Girl power! Recommending a ‘girly action film’

The other day, a friend on social media asked: ‘Can anyone name some girly action films? Suggestions please!’

She was looking for a film to watch that evening and the suggestions were quite interesting. Firstly, they included ones I would have given myself, including: Sucker Punch, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and The Hunger Games.

There was also Charlie’s Angels, which does fit, but then the rather bizarre romcom suggestions of Dirty Dancing, Pretty Woman and Maid in Manhattan. Perhaps the person who gave those only read the ‘girly’ part of my friend’s question.

There was also the rather genius suggestion of Jurassic Park, as ‘all the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park are female’. They weren’t wrong; the dinosaurs are all female and the film certainly is action-packed.

Being female and having a strong interest in film remains unusual.

British film magazines Empire and Total Film have both reported that their readerships are predominately male, at between 75 and 77%. In fact, Empire is the second biggest UK men’s monthly magazine (May 2014).

However, the gender split in cinema admissions is much more equally at 48% male and 53% female, according to Digital Cinema Media. You could write an essay as to why being a film fanatic remains a traditionally male hobby when so many women visit the cinema, but I’ll save that for another time.

Going back to the question of ‘girly action films’, I thought that 2011’s Haywire was fantastic. Starring MMA artist Gina Carano, it’s an action-film through and through, with Carano taking on the role of a black ops super soldier.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (both the Rooney Mara and Noomi Rapace versions) is another example, though the plot does lean more towards the crime and drama genres. It’s still an example of a fierce, strong leading lady that you would be a fool to doubt, though.

2 thoughts on “Girl power! Recommending a ‘girly action film’

Add yours

  1. There’s a few more, Lucy, Salt, Resident Evil is predominantly female. The newest Selma Hayek one (can’t remember the name).

    I wonder if the fact the cinema is a “couples” location accounts for the close gender divide compared to the “fanatics.”

  2. We were actually having a conversation in the office this week about women in action films. The conversation moved from the typical role of women in male-orientated action movies to those few examples where the female character has become the hero. I put forward The Hunger Games as a strong female character with the qualities of the typical hero but the franchise wasn’t widely loved by my fellow colleagues so I ended up having to defend Lawrence as an actress.

    I think you’re right to example Gina Carano even though I wasn’t fond of Soderbergh’s Haywire. A better one for me is Colombiana where Zoe Saldana takes on the kick-ass action role in a tale of revenge.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: