Tag Archives: Femme Fatale Fandom

Female Characters Who Kick Ass: Introducing Mallory Kane

I have always been a fan of strong female heroes.  Buffy, Faith, Cordelia (in season 3 of Angel), Sydney Bristow…And this summer I’m hoping to get into The Hunger Games, and it sounds like is pretty kick-ass too.

Well, now there is another kick-ass character to add to the list: Mallory Kane.  Mallory Kane is played by MMA fighter Gina Carano in the movie Haywire.

Haywire is The Bourne Identity meets Ocean’s Eleven.  It has the feel of the 80’s action flicks of Jean-Claude Van Damme, in which the movie isn’t dependent on the star’s acting ability.  That being said, Gina does a pretty good job holding her own in the acting arena, and given a few more films, she will be pretty good.  (Remember that the trio from Harry Potter had no acting background before they got pegged for Philosopher’s Stone, and look at how they matured in their acting over the next seven films).

Move over JVC, Bruce Willis, and Jason Statham.  There is a new action hero on the scene.  But the question is, will audiences accept this 21st century heroine?

Some people might be uncomfortable with the fight scenes because of their realism.

It is this realism that caught me off-guard during the first fight scene.  Fight scenes with characters like Buffy and Sydney are almost cartoonish.  But this was different.  You can tell that Carano does all her own fight scenes, and there is nothing flashy about them.  She is doing what she knows, grappling and striking, leg locks and arm bars.  All of which makes the fight scenes have a strong sense of realism about them. Compared to the cartoonish fighting of Alias and BtVS, Mallory is fighting ‘dirty’, and is not relying on stunt doubles, special effects, wire-fu, or highly stylized choreography.

Add to it that all the fight scenes are Mallory versus guys, and there may be some discomfort at the violence involving a woman, since we’re all taught that men aren’t supposed to hit a lady. But as Ewan MacGregor’s character says to Michael Fassbender’s character “Don’t think of her as a woman”, meaning that to do so will be to underestimate her.

To those who may feel uncomfortable, I would suggest that if that is the case, ask yourself, “Would I feel uncomfortable with this violence if it was done by a male action hero?”  or “Do I feel this uncomfortable when Buffy is wailing on the vampires?”

The other thing I appreciated about this movie and the Mallory Kane character is that the movie doesn’t make her into a sex object.  It would have been easy.  An action movie for a mostly male audience means that the movie can show skin and sex appeal or even sex itself.  This movie is discreet.  The romantic sex scene is all innuendo, with the scene cut after the kiss, and restarted the morning after.  As well, when Mallory has to go undercover in evening wear, she shows just how uncomfortable she is with it.  It is not her.  She is playing a part.  But more importantly, the evening wear isn’t skanky or revealing; it is classy and elegant.

From what I’ve seen, the movie is getting decent reviews.  I hope that means that we will see more of Mallory Kane/Gina Carano in the future.  At the very least, hopefully it shines a spotlight on the female MMA circuit. There are some very talented female athletes who compete and who don’t get nearly the coverage that the male-dominated UFC gets.

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Grimm: Bears Will Be Bears

It’s official. NBC’S GRIMM has won me over. Well, that happened last week within the first two minutes of the pilot, of which, Amanda Mac and I butted heads over in the typical, boys are better than girls, Angel is better than Buffy argument.

(UPDATED AND EDITED– 11/06/11)

*SPOILER ALERT!*

GRIMM is the closest thing to Joss Whedon’s and David Greenwalt’s ANGEL (1999-2004). I am so excited, I have decided to start to do a weekly series on it.

Anyhow, this 2nd episode, “Bears Will Be Bears”, was a fantasy/drama/detective story spin off of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Rather than keep the viewer bored in a simple, modern re-telling, GRIMM’s Goldilocks had several twists, including implications for critical race theorists and anthropologists. Although the series itself takes place in predominantly white Portland, Oregon (it’s reputation), “Bear Will Be Bears” could function as a conversation starter pertaining definitions of culture, notions of identity, and how we deal with our ancestors in our day to day living. For example, Nick’s partner in the police department, Hank, who is black, was talking to a family under suspicion for murder, who just happened to have a lot of artifacts in their homes. Hank was able to correctly identify the culture where the totems came from because, as he put it, “the second wife was a cultural anthropologist.” At first, I was afraid GRIMM would go to far in making this episode just the stereotypical “the Natives worship totems, and therefore they are evil” horror story, but it turned out to be much more than that. Hank then goes on to say in the conversation, when the idea of respecting ancestors was brought up, “I had to respect mine or else I couldn’t sit down for a week.” (editted: Thanks AMM for the heads up!)

There is a wild animal in all of us, according to Eddy Munroe. Will our ethical actions ever be able to overcome our tribal loyalties? Should this even have to be a question in the first place? Interestingly enough, Munroe also found himself struggling with his identity as a Blutbad (big bad wolf) and as a friend of a Grimm (his sworn enemy). Munroe felt compelled out of obligation to kill Marie, out of concern for dinner conversations during Thanksgiving.

Lastly,the lawyer (and father) for the family under investigation tells Grimm, “You have never had your history taken away from you.” Of course, this is both referring to Native American heritage (along with their land) as well as the struggle between the Grimms and the other creatures of the night. This ought to inform us about how our knowledge of our own histories are important in shaping our identities.

Still, this episode raised the question, “Which is more sacred, human loyalties or human life?”

Why I Will Postpone My Series Review of Torchwood: Miracle Day

I found out via twitter, that former biblioblogger Doug Chaplin, and the rest of our fanbase located in the United Kingdom are a week behind for Torchwood: Miracle Day.

Thanks to Alexa, I know we get a lot of visitors from the UK. In light of that fact, and out of the kindness (or meanness if you are Chad), of my heart, I have decided to postpone my series review until next week.

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