Friday, June 8, 2012


I went to see Battleship on its opening weekend because it had explosions, aliens, and Taylor Kitsch. He'd been great in John Carter, which I also enjoyed & feel was under-rated, so I was totally ready to enjoy Battleship on its own terms, which was a fun special effects movie. It delivered. No, we're not talking art film at its finest, but it had many of the elements I look for in an action flick.

Which is to say, lots of visuals, snappy dialog, and explosions. Sensing a theme here? I like explosions. But also, it had a somewhat credible romance with the lead girlfriend character being a strong woman, up to the challenge of fighting off aliens. She wasn't perfect, but she didn't make me grind my teeth.

Come to think of it, Kitsch's other summer movie, John Carter, had more than a passable romance. The romance was a key part of the story and the heroine was no slouch in the action department. Not just up to the challenge, but Princess Dejah Thoris is a strong willed leader, a woman ready to risk her life to not be railroaded, who risks everything for her people, who can FIGHT! Dare I hope this is an up and coming trend in action adventure movies, that the heroines be more than a pinup doll?

The worst pinup doll character in a movie of this type has to be the girlfriend in Transformers 3. Talk about teeth grinding. I wanted to bash her over the head. Several times over. The world is crashing down around her. Her boyfriend is greasy, bleeding, mussed, torn, dirty. Her crisp white suit is spotless, her lipstick gleaming--even after the obligatory kiss, and she's showing enough skin you can't imagine she doesn't have a road burn here or there from all that skidding around on pavement. But no. She's spotless and coiffed. The heroines in Battleship and John Carter get in on the action. They look like they've run around some. Maybe not as much as Ripley in Alien, but yeah, their hair isn't coiffed at the end of the action scenes.

So, if you want to watch an action adventure romance with a strong female lead, catch John Carter. Don't watch Transformers 3.

How about you? Watch a recent action adventure with an at least passably competent female lead?

Ella Drake is a dark paranormal and science fiction romance author. You can find her on Twitter, Facebook, & Goodreads.
Her latest releases are Desire the Banshee an erotic paranormal romance from Ellora's Cave & Desert Blade, a near-future post-apocalyptic romance from Carina Press. Coming soon, MetalMark (Lyrical Press). Other work includes The Forbidden ChamberSilver Bound, Jaq’s Harp, Braided Silk & Firestorm on E’Terra.


Katheryn Wallis said...

You're so right about Dejah Thoris. I loved John Carter - I saw it 3 times in the theater, and I'm going to buy the DVD.

I think we share movie priorities, incidentally: strong women, explosions, and entertainment are my three chief criteria as well. ;)

Sara Brookes said...

I luckily didn't go see Transformers 3 theatres. Even my husband was grateful because when we did finally watch it--I mocked the girlfriend character. And I mocked hard. When she started running around in heels I nearly started throwing things at my TV set. I didn't much care for the girlfriend character in the first two movies of the series, but at least she got in there and did something.

Rebecca Royce said...

I think its going to be a wait for video thing for me.

Annie Nicholas said...

I just watched John Carter this week. It was much better then I thought it would be. Love the alien culture and Sola's character.

I also watched Pandorium. Spookie. I shouldn't have watched it by myself at 3AM. LOL

Ella Drake said...

Katherine, I don't get much opportunity to go to the theater, so not double-viewing John Carter, but I'm definitely getting the DVD! And yes, strong women, strong men, and explosions make for the perfect movie.

Ella Drake said...

My husband and I mocked hard, too. Her character was so infuriating. Guh.

Ella Drake said...

Rebecca, I would've waited for video, too. Because when I'm in doubt, I usually do, but my older boys have been enjoying going to the theater with me & action movies are so great on the big screen, we went. I'm glad we did. It was fun.

Ella Drake said...

Annie, haven't seen Pandorium. Should I check it out, or will I be to scared? *hold me*