Even though our enthusiasm for the World Cup may have petered out since England’s lackluster departure in the early stages, it is still a great time to consider sports films. Also, given the recent viral campaign for #LikeAGirl, designed to challenge the phrase ‘like a girl’ and subvert its meaning, it is a particularly great time to revisit Kick-Ass girls in Action or Sports films.

 

Top 7 Female Action Heroes

 

1.Ellen Ripley from the Alien Series

In terms of being badass, Ellen Ripley is the real deal.

 

 

2. Beatrix Kiddo from Kill Bill

Seeking revenge after being left for dead on her Wedding Day, Beatrix Kiddo (Uma Thurman) dons a yellow one piece and a Samurai sword to even the score, with bloody results.

 

 

3. Hit-Girl from Kick-Ass

The ultimate pint-sized sadist (Sorry, Arya – you’re missing electric purple hair)

 

 

 

4. Lisbeth Salander from The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Another revenge tale; the author of the original novel wrote the Salander vigilante character after witnessing a brutal attack on a female in real life and imagining her vengeance.

 

 

5. Black Widow in The Avengers

Holding her own in a sea of epic egos is Scarlett Johanson as Black Widow.

 

 

6. Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games Films

Everyone’s best friend, Jennifer Lawrence, stars in the best young-adult fantasy film since the Potter series.  Surprisingly dark and brimming with outstanding actors, Katniss is a hero we can all be proud off.

 

#TeamBella anyone?

 

 

7. Sarah Connor

This girl runs better than Tom Cruise, and boy does he love running.

 

Female Sport Films:

Originally, this article was intended to be a piece on sports films in general, given the #LikeAGirl campaign, I figured a female-centric list would be timely.

In the broader spectrum, Sports Films have been diverse, powerful and been full of career defining performances from the likes of Robert DeNiro in Raging Bull, to Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire.  Hilary Swank dominated in 2004 with Million Dollar Baby, which is probably the most outstanding female performance in a sport film to date. Aside from Million Dollar Baby, and one may argue Natalie Portman in Black Swan, female performances in sports film and female driven sports films in general are a little Kitsch.

 

1. Million Dollar Baby

 

 

2. Whip It

 

 

3. Bend It Like Beckham

 

 

4. Black Swan

 

 

5. Centre Stage

 

 

6. Blue Crush

 

 

7. Bring It On

 

 

Aside from Black Swan and Million Dollar Baby, these films do not compete with more sophisticated films such as Rush, The Fighter, Ali, etc. However, there is definitely some merit in the basic ‘girl power’ messages in the film and their cult status.

Good news in terms of female-driven sports films with dramatic potential is the announcement that Martine Wright, the Paralympian who lost both legs in the Aldgate underground explosion in 2005, will have her story told in a future feature film.