All-Star Weekend has literally left me exhausted. With today being my first actual day back, I spent it scrubbing footage, enjoying new music, and perusing Instagram. While scrolling through IG stories I stumbled upon one of our faves, Scottie Beam. In Scottie’s story, she was hyped about Kill Bill now being on Netflix and how it was really one of her favorite movies since it’s release. She spoke on Uma killing the role, seeing women kick ass, and what it did for her at a young age. This really got me to thinking. What else comes close to Kill Bill? I began to draw blanks. I then asked myself, what had this feel before or after, and how does it hold up? I thought of some iconic movies before, but the movies that followed that I could put in a similar category cannot come close. Why didn’t a slew of great female led action movies follow Kill Bill? What movies would even be worth mentioning? What is it that separates them, and why are the best of them “OK” at best?
Now to begin, this is far from an attempt to lump women’s action movies together and put them in competition with one another. However, I am going to be direct, over the last ten years some of them had great potential and missed the mark completely. Now for the sake of our topic I am excluding the super hero movies, and some of the super fiction films. Wonder Woman was phenomenal and probably the best current generation DC movie, but I am speaking to more hardcore action films. If those slipped your mind, the movies that were used as reference were, Atomic Blonde, Colombiana, Proud Mary, Lucy, Aeon Flux, Ghost in the Shell, Salt, and a few others. All films were post Kill Bill, and none of them gave us that same lasting effect. Being transparent, some of the films were just downright bad. Others had great potential, yet somehow lost all momentum in the middle of the film like Lucy. That one really hurt me. I expected Limitless with ferocity and action and I think we all know what happened with that. I thought Atomic Blonde was shot beautifully but really just trailed off towards the end of the film. Aeon Flux and Ghost in the Shell both looked good as well, but those disappointed in many other areas, especially given they started out as animes with solid followings. The best overall film of the lot to me was Colombiana, at least from what I can remember. I do happen to love Zoe Saldana too so I know that helped for sure, but at the end of the day, it was still just “OK”.
So here is the thing about Kill Bill, it’s iconic. In the talks prior to writing this, other films that came to mind of similar stature with a female lead were Alien, Foxy Brown, and La Femme Nikita. There is some time gapped in between those films as well, and none of them are exactly alike. So why is the Tarantino film put in such high regard? First and foremost, Kill Bill was shot flawlessly. The casting and acting was perfect, and the scoring was impeccable. On top of that the film influenced pop culture. Beyond inspiring women everywhere, it inspired clothing, music, and even Kobe Bryant. Yea, you forgot about that. Kobe wasn’t referring to himself as the Black Mamba prior to the release of the film, picking up the nickname from Beatrix. In hindsight was this a bar that was set too high to ever re-attain? That is normally never my thought process either, but I had to actually think about it. I am a believer that greatness begets greatness, and that great things should be used as a foundation to springboard from. Unfortunately, that has not seemed to happen yet with other female led action movies. I feel now would be the perfect time for it to occur too with what is going on in the world. There are and have been rumors for some time of a sequel in which Vivica A. Fox’s character’s daughter seeks her revenge, but I believe we have as good a chance of seeing that as a Vega Brothers film. Or better yet, the same chances of us seeing a Professional sequel with a grown Mathilda following in Leon’s steps.
Some shoes are too big to fill, but records and standards are made to be broken. I hope that Beatrix and Kill Bill can make room on the pedestal for a new work that impresses the same way in the near future. With Red Sparrow releasing soon I hope we can speak to it in high regard, and not add it to a group of average films. Let us know what you think of it when it releases, and we look forward to reading your thoughts.