Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Angelina Jolie's Salt has a slew of strong cinematic sisters in arms to back her up

The big hoped-for box office bonanza hitting theaters this week is Salt,starring Angelina Jolie in an all too timely thriller as a CIA operative who is fingered as a sleeper spy for the Russians and has to go on the lam as well as the warpath to clear her name.

The part was originally written for a man but when the chance to sign on Jolie was offered(after several male actors backing down from taking the role),a revision to the script was made with only a few minor tweaks to accommodate the gender switch. Since Jolie seems to find action films as an ideal comfort zone for her, career wise,this was probably a smart move for all concerned:

While I don't think I'll be rushing out to savor Salt any time soon,it does put me in mind of other film females ready to throw down when called upon to do so(and even when not). Some of these ladies may not be as slick as Jolie but they are just as hardcore as she can be,perhaps even give her and other tough girl contenders a real run for their money. Let's take a look:


This story of a struggling girl from the streets being recruited and trained as a hit woman has been told and retold both on the big screen and the small. To get the best version,watch the original French film directed by Luc Besson and starring Anne Parillaud as the title reluctant assassin.

Parillaud brings true vulnerability and cold blooded determination to the role,making her character formidable as well as identifiable. Jean Reno also shows up here,in an earlier incarnation of the "cleaner" persona he would later play in
The Professional,however the focus of the film is Nikita and her journey of dealing death in order to find purpose in life:


Avoid the 1998 remake of this movie like the plague,folks. Sharon Stone's tepid performance is practically an insult to the one given by Gena Rowlands in the 1980 original.

Rowlands is more believable as a retired gangster moll who becomes the unwilling at first impromptu guardian of a neighbor's son,the only survivor of the Mafia hit put out on his family. While the kid does get on her nerves,she can't help but protect him from those who used to be her friends and kick some serious ass while doing so.

John Cassavetes did the directing honors here,and with the advantage of Rowlands being his wife and leading lady in several other films of his,this was truly a match made in movie heaven. Gloria is one gal you don't want to mess with,boys:


Quentin Tarantino doesn't always get credit for the strong women who frequent his films but in this case,it's only right for him to share the props for Jackie Brown with Elmore Leonard(whose crime novel,Rum Punch,is the source material for the script)and Pam Grier,iconic 70's B-movie goddess who brings her A-game here,as the airline stewardess reduced to being a drug runner's go-between and caught in the crossfire of a criminal investigation.

As Jackie seeks the balance between the Feds who want to use her to bring the big players down and the bad guys willing to do her in before she can betray them,Grier's emotional authority as an actress is given a solid showcase and why she didn't get an Oscar nomination out of this is beyond me:


Geena Davis took a very out of her usual box role here as Samantha Caine,a suburban housewife happy with her life,despite the amnesia which has blocked her memories of the past for several years.

When an accident starts to revive her lost memory,it turns out that Samantha is actually a believed to be dead CIA assassin named Charly Baltimore,who possesses an offbeat delight in her deadly abilities.

With the help of a third rate P.I.(Samuel L. Jackson),Samantha and Charly need to have a real meeting of the mind in order to fight off her enemies crawling out of the woodwork to kill her and protect her new found loved ones as well. This flick is an over the top popcorn thriller that didn't exactly blow up the box office but is a fast and furious piece of pop culture eye candy worth a try,especially to see Geena as a crazycool killing machine:

Of course,women don't have to be physical fighters to prove their true strength but you have to admit that sometimes seeing girl power in combat action can be fun. In order to elevate the feminine fisticuffs from the realm of mindless violence, the goal of the characters in the storyline should be a quest of the heart as well as the well being of others,which the best stories often are. However,sometimes a gal has to break a few eggs and heads in order to make that happy ending omelet:

1 comment:

Ladytink_534 said...

I've rarely seen an Anglelina Jolie action movie that I didn't like. I actually haven't seen any of these movies.