Terrifying vs Twiggy: Are Today’s Female Action Stars too Scrawny to Believe?

I saw Steven Soderbergh’s ‘Haywire’ last night and while I’m not allowed to review it yet, I will say this: unlike many recent action flicks with high profile female stars, I believed it. Gina Carano dished out a world of hurt on some unfortunate double-crossers and I never doubted for a minute they felt the full effect of her intentions.

Some of this is good directing, but a large part of it has to do with Carano’s athletic, healthy body.







Look at those thighs, that butt. She looks like a woman who, when she kicked you, you would know it.

Contrast that with other recent action vixens:

Angelina Jolie in "Salt"

Angelina Jolie at the Russian photo call for "Salt"

Zoe Saldana in "Colombiana"


Zoe Saldana in "Colombiana"

Angelina Jolie, who I admire in many ways but who could use a few trips to Cracker Barrel, did a good job in “Salt.” She was committed to the character and to the action. She played it like a man would: taking lots of hard hits, jumping off of tall objects onto moving trucks, and dishing out punishment when needed. Likewise Saldana in “Columbiana.” I could never quite believe them, though. Zoe is beautiful, but she looks like she might topple over from the weight of that gun. I have no problem believing she can crawl through tiny ducts. Busting her way out, however, seems impossible. When Angie fell onto that moving truck, I was worried she had snapped a twiggy limb. When she out ran a pack of nefarious do-badders, I just couldn’t believe her frail body had the stamina to do so.

Gina Carano, I had no trouble believing. I wouldn’t want her after me.

Plus, she’s beautiful and fills out an evening gown nicely when the plot required it (as they so often do). I know Angelina is the sexiest woman in the world, but I suspect most men in real life would prefer a Carano body over a Jolie body. Ok, maybe that’s overstating it, but if you took away the names and the allure…

For instance, Plus Size Model magazine is getting a lot of attention for this photo spread comparing plus size models with “normal” fashion models. Who wouldn’t prefer the plus size girl on the right? The other one looks like she needs a quick trip to the hospital.






So, hooray for Gina Carano. Let’s keep the believable action chicks coming. Who do you believe? Here’s a few more I believe:

Jennifer Lawrence, star of the upcoming "The Hunger Games"

Michelle Rodriguez, pictured here in "Avatar"

And I couldn't leave out the one, the only Linda Hamilton of "Terminator."

Kung Fu Panda 2

Bottom Line: This is an entertaining and delightful family film, but adoptive parents should be aware of its adoption themes.

The Gist: When a maniacal peacock threatens the peace of China, it is up to Po the Panda and his unlikely Kung-Fu friends to stop him. To do this, Po must come to terms with his adopted father (a loving duck) and his panda family of origin.

The Verdict: This movie has a lot of heart and fun. It’s excellent, one of the best kids’ flicks of the year. My only caution is that the story of Po temporarily rejecting his adoptive father and then searching for his birth parents may come as an emotional shock to adoptive kids and parents. It’s all handled with love and respect (probably through the influence of voice actor Angelina Joile) but can be a sudden trip down thorny emotive paths for unprepared families.

Be Aware: Rated PG for some martial arts violence and action.