Many consider action movies to be a “boy club”. Unfortunately, it was unfairly difficult for female directors to hire them for big action hits, and too few of them ever got a chance. Outside of Kathryn Bigelow, only a handful have managed to tackle this male-dominated genre.
But action movies are not something that only men can direct and, as the following action movies show, women can create explosive, exciting and bad movies just as good as men. The tragedy is that this list is too short, and the fact that several of these films were directed by Kathryn Bigelow shows that Hollywood does not risk female directors, and that must change.
10 Punisher: War Zone – Lexi Alexander – 29%
Based on a Marvel comic book character, Penitentiary: War zone marked the relaunch of the film franchise The Punisher. Marvel made cinema history when it hired a violent football drama director, Green street hooligans, Lexi Alexander. She was the first woman to direct a film about Marvel and her goal was to make a superhero film that avenged herself as a return to the bombastic action movies of the 1980s.
However, Alexander constantly struggled with studying about things like reducing the film’s budget and their desire for more The Dark Knighttype of tone, when she wanted excessive violence mixed with humor. Upon release, Penitentiary: War zone bombed, but has since gained a cult among fans who love how crazy it is. Since then, Alexander has been talking about gender parity in Hollywood.
9 Peacemaker – Mimi Leder – 43%
Mimi Leder switched from TV directing to action thrillers on the big screen Peacemaker starring Nicole Kidman and George Clooney, in their first major starring role. The striking story was about a lieutenant colonel of the special forces and a nuclear expert who team up to find the missing nuclear warheads.
Impressive for a debut role, Peacemaker is an exciting action film with an edge of the place that leaves the audience breathless. The film was a modest hit and received mixed reviews. Leder would continue this with an epic triennial about comets, Deep impact, next year. However, she has not made a theatrical action film since then, although she obviously had a talent for them.
8 Charlie’s Angels – Elizabeth Banks – 52%
Written and directed by actor-director Elizabeth Banks, after previous roles in male directing in the franchise, 2019s Charlie’s angels in the reboot they starred Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott and Ella Balinski as new angels working for the Townsend agency. In addition to directing, Banks also appears as one of Charlie’s assistants, “Bosley.”
Although Banks ’direction was praised, critics concluded the plot was tedious and overcomplicated. Unfortunately, the audience, including the target audience of young women, did not flock to the theaters, and the film was still bad at the box office.
7 Strange Days – Kathryn Bigelow – 63%
The co-author is Bigelow’s ex-husband James Cameron, Strange days is set in the last two days of 1999 when a former police officer (Ralph Fiennes) tries to solve a murder recorded by illegal technology that allows people to experience other people’s emotions and memories.
Although financially disappointing after the release, Strange days gained a cult of followers that he was wild ahead of his time. Released in 1995, the film not only touches on relevant cases of racial and police relations, but is also incredibly cinematically inventive, including the introductory scene, which was a manual POV long-running continuity – something common in today’s cinema with smaller cameras, but unheard of 1995
6 Point Break – Kathryn Bigelow – 70%
In 1991, Bigelow directed a classic action film, Point Break, starring Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze. Reeves plays an FBI agent who covertly investigates a group of bank robbers who are also passionate surfers. While on a secret mission, he develops a friendship with the leader of the bank robbers.
The film became one of the most popular action films of the 90s, and critics praised Bigelow for creating not only a visceral action film, through his robbery and surfing scenes, but also a thoughtful one. Point Break would have a major cultural impact, with a poorly reviewed remake released in 2015, and many consider it Fast and Furious surf remake replaced by drag racing.
5 Blue Steel – Kathryn Bigelow – 75%
Her cult favorite horror is coming up, Near Dark, Bigelow directed her first action film, Blue steel, produced by Oliver Stone, and written by Bigelow herself. In the film, Jamie Lee Curtis played a novice police officer who kills a robber, however, someone took a gun from a robber, making it look like she killed an unarmed man. Meanwhile, a gun is being used to commit murders, so now a rookie police officer must find the killer and clear her name.
Although the film did not hit the box office, critics praised Curtis ’performance and Bigelow for standing out as an extremely capable action director.
4 Birds of Prey – Cathy Yan – 78%
After directing the acclaimed unusual indie film, Dead Pigs, Cathy Yan joined DCEU to direct Harley Quinn Suicide Squad spin-off, in which birds of prey appear. After breaking up with the Joker, Harley Quinn teams up with birds of prey to take off a new villain, the Black Mask.
Although the film was a financial disappointment, critics enjoyed the film, praising Margot Robbie’s performance, Yan’s directing and the action scene, which he directed John Wick Chad Stahelski. With Birds of prey, Yan proved skillful in that he easily fell into the action film genre and succeeded.
3 Old Guard – Gina Prince-Blythewood – 80%
After previously run movies like Love and basketball i The secret life of bees, Gina Prince-Blythwood has taken on the task of adapting Greg Rucke’s action comic, Old Guard. In doing so, she became the first black woman to direct a comic book.
The story is about a group of immortal mercenaries, led by Charlize Theron, who are fighting to protect their secret. The film premiered on Netflix with great reviews praising “occupation battles and hand-to-hand combat sequences.” Following the film’s popularity, Netflix announced that a sequel was being made.
2 Wonderful Woman – Patty Jenkins – 93%
Before directing Wonder Woman, Patty Jenkins’ only credit for directing the film was the actual biography of the serial killer, Monster, starring Charlize Theron. After that, Jenkins worked on television for many years and, after almost steering Thor: The dark world, took the reins on the long-awaited adaptation Wonder Woman.
Set in World War II, Jenkins provides stunning action scenes that delighted audiences. Part war, and part film about superheroes, Patty Jenkins proves she was more than capable of dealing with big budget hits, following her indie past. Jenkins went on to direct the sequel, which was similarly praised in terms of spectacle.
1 The Hurt Locker – Kathryn Bigelow – 97%
For The Hurt Locker, Bigelow wanted to take the audience up close and personally into the war, creating a raw and tense tense experience. The film takes place during the Iraq war and follows members of a bomb disposal unit, and Bigelow does an amazing job of putting the audience in the boots of soldiers. The film is not only a catchy and realistic look at the war conditions that the soldiers are facing, but also how it is for them to return home to their homeland.
The film received critical acclaim and featured a stellar performance by Jeremy Renner. Ultimately, The Hurt Locker she was nominated for nine Oscars, winning six, including Best Actor for Renner, Best Picture and Best Director for Bigelow, making her the first and only woman to win an award. The Hurt Locker set the standard for war films in Iraq and war films in general. Bigelow would continue that Zero dark thirty, a acclaimed thriller about the murder of Osama Bin Laden.
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