11 Action Movies that Need an All-Female Reboot
In addition to the all-female "Ghostbusters" we have coming up next year, MMA fighter Ronda Rousey is set to star in a reboot of the Patrick Swayze camp classic "Road House." It's almost enough to make you think producers have woken up to the fact women go to movies and don't sit at home in their pajamas watching "Snapped" while eating gluten-free bonbons (at least, like, not all the time). Since three's a trend, we have a list of suggestions for the next girl power reboot. And while it's tempting (and completely reasonable) to fill in the "why" section with "why the hell not?" we'll try to resist the urge (mostly).
"Dirty Harry" (1971)Photo Credit: Warner Bros.
Then: Clint Eastwood
Now: Lupita Nyong'o
Why: Although it could be argued that Jodi Foster's "The Brave One" (2007) already covered the distaff vigilante angle, there's always room for another – after all, "Dirty Harry" was quickly followed by the "Death Wish" movies starting in 1974. Plus, there's nothing more annoying than that tired "we already had a girl in a movie like that" argument, because that's never been said about a movie starring a guy. While Nyong'o doesn't have the Eastwood squint, we think she could certainly do justice to the lines, "I know what you’re thinking: 'Did he fire six shots or only five?' Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I’ve kinda lost track myself. But being this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do you, punk?"
"Face/Off" (1997)Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures
Then: John Travolta, Nicolas Cage
Now: Michelle Gomez, Julianne Moore
Why: Look, if we're going to be doing a movie that is based on plastic surgery (not your usual face lift, but that's got to be a bonus, right?), why not find two seasoned actresses for the gig? Gomez ("Doctor Who") gives great evil, while Julianne Moore can do pretty much anything. Given how flyweight the original was, there could be an interesting subplot about what it means to go under the knife after 40.
"Hard-Boiled" (1992)Photo Credit: Pioneer LDC
Then: Chow Yun-fat
Now: Jessica Chastain
Why: Why Jessica Chastain? Why not Jessica Chastain, or maybe Salma Hayek, or Saoirse Ronan or one of the hundreds of other really talented actresses who have been hot for a minute or two and then seem to have, if not disappeared, been shuffled off to small roles in big movies or bigger roles in movies we never see? As for Chastain, even though she has a mess of films coming out this year, the Oscar-nominee seems to be stuck in secondary roles (even in good projects). Is this the Bryce Dallas Howard conundrum? No idea, but don't you love that song?) Anyway, give her a few guns and let her command the screen. "Hard-Boiled" was a classic of Hong Kong cinema and defined the genre – plus it made Chow Yun-fat a household name in the States, at least for a little while. Chastain (and a bunch of other actresses) could use a boost, too.
"Die Hard" (1988)Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox
Then: Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman,
Now: Tatiana Maslany, Angela Bassett
Why: Honestly, I'd put Maslany in any and all of the movies on this list, simply because we all know she can do anything -- I just don't want her to ditch "Orphan Black." Anyone who'd grumble about putting her in a major action franchise like this, I'd say just remember that when Bruce Willis landed this role, he was just that balding guy in "Moonstruck" who always looked like he'd rather be belly up to a bar. Alan Rickman is a tough act to follow, but I think Angela Bassett take Rickman's icy villain in another direction – seething rage at corporate greed.
"Raiders of the Lost Ark" (1981)Photo Credit: Lucasfilm/Paramount
Then: Harrison Ford
Now: Tina Fey or Amy Poehler
Why: Yes, Fey is a funny lady whom we usually think of wrapped in a Snuggie working on some night cheese, but she's easy to see as a wise-cracking archaeologist, too. What Ford brought to the role wasn't traditional too-cool-for-school heroics. Jones was always just slightly out of his element. He didn't have a rakish grin on his face as an enormous boulder came rolling down his back -- he was running for his life. He didn't like snakes. Fey just might be able to channel that everyman (woman) quality. Second choice for this part (or first, depending on your preference): Amy Poehler. Poehler is fearless as a performer, and she'd be killer with a bullwhip.
"Point Break" (1991)Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox
Then: Keanu Reeves, Patrick Swayze
Now: Kristen Stewart, Angelina Jolie
Why: Yeah, yeah, we know it's getting remade this year, yet again with guys. Boooring. While Stewart seems more than capable of sliding back and forth between Keanu Reeves' surfer dood and buttoned-up FBI agent, an actress stepping into the flip-flops of Bodhi (Patrick Swayze) has to be able to convey charisma and sell the big picture idea of bank robbing as a way of sticking it to "the man." Though Jolie has seemingly buried the side of herself that gave "Gia" a reckless, wild-eyed immediacy (and she's probably not interested in doing a remake of "Point Break" when she's busy directing important films), it would be something to see her take down that last killer wave.
"RoboCop" (1987)Photo Credit: Orion Pictures
Then: Peter Weller
Now: Tilda Swinton
Why: Yes, it was already remade (in 2014 with Joel Kinnaman), but let's have fun anyway. Okay, there's not a ton of acting to be done for the scenes in the big, metal suit, but RoboCop does need to be a sympathetic figure – not so easy for an actor, male or female, when half of the face is covered. Swinton has the cool charm to play a robot (and she already has, in 2002's "Teknolust," in which she played three), but she's also, you know, a really good actress.
"The Bourne Identity" (2002)Photo Credit: Universal
Then: Matt Damon
Now: Sandra Bullock
Why: Why can't a woman be a C.I.A. operative on the run? Absolutely no reason why not. Okay, if you want to be picky, yes, she's 51-years-old at this point, but Sean Connery was making action movies well into his dotage, so let's pretend age is not a factor for women in Hollywood the same way it isn't for men. Stop laughing. Sandra Bullock has just as many Oscars as Matt Damon (and hers is for acting, ha), plus we know she can do a lot with very little dialogue ("Gravity"). And let's not forget she got her start in an action movie ("Speed"), although she was pretty much stuck behind the wheel. Time to apply the brakes and let her run -- and the shaky, nausea-inducing camera roll.
"Lethal Weapon" (1987)Photo Credit: Warner Bros.
Then: Mel Gibson, Danny Glover
Now: Jennifer Lawrence, Jennifer Lopez
Why: Remember when we all liked Mel Gibson? "Lethal Weapon" was one of the roles that drove his stardom into the stratosphere, but it's easy to overlook what a challenge Riggs was as a character -- a suicidal, violent, but sad-for-a-reason (isn't it always thus?) cop. "Lethal Weapon" had a shockingly decent amount of characterization for an action movie, and an actress like Lawrence would be able to deliver the jokes as well as the pathos. While Lopez has been sitting behind the table at "American Idol," it's a shame she hasn't pushed that torturous gig aside for a real job – forget "Gigli" and "Monster-in-Law" and remember "Out of Sight." She can act, and if she can handle playing a character feeling her age, like Murtaugh, it could be awesome.
"Predator" (1987)Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox
Then: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Bill Duke
Now: Charlize Theron, Halle Berry, Maggie Q
Why: Sure, it's a cheat to pick these actresses – they've all already proven themselves as on-screen, ass-kicking forces with whom to be reckoned, but "Predator" demands some tried-and-true talent. If any of these women took on an invisible killing machine, hey, we'd expect results. Plus, they wouldn't spend so much time oiling down their muscles, I'm guessing.
"The Magnificent Seven" (1960)Photo Credit: MGM/UA
Then: Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson
Now: Emma Stone, Natalie Portman, Zoe Saldana
Why: Yes, this is already being remade for a 2016 release with Chris Pratt and Denzel Washington, but all we can say is, what's with all the guys again? This Americanized remake of 1954's "The Seven Samurai" is all about gun slinging, but when the dust settles we're left with a very human story about unexpected connections. The hardened, tough-guy seven don't fight to (in some cases) the death for the meager potential pay, but because they've grown to care about the welfare of the Mexican villagers. Good actresses could do a lot with this material.
"The Rock" (1996)Photo Credit: Buena Vista Pictures
Then: Sean Connery, Nicolas Cage, Ed Harris
Now: Meryl Streep, Octavia Spencer, Michelle Rodriguez
Why: Okay, there's the sticky issue of no female inmates ever having been housed at Alcatraz, but it's not like the original script wasn't full-o'-crazy improbabilities to begin with. This movie is really about the battle between Hummel (Ed Harris) and Mason (Sean Connery), and, in a sense, even Hummel isn't a bad guy – he just wants his guys to get what they deserve. Watching Streep and Spencer go toe-to-toe in those roles? Divine. Even though there are no female Navy SEALS (yet), we'd totally buy Streep as a Special Air Service captain. While no actor, male or female, can chew the scenery quite like Cage, Rodriguez can glower with the best of them.