Monday, January 11, 2021

The Woman as Warrior

 Movie and TV heroines have a lot to answer for in action/adventure scenes. Some writers see these women as realistic female fighters, and they aren’t even remotely realistic either as women or human beings in fighting methods, stamina, and strength.

Maybe your warrior princess or action babe in leather and overpriced stilettos is as tough as any man, but she will have certain physical limitations. Use those limitations to be creative in fight scenes.

During a TV showing of one of the AVENGERS movies, the fight coordinator who trained Scarlett Johansson talked about Black Widow’s fighting style.  Johannson is 5 ft, 3, so the director wanted her fighting to be as realistic as any superhero movie is for such a tiny woman.  That’s why she used her legs to kick and scissor choke big men.  With her much shorter reach with her arms, a punch or martial arts move would be easily avoided or blocked by a man with a much longer reach.  

The strongest woman is rarely as strong as the strongest man, but she may be faster, smarter, or more supple.  She may be trained in combat when he isn’t. Use her realistic strengths rather than using unrealistic strengths.

Many women are pragmatists, as well. The rule that both parties must use the same weapons for the fight to be “fair” has nothing to do with reality, and pragmatists know this. If a huge man with a knife charges toward your action babe, she should shoot him and not feel bad about it later.

In CAPTAIN MARVEL, this attitude is shown perfectly in the last showdown between Carol Danvers and the Jude Law character.  He tries to sucker her into a physical fight where he has all the advantages, but she blasts him into a mountain instead.  That’s not cheating, that’s smart.  That’s a woman fighting.  

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