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( Rolf Konow / Sony Picture Entertainment )
By Robert W. Welkos, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
They're lean, mean fighting machines with gorgeous looks, steely expressions and gams up to here. They are the kick-butt women of Hollywood, those lithe and limber actresses who have carved out a niche for themselves with their karate moves, blade fights and an ability to master weapons of any kind -- just like the video-game and comic-book heroines they often portray on the big screen.
For years, Arnold, Sly and Bruce were the names that were synonymous with action hero. Now, even with "The Exendables" released, they're more likely to be Milla, Kate and Jennifer.
To be sure, the public doesn't always like what it gets -- "Catwoman" and "Aeon Flux" bombed at the box office -- but that doesn't mean the ladies aren't trying. Little by little, in fact, they are transforming the sci-fi/action genre that once seemed like an all-male domain.
(Above: Milla Jovovich in "Resident Evil: Extinction.")