Thursday, May 03, 2012

Kick ass and are you kidding me?

There has been a small trend lately towards women assassin movies, or CIA movies, and some are great, and some are laughable.

To contrast, we have Columbiana and Haywire. Columbiana is about a girl who becomes an assassin to avenge her parent's murder. She is played by Zoe Saldana, a really lovely actress, who I have enjoyed in other movies, but weighs max 100 pounds and looks like her limbs could snap pretty easily.

In Haywire, you have Gina Carano, a woman who had very little acting experience, and there were moments it showed, but came from a mixed martial arts back ground, was as tall as any of the men in the movie and when she fought them, I absolutely believed she could kick their asses. It was in her movements, her muscle tone, the way she stood. Even when she's running, and jumping in a sequence where she has to escape from the police, there's something in her movement, and her reactions that made her completely believable. I bought that she could run faster than the two police officers chasing her down.

I can suspend disbelief for a while if the movie is good enough, but a hundred pound girl kicking the crap out of a guy twice her size - well that's a bit of a stretch.

But I believed it in Serenity, which also had a waifish girl kicking some serious ass, but that's because she'd been given special powers by the corrupt government that turned against her. We see this a lot in urban fantasy and paranormal YA, young, slender girl with special powers and if it's done right, I believe it.

But once I start to question whether she really can do that, then I'm out and I can rarely get back in. It's what I liked about the Hunger Games movie. Jennifer Lawrence looked like she could run, and climb trees, and fight her way out of trouble. She made it believable. A tinier actress would not have. And I know the movie got some criticism, for casting an actress some believed was physically too large to play Katniss, as she's described as small and underfed in the book.

We see enough small and underfed on the large screen already. I'd rather see someone believable, rather than stick to the exact descriptions of the book.

9 comments:

Eileen said...

Don't forget Salt with Angelina Jolie who looks like a strong wind could blow her away, although I did love the scene where she took off her panties and put them over the camera so she wouldn't be seen.

Maureen McGowan said...

Great post, Sinead. What did you think of Haywire? I liked it way more than I expected to after reading some reviews, but can barely remember it now... We must discuss.

I think that Serenity also worked because Summer Glau is a dancer.. so even though she's super skinny and a bit fragile looking, she knew how to move. She was believable in The Sarah Connor Chronicles too.

M. said...

Amen. My very dainty five year old daughter said the other day, for the first time, "I don't want to wear that it makes me look fat." After I picked myself up off the floor from fainting we had a long chat about not focusing on who's fat, appropriate clothes for occasion, etc.

Did you see the original "La Femme Nikita"? It had an ultraviolet female protag and the scene where it manifests itself first was shocking, not because of her physique-unlikelihood, but because of how quick and extreme her reaction is. I believed her because it was presented like a street kid who'd learned to defend herself in desperate situation.

Stephanie Doyle said...

Great post. And so true. I totally beleived Serenity. But there are times when you see the dainty women and you're like really?

I also think the criticism over Jennifer playing Katnis was ridiculous. She has a round face, she wasn't heavy in anyway shape or form. And I believed every second of her in that role.

Molly O'Keefe said...

Oh i want to see Haywire... And I agree about Lawrence's physicality in Hunger Games, it wouldn't have worked otherwise, I don't think...

Maureen McGowan said...

M. The original La Femme Nikita was awesome.

Sinead M said...

M,loved the original Le Femme Nikita, and you're so right, that actress played those fight scenes scrappy and tough and scared and vulnerable, she was perfect.

And Steph, I had a hard time believing the criticism at first. Lawrence was totally believable, and completely fit, in a way we don't see on the big screen any more.
I'd take fit over emaciated any day of the week

Stephanie Doyle said...

So perfect example of this. I just watched Girl with the Dragon - in which you totally believe this waifish girl could kick ass.

Then watched Once Upon A Time where Ginnifer Goodwin plays Snow in a scene were she sword battles all these guards... totally NOT believble.

Maureen McGowan said...

Steph, I haven't seen much of Once Upon a Time, but Ginnifer Godwin doesn't look like could lift a sword, never mind wield one.

I'm looking fwd to The Huntsman. Kristen Stewart is small, but she's tom boyish enough for me to have hope she'll look believable fighting for her life...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...