Oh, girl fights… The phrase itself can conjure images of scantily clad models slapping at each other for sexually exploitive purposes, which is unfair and misleading. For instance, in Fast and Furious 6, Gina Carano and Michelle Rodriguez get to fight each other with insane ferocity that rivals any of the fight scenes that co-stars The Rock and Vin Diesel find themselves in. Pam Grier made her career in the 70s showing up in movies to beat people up. And let’s not forget the Kill Bill films, which are pretty much a collection of brutal battle scenes between women.
The thing is a woman can do any job a man can do, and that includes kicking ass and taking names. Sometimes the only person who can match a warrior woman is another woman. Here are our top ten favorite fight scenes between two (or more) ferocious female fighters.
[Photo Credit: Universal ,AIP & Miramax]
10) Maggie Cheung vs. Zhang Ziyi in Hero
When Hero was released in 2002, Zhang Ziyi was enjoying international fame as the breakout star of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Maggie Cheung was a Chinese film legend at the top of her game. So, not only is this fight scene beautiful and intense because of the fight choreography, but for Asian cinema fans, it was like watching women on the level of Julia Roberts and Jennifer Lawrence cross swords in an epic showdown to the death.
9) Maggie Q vs. Lyndsy Fonseca in Nikita
Nikita is pretty much a show about a woman wronged who engages in spy practices and beats up a lot of people. Nikita is also chock full of insane female on female fight scenes. This one from the premiere of the second season just happens to be especially brutal…at least for one of the ladies…
8) Jennifer Jason Leigh vs. Bridget Fonda in Single White Female
The final confrontation between Bridget Fonda’s Allie and her crazy roommate Hedy, as played by Jennifer Jason Leigh, might not be an expertly choreographed affair between two badasses, but it is dirty, desperate and devilishly amazing.
7) Jennifer Garner vs. Gina Torres on Alias
In Season One of Alias, Jennifer Garner’s Sydney Bristowe had a lot to contend with, but perhaps her greatest–or most evenly matched–foe was Gina Torres’s Anna Espinosa. The two repeatedly played cat and mouse and squared off in numerous fights. This is just one of their best.
6) Uma Thurman vs. Vivica A. Fox in Kill Bill Vol. 1
The very first fight scene in Kill Bill Vol. 1 had to do a lot. It had to establish the Bride’s skills and those of her opponents. It had to tease the main story without giving too many plot details and surprises away. Oh, and it had to be physically and emotionally brutal. Consider this harrowing fight a success, then.
5) Pam Grier vs. A Bar Full of Women in Foxy Brown
Of all the fights on our list, this one is definitely the most exploitative, but that’s more because of the time period and genre than anything else. It’s also a ridiculous and rowdy fight scene that pits Pam Grier against an entire bar full of women and involves chairs and punching and one girl crashing (to her death??) into a jukebox. The fight and its aftermath are pretty brutal, and Foxy Brown walks away like the badass she is.
4) Michelle Yeoh vs. Zhang Ziyi in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Michelle Yeoh and Zhang Ziyi get two chances to spar against each other in the internationally famous Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, but it’s their second fight where the gloves come off and their characters get vicious.
3) Uma Thurman vs. Chiaki Kuriyama in Kill Bill Vol. 1
Sure, the climactic battle of Kill Bill Vol. 1 is between an exhausted Uma Thurman and a taunting Lucy Liu, but The Bride’s earlier bout with Gogo Yubari is perhaps more iconic and arguably more horrifying.
2) Gina Carano vs. Michelle Rodriguez in Fast and Furious 6
The new Fast and Furious movie is full of insane fight scenes between action stars like The Rock, Vin Diesel and an assortment of thick necked punching bags. The best fight, though, might actually be Gina Carano vs. Michelle Rodriguez. The ladies get two bloody and brutal showdowns in the film and both possess a visceral energy that was absent from a lot of the other fight scenes in the flick.
1. Uma Thurman vs. Daryl Hannah in Kill Bill Vol. 2
This might be the best fight scene in cinematic history. It’s tough, disgusting and glorious. They match swords…they match wits…they tussle with a black mamba snake…IT’S AMAZING. Oh, and it starts with a flying kick that defies nature. Oh, and this is just the first part of it. It gets better and bloodier.