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7 Movies like Charlie’s Angels: Females Kick Ass

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Zahra Pettican itcherMove over men, women are here to show you they can be more than the damsel in distress in films. These feisty characters can not only take care of themselves, but they can take you on and, more importantly, take you out. Check out the great action heroines in movies like ‘Charlie’s Angels’, ‘Lara Croft: Tomb Raider’ and ‘G.I. Jane’. ~ Zahra Pettican

Ass-­Kicking Angels

‘Charlie’s Angels’ is one of those films that can be best described as a guilty pleasure: we know it’s cheesy and over-­the-­top, but that’s why we love it. It’s also fun, and stars the ever-brilliant Bill Murray as loyal sidekick Bosley and Crispin Glover as a super­creepy villain with a hair fetish, so it automatically gets kudos for casting. As action remakes of old TV series go, it’s a pretty decent attempt and it solidified Cameron Diaz as a Hollywood A­lister, gave Lucy Liu her first big screen hit and diversified Drew Barrymore’s portfolio.

If you give in to the implausibility, the crime-­fighting trio are captivating with their stylish fight moves, street smarts and obvious on-­screen rapport. However, they’re not the only fighting females who bring down the bad guys, for more girl power check out this list of films like ‘Charlie’s Angels’.


Movies Similar to ‘Charlie’s Angels’…

‘Lara Croft: Tomb Raider’ (Simon West, 2001)

No video game character has made quite such an impact on pop culture, with men considering her a sex symbol and women considering her to be either an empowering role model or detrimental to the feminist cause. Whatever, you think of her, Lara Croft certainly kicks ass spectacularly well.

The movie itself was pretty much panned but it has some great fight sequences and stunningvisuals of the Cambodian landscape. Angelina looked the part and did a decent enough job given the material, and if you don’t expect too much from it, it can’t fail to deliver!

Similarity Match: 85%
Lara Croft is as smart and visually appealing as Charlie’s Angels, yet she’s miles away from their California babe image. She seems a lot more worldly and gets to fight baddies on an international scale.

‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ (Fran Rubel Kuzui, 1992)

Before the iconic TV series there was the movie about Buffy a vampire­-slaying high school student. She reluctantly takes on her new life as ‘the slayer’, the one woman to save Earth from creatures of the night, whilst trying not to disrupt her life of cheerleading, dating and shopping. Kristy Swanson was the original Buffy, an airhead with hidden depths, helped by Luke Perry, who was at the height of his Beverly Hills 90210 fame.

Similarity Match: 85%
‘Buffy’ is PG­friendly film in much the same vein as ‘Charlie’s Angels’, it’s lighthearted and ridiculous with plenty of campy and fun action.

‘The Heat’ (Paul Feig, 2013)

This female buddy cop movie stars Sandra Bullock as an buttoned­up FBI agent and Melissa McCarthy as an outspoken, overly­relaxed detective paired up to crack a drug ring. Melissa McCarthy essentially plays the same character she does in most of her movies, but she’s good at it and likeable so who’s complaining? Apparently quite a few people from all the negative reviews it’s received, but maybe those people are as uptight as Bullock’s character. It’s from the director of Bridesmaids so expect the humour to be of the rude and crude variety. Luckily the female leads have great chemistry and that makes all the difference.

Similarity Match: 80%
‘The Heat’ has a similar theme of a female detective team going after the bad guys, the lighthearted tone is similar but for an older audience.

‘G.I. Jane’ (Ridley Scott, 1997)

When a crusading senator pressures the Navy Secretary to to begin full gender integration, LT. Jordan O’Neil is given the assignment and everyone expects her to fail. The Lieutenant has to contend with the brutal training regime of Command Master Chief, trumped up charges of being a lesbian, attempts to relegate her to desk jobs, and double­crossing allies.

Demi Moore won the Golden Razzie for worst actress, which is a bit harsh, though Viggo Mortensen outshines her as the military instructor who has to make a example of the lone female whilst secretly respecting her. It’s a shame G.I. Jane only gets respect when she shaves her head, gets butch and acts like a man, which isn’t a great message to send out.

Similarity Match: 65%
Much more serious in tone than ‘Charlie’s Angel’s’, G.I. Jane none the less has a tough female lead who proves she’s just as good as the men, if not better.


If You Like ‘Charlie’s Angels’, You Will Like…

There are more female action heroes than you can point a taser gun at, and the girls just keep getting feistier. These girls combine brains, beauty and brawn to maximum effect; check out more female tough girl movies similar to ‘Charlie’s Angels’ below.

‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’ (2000, Ang Lee)

This film has it all, a great story, amazing visuals and fantastic choreography. Best of all, it has three talented female leads who really know how to pack a punch, not to mention a kick and saber slash. It introduced WuXia, a specific literary/cinematic genre in China, to

Hollywood. Magic and martial arts are blended to create a breathtakingly fantastical world where people fly as well as the more mundane crouching and hiding.

‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’ is on a more epic level than ‘Charlie’s Angels’ although both films contain formidable female characters, they spend much of the film fighting each other.

‘Miss Congeniality’ (Donald Petrie, 2000)

Sandra Bullock is back again in a familiar type of role where she plays a detective, but this time she’s a tomboy who undergoes an Eliza Doolittle type of makeover to become an undercover beauty pageant contestant. If you can forgive the clunky and predictable script, it’s an engaging movie and Bullock is as charming as ever using her not-­so-­feminine wiles.

Despite having a solo heroine, ‘Miss Congeniality’ has the same female detective theme and two sidekick men (Benjamin Bratt and Michael Caine) who play a similar mentor role to Bosley and Charlie.

‘Thelma and Louise’ (Ridley Scott, 1991)

The characters in this movie are not necessarily action heroes, but they do get a sense of female empowerment after experiencing a few too many negative run­ins with males. ‘Thelma and Louise’ is a great example of women sticking together and being loyal until the end, whether that end is riding happily off into the sunset or plunging down a ravine. The film highlights what a common problem everyday abuse against females is and what happens when the women won’t stand for it anymore.

Like ‘Charlie’s Angels’, ‘Thelma and Louise’ is a great buddy movie, though it addresses many more serious themes.


More Fightin’ Females

As mentioned above, ‘Charlie’s Angels’ is very light­hearted, but some movies with strong female figures go further and are less family friendly. Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Kill Bill’ is a perfect example, so are all the ‘Alien’, ‘Resident Evil’ and ‘Underworld’ franchises. ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’, ‘La Femme Nikita’, ‘Terminator 2: Judgement Day’ and the recent ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ are also dark films that portray strong women at the heart of their stories.

What they lack in laughs, they make up for in action!

Let us know which female action heroes you like in the comments below!

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