Wonder Woman Sequel

(Welcome to /Response, the companion piece to our /Answers series and a space where /Film readers can chime in and offer their two cents on a particular question.)

Earlier this week, the /Film team wrote about our favorite female badasses in the movies. We then opened the floor to our readers: who is your favorite kick-ass lady to appear in a film? And you let us know!

We have collected our favorite answers (edited for length and clarity) below. Next week’s question, in honor of It Comes At Nightwhat is your favorite cinematic end of the world? Send your (at least one paragraph, please) answer to slashfilmpitches@gmail.com!

Clarice Starling in The Silence of the Lambs

While it would easy to go with fantastical physical badasses like Black Widow, Alice and LeeLoo or Mother-figure badasses like Sarah Conner or Ellen Ripley, I’m going with Clarice Starling from The Silence of the Lambs.

From the first sequence, we see that Clarice is in top physical shape running the FBI training course in Quantico, but we also know that she is human. We immediately see that she isn’t intimidated being the lone woman in a “man’s world” and continues to push boundaries and “lean in.” She’s whip-smart and refuses to quit her investigation at any point. She’s resourceful to the point of using a car jack to gain entry into Louis Friend’s storage unit.

She’s a badass for being not afraid to stand up to patriarchal authority, whether it’s a local sheriff, an ME, or even her own boss. Her retort to him regarding his infantilizing of her in front of the local cops was perfectly badass. She descends into the lion’s den and goes toe-to-toe with Hannibal Lector. Her fear is palpable on many occasions, yet she presses through it as a true, real-world badass would. She works out who Buffalo Bill actually is (while her boss is on a wild goose chase) and in True Hero fashion, kills the bad guy in a shootout and saves the girl (and the dog). Clarice Starling is just a normal woman asked to do extraordinary things, possessing only her wits, a .38 revolver, and a trainee badge. And she’s a badass for surviving it all. (Christopher Schera)

Erin in You’re Next

Adam Wingard’s 2011 horror-comedy does such a great job of playing with home invasion and slasher tropes that we’ve seen hundreds of times in horror movies, but the best thing it does is subvert your expectations with it’s main character, Erin (Sharni Vinson). When we’re introduced to Erin, she’s accompanying her boyfriend Crispian to his family reunion in an isolated country house, and the set-up for a seemingly standard home invasion horror movie is underway. As we’re introduced to the other characters and Erin meets her boyfriends family, we don’t learn too much about our heroine. She seems like another quiet, meek girl that could easily fit into the ‘Virgin’ archetype that The Cabin In The Woods expertly described as the final girl that so many slasher films have used as their main character.

It’s not until shit hits the fan and the family quickly starts being picked off that we begin to understand how formidable and resourceful this woman actually is. Erin’s the only person that seems to be able to act calmly and rationally while being hunted by crazed killers, is the only one who can think on her feet and come up with smart, creative ways to escape death, and is the only one capable of taking out these killers. We see her take charge and lead the rest of the family in setting up traps and devising plans to survive the night.

About halfway through the movie, it’s revealed that Erin grew up on a survivalist compound where she learned combat training and survival skills. This reveal flips the script, because now we know that the most dangerous person in the film is not the armed murders, but the badass woman fighting for her life. Most horror movies will have the villain killing the good guys in creative, bloody ways that make us squirm and cower because we feel bad that these good people are dying at the hands of madmen. But the second half of You’re Next has us cheering and applauding as Erin takes out these killers in gruesome, bloody, and sometimes hilarious ways. We even get one of the best kills in horror movie history, with the fantastic blender-to-the-head scene. (Jack Hallett)

Hit-Girl in Kick-Ass

She’s pint-sized and she packs a punch. Little Mindy McCready can take a hit…in fact, she can take a bullet. Not to be outdone by her Big Daddy, she can kick more ass than the titular Kick-Ass. Enough wordplay. Hit-Girl would hate that.

Mindy was born to be a killer, literally. Her dad trained her to take out bad guys at an early age. As such, she’s an expert in all weapons, hand-to-hand combat, oh and she can do this. She has the best one-liners and that’s because she’s the best character in the whole film. If you haven’t seen her switch from sweet, little young lady to foul-mouthed death-bringer, you’re in for a treat. It doesn’t get more badass than a purple-coiffed, detachable sword-wielding pre-teen. If I was backed into a corner, I’d want her there with me. (Seth Finck)

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