The Expendables hit theaters in 2010 in a screen-rattling, action-packed, explosive extravaganza. While The Expendables failed to impress some casual movie audiences and action fans, many thought it was just what the action-doctor ordered. The movie got us thinking… sometimes we tend to forget that there have been a long line of major butt-kicking ladies who not only get the job done, but do it looking sexy as hell. Jane Fonda in Barbarella, Uma Thurman in Kill Bill 1 & 2, Rhona Mitra in Doomsday and Underworld 3 – all these women knew how to whoop some major rear while still being completely feminine.
We at Screen Rant thought: “Who would we pick to be on our all female ‘Expendables’ team?” and let me tell you, I think we came up with a fantastic list. There may not be some of the newer action lady stars like Rosario Dawson (Death Proof), Zoe Bell (Whip It!), Emilie Ullerup (Sanctuary), Summer Glau (Firefly) or Eliza Dushku (Dollhouse) – but only because we wanted to find appropriate (age, popularity, etc.) counterparts to the male actors in The Expendables.
When picking a leader for our all-female team there wasn’t any choice other than the woman that epitomized female bad-assery in the 70s, 80, and 90s: The Alien-fighting Ellen Ripley. Even though she’s done all sorts of genres and a slew of other films (including most recently Avatar), Weaver remains the top choice to command an estrogen-heavy commando team.
To call Milla Jovovich an up-and-coming female action star would be a gross misrepresentation of her career. Starting with The Fifth Element and moving on to the highly successful Resident Evil franchise, Jovovich has proven herself to be a solid and entertaining butt-kicking actress for quite a long time. Nobody I know would question her ability to be Weaver’s right-hand woman. I could easily see her and Weaver being long time friends in a movie.
When looking to replace one of the top martial arts males in the film industry, we didn’t have to look any further than the beautiful Michelle Yeoh. Like Li, Yeoh’s martial arts film experience started back in the 80s with the Hong Kong action films Supercop and Police Story 3 and quickly moved on to be the go-to lady for female martial arts roles. She became an American favorite in the epic Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and once again proved her acting/action prowess in Tomorrow Never Dies and The Mummy 3. Interesting side note, Yeoh was the lady training with the cobra in the recent Karate Kid remake.
If you’re talking about 80s female action stars then you absolutely have to include the beautiful Cynthia Rothrock. 80s action film fans will remember her most from the films Jungle Heat, Rapid Fire, Martial Law and her best known role Lady Dragon. In real life, Rothrock is a true badass and holds six black belts in multiple forms of various martial arts. Just like Lundgren, Rothrock continued to make movies after her heyday but she just never got the attention she deserved due to the changing tastes of fickle movie-going audiences. Still, it would be quite a sight to see her fight Michelle Yeoh in a modern setting.
Originally I had picked Zoe Saldana (The Losers) for this role but she’s just way too young to properly replace Crews. Instead, I turned to the “Copperhead” from Kill Bill Vol. 1: Vivica Fox, and then my choice was settled. Fox has the same ability as Crews to be both a badass and a comedian at the same time. It’s true that she hasn’t been known for her over-the-top action-heavy films but that doesn’t take away from the fact that she is beautiful, sexy and potentially deadly.
This decision is really self-explanatory but I’m going to talk about it anyway. There are only a handful of female action characters that people know by name and probably the most well known is Xena: Warrior Princess. Lawless quickly showed that a tall beautiful woman was just as strong and capable of fighting as any male counterpart. Just when fans thought she was done, Lawless moved on to Battlestar Galactica and proved that she still had the action chops to hang with the big boys.
Michelle Rodriguez may not have the true fighting experience of Couture but she more than makes up for it in terms of action films. In just about every action film she has appeared in she is a shining example of a strong female character. The Fast and the Furious, S.W.A.T., BloodRayne and Avatar are great examples of her ability to act tough and kick all sorts of butt.
Few would argue that the sexy Angelina Jolie doesn’t belong on this list and it’s with good reason that we place her on here as well. She’s a strong actress with a decent staple of actions films under her belt including Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Gone in Sixty Seconds, Beowulf, Wanted and the role she is most well known for Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. Even in the upcoming action film Salt, she looks like she belongs in an action role.
Bruce Willis has a very limited role in The Expendables but his face and action films are very well known – and the same thing is true for Linda Hamilton. Her role as Sarah Connor in The Terminator forever solidified her persona as a female badass. If anyone wants to argue that point then I encourage you to watch Terminator 2: Judgment Day as she pumps a shotgun with one arm and blows the hell out of a T-1000.
Who better to represent one of the best known action film stars of all time than the woman that fought alongside both Schwarzenegger and Stallone in the 80s? She played Red Sonja in both Conan and her own movie and also played Ingrid in Stallone’s Cobra. She sort of lost her way in the lesbian-laced Chained Heat II, found her soul mate on VH-1’s the Flavor of Love and rounded out her trifecta of oddness by having plastic surgery on a German reality show. Still, she deserves a spot on our list just for her original action role as Red Sonja.
What Expendables list would be complete without a bad guy? Eric Roberts has played his share of bad guys throughout his long film career – and he did it not only with great martial arts action but some fair acting chops as well. Trying to replace him is a tough order but I think Pam Grier is up to the challenge. She’s best known for her roles in Foxy Brown and Jackie Brown but she also played a badass woman in Women in Cages and Above the Law. Grier would make a great antagonist for our female Expendables.
Those are our choices for an all-female Expendables crew. Regardless of what you might think of the choices, you have to agree that if done right, a movie in this vein would be absolutely phenomenal to watch on the big screen. It would make for an interesting storyline for a future Expendables movie.
If you would like to have the All Female Expendables Team pic as a wallpaper we have it available in the following sizes:
Who would you add to our list and who would take out?
The Expendables blasts onto screens August 13th, 2010.