In the world of action films, there is a cliché about only men can kick ass. That is totally wrong. There are bad ass women out there, who will rip your nuts off in just three seconds. So men who don´t think women will knock you out, think again. I can give you some good examples, in a time when certain women proved that they can´t be stopped. If you grew up like me in the 80´s and 90´s, you probably remember B action martial arts actress Cynthia Rothrock. She has done a lot of B action movies for many years. One of my personal favourites is the 1992 film known as Lady Dragon, directed by David Worth. This film reminds me of the 1989 cult classic Kickboxer, with Jean-Claude Van Damme, and it is not hard to understand why. Both films are directed by David Worth, but i prefer Kickboxer if i had to choose. However, Lady Dragon is still a fun ride, where Cynthia Rothrock gets some great kick ass scenes. I also enjoy her training scenes, that shows you how good she is at martial arts. I suggest if you want to see a classic Cynthia Rothrock film, pick up Lady Dragon on DVD ( get the German release, they have a lot of her films for sale ). But let´s be honest, one of the most classic films with a female action heroes is of course Luc Besson´s Nikita. Released in 1990, this film became a cult hit for fans of action films. Lead actress Ann Parillaud as the assassin Nikita, turned out to be a really good character in a very well made action film. Nikita manage to balance a great story and the action scenes are impressive. Director Luc Besson clearly knew what he was doing, and this is a must see. I recently came across a new Philippine action movie called Maria, that i have read some reviews online. This seemed to be a throwback to the 90´s, and i love to see films like this being made in present day. Is the new action film Maria a great time for the whole family, or is Maria proof that the 90´s action films were better ?
Maria ( Cristine Reyes ) lives an ordinary family life, but she have a secret past as an assassin in the Black Rose cartel. She betrayed the Black Rose cartel and left without finishing the job. To disappear, she faked her own death to start a new Life. But the cartel finds her, through Kaleb ( Germaine De Leon ) and he wants her dead. He sends out his best assassins, and kill both her husband and daughter. Maria thought she could leave her past behind, now she must face reality and make things right again.
If you are looking for Oscar performances, or a great plot, you won´t find it here in Maria. However, if you want to see a bad ass woman, kicking a hell of a lot of ass, this is a film for you. Maria is a throwback to the martial art films of the 90´s, where you recognize the plot. But the most positive is that actress Cristine Reyes is the lead character Maria. She has done a lot of films in the Philippines, but this is the first film i have seen her in. Cristine manage to become the Cynthia Rothrock of the Philippines, and she does a really good job with her fighting scenes. Her acting may not be really strong, but as an action actor she knows what she is doing. I also enjoy the performance of actress Jennifer Lee as the fighter Miru. This film is actually better with the female cast, since some of the male actors don´t feel as interesting. I will say though that evil Kaleb, played by actor Germaine De Leon is a good choice for a bad guy. Since Maria does not have a strong plot, this film rely on the action scenes. The budget is limited, but this film manage to get it done right anyway, thanks to great fighting choreography. The dialogue is not anything you will remember here, Since it is very basic. But that´s ok, if you just want to be entertained by an action film, you won´t care about the dialogue. The revenge theme is actually something that works for a film like this. Is there anything that this film fails with ? I would probably say that the acting is one of the main problems with this film, especially when most of the male cast does not deliver as much as the female characters. Other than that, i can´t complain much since i enjoy films such as Maria, that tries to bring martial art action movies of the 90´s back to present day. If you enjoy earlier films of Jean-Claude Van Damme and Cynthia Rothrock, then you will most likely have a good time with Maria. I hope to see actress Cristine Reyes in more films like Maria, we definitely need more films with women kicking ass.