By Simon Gage
Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013)
The girl: Gemma Arterton is Gretel, the girl from the kids’ story.
The gun skills: Well, she’s sure grown up since she was a little girl in a fairy story going into houses made of gingerbread. Gretel is now a bounty hunter handling some of the biggest guns you’re ever likely to see in a woman’s hands. And she means business.
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001)
The girl: Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft, the video game adventuress.
The gun skills: She may come from the English aristocracy and spend her time searching down ancient artifacts, but that doesn’t mean Lara Croft can’t handle a weapon, especially when there is an ancient talisman that will give its owner the ability to control time at stake.
Spring Breakers (2013)
The girls: Ashley Benson as Brit, Vanessa Hudgens as Candy and Rachel Korine as Cotty as deadly girls on holiday.
The gun skills: Starting their careers with water pistols holding up a restaurant, the girls escalate to real guns when they meet arms dealer Alien (James Franco), at one point turning the guns on him and making him put the business ends in his mouth.
Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)
The girl: Uma Thurman as The Bride, a woman who was trying to go straight.
The gun skills: The irony is that The Bride had put her days as a trained assassin behind her to settle down to married life but when her big day is ruined by a bloodbath, she comes out of her coma with only one thing on her mind: bloody revenge. And seeing as she already has the gun skills of a hired killer…
The girl: Anne Parillaud is Nikita, a criminal turned deadly assassin.
The gun skills: The gun skills should be good seeing as Nikita, being spared jail after killing a policeman, is specially trained by the secret services to carry out a hit. Not only does she carry out that hit but, when she’s cornered, she shoots her way to a bloody exit.
The girl: Sigourney Weaver is Ellen Ripley, space traveler extraordinaire.
The gun skills: You would have thought Ripley would have learned her lesson from her first contact with the alien but when she’s sent to a distant planet on a rescue mission to find out if there are aliens doing their worst, she goes in fully armed. With guns. Very big guns.
Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005)
The girl: Angelina Jolie is Jane Smith, a seemingly happily married young woman.
The gun skills: Well, they should be pretty good seeing as far from being the perfect wife, she is a hired assassin. The only problem is the husband who doesn’t know anything about her real job is next on her hit list. Only he too is a hired assassin. Out to get her! Married life, eh?
The Quick and the Dead (1995)
The girl: Sharon Stone is The Lady, a good old-fashioned Western gunslinger.
The gun skills: The Lady’s gun skills are second to none and when she rides into town, the town owned by the man who killed her father, to find there is a gun competition, you bet she signs up. But it’s just not the competition prize she’s after. There’s also the small matter of revenge.
The girl: Pam Grier as Coffy, a nurse on a killing spree.
The guns skills: She may have trained to work in the healthcare system but when her sister gets mixed up with ruthless drug dealers it’s time for her to change out of the uniform, into a bikini top and set out on a major revenge mission, dressed and armed to the nines.
The girl: Renée Zellweger as Roxie Hart, murderer of disappointing men.
The gun skills: As a shootist, Roxie may end up in jail with the other merry murderesses but she’s no professional. She simply empties a revolver into her extra-marital lover when he walks out on her. Because, as she says, ‘No one walks out on me!’