THE THROWDOWN: Han Solo vs. Indiana Jones

Wednesday is throwdown day at Keith & the Movies. It’s when we take two movie subjects and pit them against each other and see who’s left standing. Each Wednesday we’ll look at actors, actresses, movies, genres, scenes, and much more and see how they stand up one-on-one. And it’s not just my opinion that counts. I’ll share my take and then open up the polls to you. Visit each week for a new throwdown. Vote each week to decide the true winner!

Harrison Ford has the honor of being the centerpiece of the very first Keith & the Movies Throwdown. This week it’s Ford’s two most iconic roles putting on the gloves and duking it out. It’s the scoundrel turned hero of the Star Wars universe Han Solo taking on everyone’s favorite whip-weilding archeologist Indiana Jones.

HAN SOLO vs INDIANA JONES

Harrison Ford really took off in the 8o’s mainly thanks to two fantastic roles that were a part of two fantastic franchises. Han Solo was and is my favorite Star Wars character. Ford’s cocky and wisecracking smuggler was compelling from the first moment you see him onscreen. He has many memorable moments with his furry best friend Chewbacca and his relationship with Princess Leia provides some romance as well as some of the series’ funniest scenes. But Han doesn’t just talk the tough talk, he walks it too and a case could be made that his story of redemption is one of the most intriguing of the franchise.

Then you have the great Indiana Jones, an archeologist with a snapping whip and a knack for ticking off Nazis and cultists. Indy crosses the globe in search of some of the biggest treasures all while finding himself in some of the stickiest situations. But like a true action hero, he gets out of his predicaments through some of the wildest means. With the exception of the most recent Indiana Jones picture, these moves were filled with cool action and some great humor and I still get giddy whenever I see Indy in a pit full of snakes, holding on to a collapsing swinging bridge, or running from a giant boulder.

There are your choices. Now it’s time for you to vote. Both are characters that I have affection for going all the way back to my youth. So now I place them in your hands. Cast your vote and share your thoughts. Han Solo or Indiana Jones?

5 PHENOMENAL MOVIE TOUGH GIRLS

There’s plenty of action pictures featuring movie tough guys. In fact, an entire action genre centered around muscle-bound movie tough guys in the 80’s and early 90’s. But we do a disservice if we fail to recognize that there have been some tough-as-nails women that can hold their own against any of the guys. So I thought it would be fun to give the ladies their due by listing 5 Phenomenal Movie Tough Girls. It may surprise you but there are a lot more tough girls to choose from than you might think. So after much deliberation here are my top five. As always, this isn’t the definitive list. But there’s no denying that these 5 Movie Tough Girls are absolutely phenomenal.

#5 – ALICE (“Resident Evil” Series)

While the movies are far from great, Milla Jovovich’s Alice has evolved into a very recognizable movie tough girl. Through several sequels she has punched, kicked, sliced, and shot her way through hordes of zombies and creatures. Jovovich has used shotguns, rocket launchers, swords, and special powers and she does it with the same sneering gravitas that many of the better male action stars used. Even though she doesn’t have the best material to work with, there’s just something too cool about watching Alice in action.

#4 – MALLORY KANE (“Haywire”)

Gina Carano blew me away with this year’s “Haywire”. She plays a government black ops agent who is double crossed and on the run. Director Steven Soderbergh puts Carano’s MMA background on display as she kicks butt from New York to Barcelona to Mexico. She has attitude to spare and her ability to fight is undeniable (just ask the likes of Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor, Channing Tatum, and Antonio Banderas). If you doubt that Mallory Kane belongs on this list, check out “Haywire”. It just came out on DVD.

#3 – SARAH CONNOR (“Terminator 2: Judgement Day”)

In the first Terminator picture, Sarah Connor was your basic girl on the run from danger. Boy how things change in “Terminator 2”. Linda Hamilton bulks up and gives Sarah a harder edge and an almost militaristic personality. Knowing the war that’s coming, Sarah fights alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger and more than holds her own. Whether it’s with her fists or with machine guns, she blasts away at anyone who gets in her way including the new T-1000 terminator. This new Sarah Connor certainly qualifies as a movie tough girl.

#2 – PRINCESS LEIA (“Star Wars” Series)

When watching the original “Star Wars”, it doesn’t take long to see that Princess Leia is as tough as they come. We see her open rebellion against the evil Galactic Empire and her unwillingness to compromise with them in the movie’s first scenes. It also doesn’t take Han and Luke long to see that she’s a no-nonsense woman who tells it like it is. She’s handy with the laser blaster and she doesn’t mind putting herself in danger. She plays an intricate role in saving Han’s life and it was Leia that kills Jabba the Hutt. Carrie Fisher’s Leia is as surly as any tough guy and she has the smarts to make things happen. Leia is the quintessential tough girl.

#1- ELLEN RIPLEY (“Alien” Series)

It’s been argued that Ellen Ripley is the best female movie character of all time. I don’t know about that but I do think she’s the toughest female character of all time. And regardless of what other role she may play, anytime I see Sigourney Weaver, I automatically think of Ellen Ripley. In the first Alien picture she was the only survivor of her ship’s crew and she single-handedly killed the alien. In the second film we see just how tough Ripley is. She uses grenades, flamethrowers, pulse rifles, and even a robotic crane to kill a load of aliens and even the queen. In the third film she even kills herself to keep the alien inside of her from getting out. Throughout the series Ripley encounters a variety of so-called tough guys. Isn’t it interesting that she is the one that actually survives. Sounds like she’s the one that’s truly tough.

There you have it. There were several others that I considered but these were the five that stood out the most. Do you agree or disagree with my list? Do you see someone who I left off? Who would you include on your list? Please take time to comment and share who is your favorite tough girl.