Looking good is one thing. Looking good and kicking ass simultaneously is quite another, as Kate Beckinsale has proved time and time again in the "Underworld" movies. You think wearing that skin-tight leather bodysuit while leaping, running, shooting automatic weapons and beating Lycans to a pulp is easy? Have you ever tried it?
In honor of Beckinsale's newest ass-kicking showcase, "Underworld: Awakening," not to mention former MMA star Gina Carano's buzzed-about turn in "Haywire" -- and just to be sure we don't piss either of them off -- we tip our hats to nine female characters we wouldn't want to cross.
Next to these babes, we'd be toast.
9. Kate Beckinsale, 'Underworld' (2003-2012)
Selene may be a vampire, but she certainly doesn't sparkle in the sunlight. She's a Death Dealer, trained to kick werewolf (or Lycan, as they're known here) booty, and we're not talking about warm and fuzzy Taylor Lautner type. Humans and young vamps are crushed with her super-strength, but she also knows her way around weapons both medieval and modern. Plus, she can leap from really high buildings and hold her breath under water a crazy long time.
8. Uma Thurman, 'Kill Bill' (2003-2004)
The Bride was already an elite assassin before she got pregnant with Bill's baby and he ordered her fellow assassins to kill her and the rest of the guests at her wedding. Now she's a woman seeking vengeance and a sword she ordered specially made to "kill people." If that's not enough, she's a master at Pai Mei's deadly Five-Point Exploding Heart Technique.
7. Chloe Moretz, 'Kick-Ass' (2010)
Hit-Girl may look small, sweet and innocent, but don't let that fool you. She packs some major heat and a whole lotta moxie. She's also smart enough to wear a bullet-proof vest and clutch when her loved ones are in a pickle.
6. Carrie-Anne Moss, 'The Matrix' (1999-2003)
Trinity may know her way around computers, but she's also an ace at martial arts and can download just about any piece of knowledge she may need, from how to fly a helicopter to how to operate a firearm. More importantly, her kiss has the power to bring sleeping beauty Keanu Reeves back to life. Now that's dangerous.
5. Sigourney Weaver, 'Alien' (1979-1997)
Ellen Ripley protects human life, but, unless you're human, stay away. Not only will she unleash her sharp tongue ("Get away from her, you bitch!"), but she carries a big gun. A really big gun. As for what her appearance did to gender stereotypes when she made her debut in 1979, let's just say Angelina may owe Sigourney Weaver a thank you note.
4. Linda Hamilton, 'Terminator' (1984-1991)
Sarah Connor became a warrior 10 years after she was visited by the father of her child (from the future). Of course, her training took some wrong turns seeing as she was deemed criminally insane and tossed into a mental hospital. We all know determination + crazy = watch out!
3. Michelle Yeoh, 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' (2000)
Yu Shu Lien would lead you to a most graceful death. She may look and move like a dancer, but, using the air, her wits and her ability to surprise, this warrior presents a fierce challenge to even her youngest enemies. Like many of her kick-ass comrades, she also as the power of true love fueling her fire.
2. Milla Jovovich, 'Resident Evil' (2002-2010)
Alice has suffered amnesia and Just. Won't. Die. As she continues to do battle with zombie-like creatures and the Umbrella Corporation, she gets tougher and tougher, becoming a bioweapon, developing telekinesis so strong she can kill with a single glance. She may finally take out those evil bastards once and for all in the next installment.
1. Angelina Jolie, Just About Everything (1995-2010)
From Evelyn "Salt" and "Tomb Raider" Lara Croft to Jane "Mrs. Smith" and Fox ("Wanted"), the list of Angelina actioners goes on ... Seriously, we do not want to mess with her, not under any circumstance. Whether she's wearing blood in real life or drawing it on screen, we admit – we're scared ... and deeply awed.
Originally published March 21, 2011.