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Sidekicks are always quasi-lame guys like Batman's Robin, right? Wrong! Not all sidekicks are dudes, and not all female companions are damsels in distress. Sure, you've got the ladies who do it on their own (Ripley from Alien, Sarah Conner from Terminator 2), but what about the ones who show just as much guts for someone else's glory? Women like Trinity from The Matrix are tough enough to be a No. 1, so what keeps them at No. 2? The answers vary, so check out the following five female sidekicks, starting with the most recent...
Mystique (Rebecca Romijn), X-Men (2000)
Why She Kicks Ass: Magneto's minion is wonderfully wicked. This ultra-babe can not only change forms, she can also take out whole armies of men with her bare blue hands. Arguably one of the coolest mutants, Mystique is also one of the smartest: Who else has the know-how to sabotage super-devices like Cerebro?
Why She Doesn't Kick It Solo: It would seem out of devotion to Magneto (Ian McKellen). Humanity should consider itself lucky -- non-mutants wouldn't stand a chance with Mystique calling the shots.
Trinity (Carrie-Ann Moss), The Matrix (1999)
Why She Kicks Ass: Neo (Keanu Reeves) may be the one to bring down the machines, but if it weren't for Trinity he'd still be a paper-pushing cog. Not many women can take out super-computers and Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving). Not to mention she is one badass babe clad in all that black leather!
Why She Doesn't Kick It Solo: Well, she's just not "The One." Neo is. He's also the one to win her heart, so she's completely and totally devoted to him.
Ms. Kensington (Elizabeth Hurley), Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)
Why She Kicks Ass: Smart, gorgeous, and good with a gun -- what more could a spy guy want from his sidekick? You've got to give Ms. Vanessa Kensington credit: Not many women could keep pace with Austin Powers (Mike Meyers). The fact that she is able to resist his charms for almost the entirety of the film actually makes her more impressive. Alas, eventually, the mojo proves too much for her and they marry -- she's only human after all. (Or is she?)
Why She Doesn't Kick It Solo: Vanessa is by-the-books. If she's assigned to back-up Austin, she'll back him up. End of story.
Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), Jurassic Park (1993)
Why She Kicks Ass: Alan Grant (Sam Neill) may save the kids, but his colleague, student and girlfriend Sattler deftly fends off ravenous velociraptors, the amorous Jeff Goldblum and any implication that her gender renders her unfit for the task: "We can discuss sexism in survival situations when I get back," she snaps. There's no doubt this is one ballsy chick.
Why She Doesn't Kick It Solo: Well, she is dating her professor, so hero-worship could be at play. Plus, it's hard to swagger around like Indiana Jones when you're willing to bury your arms deep into a pile of dinosaur dung.
Ursa (Sarah Douglas), Superman II (1980)
Why She Kicks Ass: You can't help but think that Trinity may have copped some of her style from this killer chick from Krypton: the short, dark 'do, the head-to-toe black. But General Zod's (Terence Stamp) right-hand lady is one tough act to follow. In her quest to crush Superman (Christopher Reeve), Ursa makes mince-meat of mere mortal men, and even the Man of Steel is blown away by her... literally. Ursa was so cool, she made a generation of nice young girls root for the bad guys.
Why She Doesn't Kick It Solo: Zod's the General. Like Vanessa Kensington, Ursa follows orders. Evil, evil orders.
Check out The Matrix tonight, Thu., May 19 at 8PM | 7C and 11PM | 10C, part of AMC Can't Get Enough The Matrix.