We start the Top 7. You finish the Top 10.
We all know it’s a man’s world out there. It’s been said time and time again, but let’s be honest, it bears repeating. Despite the big win for Kathryn Bigelow at the Oscars this past year for The Hurt Locker, women don’t receive the respect and credit for their work both on and off the screen. That’s why, in honor of this week’s Date Night starring Steve Carell and Tina Fey, TSR is counting down to the top 7 most kick-ass movie couples. Sure, there are tons of action heroes out there (and some less reputable folks made the list as well) but what about the women that make it happen? How many times is a hero’s motivation to get the girl? But what about the girl herself? After all, there are plenty of women out there who can kick ass and take names with their male counterparts. This list is dedicated to those movie couples who trade blows with the best of them, whether it be with terrorists or their on-screen spouses. Also, just like the married couples, I’ve leaned on my TSR family to help out with a couple of choices. Jeff Bayer and Nick Allen influenced this list, so if you don’t like it … blame them.
7. 300 (2006)
Recap: At the center of the movie is the battle between 300 Spartans, among them Leonidas (Gerard Butler), versus the Persian King Xerxes. However, his queen, Gorgo (Lena Headey), has problems of her own at home while she tries to convince the government to help.
Reason: The real centerpiece here are the visual effects and the violence of Leonidas and his makeshift army (not to mention their abs). However, Gorgo shouldn’t be discounted. While her problems are more political, she faces sexism and eventually rape, does she back down? Hell no, neither of these two do. Leonidas goes fighting to the grave and Gorgo fights back, killing the guy who basically forced her to sleep with him. This is an example of a hardcore couple who share barely any screen time together, except a few tender moments.
Recap: Chucky and Tiffany return to their reign of terror, this time being resurrected by their son. This one’s clearly a send-up of the franchise, but just like the original, it’s all about the body count.
Reason: Chucky and Tiffany may not be the Hollywood couple that most people may think of, but the married murderers have left their mark in the horror business. Although this movie is more parody than anything else, there’s plenty of gore to satisfy die-hard horror fans and fans of camp. While it hasn’t earned its place on the list for its technical merit or storytelling skill, only one other couple’s love has a body count quite like Chucky and his bride.
5. The Incredibles (2004)
Recap:Mr. And Mrs. Incredible have plenty of problems to deal with. They’ve got the typical child problems, the trust issues from years of marriage, and then there’s the whole secret identity/superhero thing.
Reason: Craig T. Nelson and Holly Hunter voice the heroic couple, along with their three kids. Together, taking down Syndrome becomes a family affair. Although this may not have the bloodshed that some of the other movies on the list have, The Incredibles has heart as well as action. The only animated flick on the list, this one’s earned its place in the top 7.
Recap: Clarence (Christian Slater) marries Alabama (Patricia Arquette). Problem is, she’s a hooker and when Clarence tries to rid her of her pimp, he ends up grabbing some coke all hell breaks loose when he tries to sell it, including many dead bodies.
Reason: No, we’re not simply going to talk about the iconic scene between Dennis Hopper and Christoper Walken here. We’re talking about love … and kicking ass. Clarence will do anything for the woman he adores. He loves her for who she is (a lady who loves kung-fu movies) not what she does (hooker). Either one of them would happily take a punch for one another, and likely ask for another. So, why aren’t they hirer up on the list? That’s what you’re wondering, right? Well, We’ve already got plenty of “crazy” sitting in the number one spot, plus, Clarence and Alabama always struck me as a little fortunate for being so in over their head. It’s like the phrase “lucky in love” was made for them.
3. Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005)
Recap: John (Brad Pitt) and Jane Smith (Angelina Jolie) are struggling with their humdrum marriage. However, that all changes when they both discover that they’re assassins working for two different agencies who’ve pitted them against one another.
Reason: OK, so really anyone who knew the topic of this top 7 list knew this one was coming. Doug Liman directs this action romp starring a pre-Brangelina Pitt and Jolie. Besides boasting a killer soundtrack (Joe Strummer makes an appearance), there are plenty of explosions and car chases for the casual viewer. It’s lacking in the comedy department, but it tries to make up for it with gun fights and a scantily clad Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie sex scene. Don’t get too excited folks, it’s an obvious PG-13.
Recap: Harry’s (Arnold Schwarzenegger) life seems boring to his wife (Jamie Lee Curtis) and daughter. Little do they know that he leads a much more exciting secret life as a secret agent. As usual, they figure it out but not before the family is targeted by terrorists.
Reason: Who better near the top than the legendary Arnold? However, he can’t do it alone in this James Cameron flick. When his wife figures out his secret identity, she’s pulled into his wild lifestyle. Both actors prove that they can handle themselves amidst gun fights and special effects heavy battles (would you expect anything less from James Cameron?) but that’s not the only thing that makes this movie worthwhile. It effectively mixes action and comedy for a memorable movie-watching experience.
1. Natural Born Killers (1994)
Recap: Mickey and Mallory have an undying bond to each other, and like to spice up their strong marriage by adding murder and mayhem to the mix. Captivating to American audiences, these psychopaths who were made for each other in the hottest corners of hell kill a total 52 people in the southwest states. And that’s before they conceive one of their best moments – a prison riot.
Reason: As they always say, “the couple that slays together – stays together.” Mickey and Mallory are royalty in the category of married couples that kick-ass, though “kicking ass” is an understatement when looking at the chaos created by these two gun-toting lovebirds. Though they do have their squabbles (there is a debate about whether their female hostage should take part in a threesome), their life together is filled with plenty of passionate moments that show their true devotion to each other. One of the more emotional events involves Mickey murdering Mallory’s parents, with the father drowned in a fish tank, and the mother burned alive in her room. Just as much as their coupling is defined by death and destruction, its also supported by beautiful moments like Mallory’s wedding vows: “I do. For all eternity. ‘Til you and I die, and die, and die again. ‘Til death do us part.”