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Why Not Kill? A Guide to the Greatest Female Action Villains

on April 12, 2017, 6:48pm
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KARLA FRY

BEVERLY HILLS COP II

brigitte nielsen Why Not Kill? A Guide to the Greatest Female Action Villains

Actress: Brigitte Nielsen

Who is She? She may be the chief “henchwoman” of Jürgen Prochnow’s nefarious businessman Maxwell Dent, but it’s pretty clear she’s running the show. As Dent kicks back in his office, Karla is executing the Alphabet Crimes, a series of methodical, high-profile heists designed to help her boss reap lucrative insurance windfalls.

Distinguishing Marks: Despite standing over six feet tall and sporting a neat crop of bleached blonde hair, Karla is still somehow a master of disguise, with each character she plays as sartorially striking as the last. A hushed, tightly wound Russian accent.

brigitte nielsen Why Not Kill? A Guide to the Greatest Female Action Villains

Weapon of Choice: A Desert Eagle semi-automatic handgun.

Best Kill: Her ruthless headshot of colleague (and patsy) Chip Cain (Dean Stockwell) is both a sign of her efficiency and a testament to her coldheartedness.

One-Liner: A woman of few words, Karla speaks sparingly and with purpose. She’s also not one for clever parting lines. A cold, simple, “Goodbye,” is all she cares to muster for those in her crosshairs.

Fate: Gunned down by Detective John Taggart, who follows her death up with a condescending, “Women!” A shame she wasn’t able to squeeze out one final shot as retribution for that one.

How Evil Is She? Much more so than Dent, who is all but eclipsed by her character. Karla’s coldness extends to even her most benign of conversations; she barely even musters a smile upon meeting Eddie Murphy’s Axel Foley for the first time, though you can’t really blame her after he almost immediately makes with the sexist remarks (“How long does it take to shave those legs?” he asks). Not even a criminal mastermind is immune to misogyny.

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