four). 

The elegant levitating ass kicker. Kicks ass elegantly but efficiently - always efficiently. Looks out of her weight class but makes up for it with agility and Beckinsality (defined as: capable of appearing to sport chic fangs when no fangs are actually present). Can also levitate.

The Angelina Jolie Level (level five). 

The pre-eminent ass kicker. The last resort. The entire national defense system in a single person. The red telephone. Call if hostile aliens invade or if a nuclear warhead needs to be caught in mid-air, chewed up and spit out. She could end all action movies in the first 10 minutes but chooses not to for her own entertainment as much as yours.

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