My pick for Kick Ass women of the 2000’s toes the line of the Action Movie and the fanciful. The reason for that blurred line is its Director/Creator Quinten Tarantino. Although his films always seem to carry an element of the unbelievable, he generally gets a pass for it because of his gritty take on those unbelievable themes. So, let’s talk about…
Kill Bill vol.1 & 2
Kill Bill isn’t just a movie that happens to have a great female character. It is a shocking and superb example of storytelling. Ask any writer and they’ll tell you one of the hardest things to do is get your audience to care. Care about the story, care about the characters, care about anything really. Within the first few minutes of Kill Bill, the audience is deeply invested in the fate of The Bride… and we know practically nothing about her!
The Not-So-Good Girl
Another thing that makes this film unique is its thematic use of revenge as redemption. Most Action films keep to a strict good guy vs bad guy code. Even when the hero is flawed, and perhaps a criminal himself, there is some greater good being presumed by the protagonist.
Not so with The Bride. The people who hurt her are gone, their former group disbanded. Some are pursuing other nefarious deeds that don’t affect The Bride at all. Others have given up the life to pursue a more tranquil existence. The Bride could mourn her loss and disappear, never to be bothered by these people again. Her soul purpose, and the entire driving force of the film, is revenge. And it is delicious.
And the Redemption Part?
Slowly it’s revealed that these deaths also tie into her own life of crime that she regrets, and clears the slate in more ways than just her vengeance. But as hard as we try to focus on her righteous indignation, it’s hard to forget that this is a woman raining down death and destruction in a world that has already moved on.
Luckily for the audience, they are given something extra to root for. The union of mother and daughter. So even as the bride continues her killing spree, we can root for less morally gray pay off.
And in the end, it’s not gratuitous violence or even vengeance that wins the day. It’s cold, calculated preparation and timing. Proving that the most Bad Ass women have a lot more up their sleeves than white-hot rage.