Tuesday, May 24, 2011

My Top 10 favorite Damsels

      Aren’t we all sick of that time warn damsel in distress cliché, in action and adventure movies especially. It’s a pathetic waste of imagination to have female characters written in the film only so the hero can rescue them. There are plenty of bad ones like Lois Lane from the “Superman” series, Elizabeth Swan from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films and need I even mention Bella from the “Twilight” movies. But to be fare, there is a decent amount of good damsels that are more than just pretty faces that are there to elevate the eye candy. Some are written with fun personalities, some are helpful, some can hold their own, some contribute a lot to the film and there’s some that you’d want to have tag along for an adventure. I think every guy fantasizes about this at some point, getting the chance to rescue a beautiful woman and starting a relationship afterwards. In return, ladies sometimes fantasies about getting rescued by some hunk of a man, it’s a funny old world isn’t it. From painfully annoying clichés, to fun and optimistic, here are my top ten favorite damsels that are more often then not, in need of rescuing.  

10. Jenny Blake from The Rocketeer

    Jennifer Connelly certainly elevates the eye candy in this action packed family film. She came close to just being a clichéd girl friend but she’s actually a very active character, taking advantage of a situation, and taking care of herself by outsmarting the villain. Her relation with our lead hero is decent and Jennifer Connelly's performance and personality is a lot livelier then it usually is in comparison to some of her other movies like “Labyrinth”. She was smart, independent, loving, spunky and when you mix that her beautiful looks, she makes a fitting damsel for the list.

9. Dr. Chase Meridian from Batman Forever

      My favorite actress, Nicole Kidman is a lot of fun as one of Batman’s most clichéd, yet terrific girl friends named Dr. Chase Meridian. Now I already said a lot about this character in my review for “Batman Forever”, so I don’t want to repeat myself to much. Naturally, She's the most attractive of Batman's girl friends but as a psychiatrist, she was able to contribute to Bruce Wayne's personal struggles and had a natural affection toward Batman for being such an interesting case study. Dr. Chase was also a little more active than most superhero girl friends, putting up a little more fight before getting captured by the villains. I really like how she’s one of the few Batman girl friends that genuinely tried to help him cope with his troubled past and she felt like a good match for the caped crusader. She was sly, cool and tough but also smart and resourceful, that’s just enough to save her from being a bland character that’s just there for eye candy.  

 8.  Agent XXX from The Spy Who Loved Me

      You couldn’t find more clichéd damsel’s in distress than in the James Bond series. There rarely helpful and are just there for Bond to rescue, but to be fair there are some good ones and the best buy far is the Russian agent, code named XXX from “The Spy Who Loved Me”. This was a chick that could put up a fight and a had a sly demeanor. Her relation with Bond was also really good, instead of just falling in love with him, she actually hated his guts because he was responsible for her husband’s death and that built conflict between them. Under the circumstances, she had no choice but to work with him and that made for a far more interesting character than what we’re use to seeing in Bond films.      

7. Tina Carlyle from The Mask

       This was a really fun character and it was the performance that introduced me to   Cameron Diaz. Actually this was her very first movie and of all the latter films she did (“There’s Something about Mary”, “Knight and Day” and the “Shrek” films), this still stands as my favorite character of hers. I’ll never forget when she made her first appearance in the bank, slowly getting revealed in that hot red dress, walking in slow motion, all matched with some great music, SMOKING! Also, can't forget her awesome wild dance with Jim Carry. Just like all the other ladies on this list, there's more to this character then good looks. Tina is a character that worked for the villain, not because she was evil but because she needed money and the villain wasn’t someone you wanted to get angry but she meets our lead hero, they have a decent relation and he becomes her outlet out of the life she was stuck in. It’s nothing new but Cameron Diaz is just so warm and lovable that she keeps this damsel from feeling shallow.  

6. Vicki Vale from Batman (1989)

     Yet another one of Batman’s girl friends, and another perfect fit for the list. At first, Vicki comes off like a very typical damsel in distress, but that's only because she is. Always in need of rescuing, always fashionably awesome, always losing her shoes and always screaming. But she was also insightful and kind while also being quick and coming. Vale was supportive but she had her limits, making her a fun and sometimes interesting. Also I like Vales wardrobe a lot more than Dr. Meridians. Meridian was always in black attire but Vicki Vail wares white and that was a much cooler contrast to Batman and the dark, gothic surroundings. She certainly dosn't qualify as a complex character, but as far as damsels go, she’s leaps and bounds above others.

5. Marion from Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark

      Talk about a true damsel in distress, there wasn’t a minuet of this movie that she didn’t need rescuing, in fact I counted, there are 8 situations where she needs saving, and all in one film. This is one girl who needs to have the villains stamp her frequent kidnapping card. But for how many times she gets in trouble, she was still a very fun and genuinely likable character. She and Indiana had good chemistry, she was smart, tough, and occasionally tried to help herself. Then there’s that dress, there was no reason for her to put that on but who’s complaining, besides that was all part of a plan to distract the villain and to get him drunk, I dig it. Plus, big points for the world’s biggest smile, I mean that smile just brings me joy. With an amazing smile, two beautiful dresses for the pries of one and a spunky attitude, that makes Marion a very salvageable damsel.    

4. The Sorceress from The Scorpion King

      Of all the damsels on the list, this one is easily the hottest, but hey that’s Kelly Hu in a nut shell. Say what you will about “The Scorpion King”, it still features an awesome female lead. She was so great at holding her own, that I honestly don’t know if I could call her a typical damsel in distress. Well she definitely is a character in need of rescuing, she has the power to read the future and ever sense she was a child, she was used as a weapon for an evil master. When she escaped, she found herself in a different cage, she sees the kindness and respect in others but latter she discovers that she’ll be responsible for the deaths of innocent lives. Then after losing her power, she willingly goes back to her evil master to prevent him from committing mass murder in the process of looking for her. Sense she lost her power, she won’t be able to help him in battle, thus she couldn't be used to harm anyone. I really wish this film spent more time developing her character because I felt that she had potential to be a really great character rather than just a better than average damsel in distress. Bottom line, she may not be the greatest female lead in the world but she made for an excellent damsel that I'd would definitely leap out in front of the train for.      

3. Princess Leia from the original Star Wars Trilogy

       Leia fills the role of a princess in need of rescuing perfectly without becoming completely helpless, she can definitely hold her own. Leia rarely let anyone put her down, never let the pressure of the situation get the best of her, always put up a good fight and everything from her crazy bread bun hair to her insanely skimpy slave girl outfit are all classic. I especially love how she’s developed over the three films. First she was a princess that needed to get rescued, than she had two relations developed over the next two films and a surprise twist in the 3rd film. Overall, Princess Leia is perhaps the most classic damsel of all time, and one of the greatest.  

2. Andromeda from Clash of the Titans (1981)


     Its hard to describe what makes this character so memorable but I grew up with this movie at a very young age and for me, this was the classic princess that I always fantasized about rescuing. She was so young, inocent and cute that it’s no wonder Perceus put himself through so much for her. The two had a harmless and sweet relation and I love how she doesn’t let the status of being a princess keep her from going on a paroles adventure. Overall, she’s the princess that’s always worth fighting for.   

1. Evie from The Mummy (1999)


    I absolutly loved this character, Rachel Weisz dose an excellent job bringing this standard character to life, she’s so loveable as a clumsy yet intelligent and beautiful Egyptologist. Evie’s like a little child that gets excited on Christmas, but she’s also adventurous and very useful with her knowledge of Egypt and its history. Also, I love how she wasn’t just captured for leverage against the hero, the villain needs to use her body to bring his love back from the dead and that makes for an intense situation and it gives her more involvement in the story. With her cute smile, helpful knowledge, charming, lovable and spunky personality, Evie is one damsel that I would gladly bring on the adventure. 

      To sum things up, this cliché is old and only getting older but you can still make damsels good characters, they shouldn’t be there just for eye candy or just for the hero’s to rescue, they need to have personalities, they need to hold their own, they need to be helpful and they need to be likable characters, and these are ten damsels that made this time warn cliché salvagable again.      

                                                                     The End


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