O Lara, Wherefore Art Thou?

I did not expect much from The Chronicles of Riddick. Pretty spaceships, evil alien cult armies, Vin Diesel’s glowing eyes.

But now that I’ve seen Tomb Raider and Underworld, I’m much less forgiving of weak female characters. Especially when the female characters actually kick tremendous amounts of ass and should be treated with more respect by the story’s architects.

In Riddick, he’s violent because he’s an invincible alien with special powers. Kyra’s violent because she’s broken. He’s capable of taking care of himself. She always needs his help at a critical moment. She can only win by sacrificing herself. When he wins, he gets the extra prize of a devoted army of followers. She is strong but also looks like a sex bomb, and is not taken seriously as a threat by men because she’s a woman. He is amazingly competent, no questions asked. Her violence is lamentable, a waste of her life that the other characters mourn. His violence is because he’s allegedly evil, but we only know that because other characters say so – we only see him making the right choices – and it’s necessary to save the world.

Give me Lara in Tomb Raider, owning her own destiny and making her own choices. Give me Selene in Underworld, in love but still dedicated, strong, determined. Don’t give me Kyra in Riddick, or Anna Valerious in Van Helsing who is only good for a chick fight, or Trinity the ever-martyred.

I just can’t deal with it anymore.

(Now if I could just stop giving them my money…)

2 thoughts on “O Lara, Wherefore Art Thou?

  1. The.Ex

    Don’t forget how badly they portrayed Dina Meyer’s character Jane in “Johnny Mnemonic”. Though admittedly I haven’t read that short story, I’m basing my criticism on the fact that “Neuromancer” was based off of “Johnny”. Jane wasn’t much of a street samurai, having to depend on Johnny to get out of trouble, whereas Molly saved Case’s ass over and over in “Neuromancer”.

    Wow, that book came out 20 years ago. That kinda disturbs me.

  2. Meredith

    Thank you- this has been upsetting me so much lately. I couldn’t wait for Van Helsing and Riddick to come out, but how disappointing. Can’t a chick rock the universe, look awesome and live to get the guy in the end. It’s ok for her to be “evil” and violent if that’s what it takes. Kyra had what it takes to survive w/o Riddick b4, why couldn’t the writers keep it going. It’s like Gone with the Wind where Scarlet O’Hara is strong and independent getting what she wants the whole movie until the last second and she is too whatever and lets the guy go. I miss Lara and Selene too.

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