Last night I watched The Assassin Next Door, a rather good, powerful and emotional movie about Galia, a young mother who's trapped in Tel Aviv working (as far as I can tell) as an indentured escort for an organized crime syndicate. She's got a daughter back in Kiev and she's trying to get home, but since her passport is being held hostage, she has no way to escape.
Oh, here's a link to the IMDb page on The Assassin Next Door. Incidentally for Neil Marshall fans, the actress who plays Galia is the "huntress" Etain in Centurion. If you haven't seen that film, just stop reading now, go see it, and then come back here.
Eventually bad stuff happens, and then there's more bad stuff, and Galia is given the offer that, if she'll act as a trigger-(wo)man on a couple of hits, she'll be given her passport and tickets and money to go home. Galia moves into a shitty apartment building during this time, and finds herself next door to Elanor, a young wife of an abusive husband who fights with her and beats her every night.
Eventually Galia and Elanor enter into a friendship and partnership as each helps the other get out of their awful situation. Fear not, folks - I have not suddenly started watching the Oxygen channel. While there is a lot of emotion and talk about friendship and loss and childbirth yadda yadda yadda (which I will say, is done with craft and subtlety and a fair degree of good acting), there are a number of gunfights and some pretty shocking displays of violence. This movie falls squarely into that category of "Violent Drama"; it's not an action movie, but the action that does take place is brutal, graphic, and very meaningful and real.
I find it interesting that some of the best female revenge stories I can think of (Kill Bill excepted, of course), such as this movie, Thelma & Louise, and as one person pointed out to me, Bound, feature a pair of women who form a relationship and partnership to work through their conflict. On the other hand, when guys get vengeance in movies or books, it's almost a "Lone Wolf Crusade", where there is no partner in crime.
I am not sure if I think of this as a bad stereotype, or rather, a negative stereotype. Certainly as Kill Bill shows you can have strong solo female revenge stories, and in terms of male revenge stories where there is a partnership, you most often have the "buddy cop" archetype where one guy is out to avenge a partner or some similar injustice, and his new partner finally agrees to help him on his crusade.
I feel the question is, when you tend to have women seeking revenge in a partnership while men seek it on their own, are you saying women need to work together to take on their male nemesis, while men don't need help? Or is it that a female revenge story seems to work best with two characters in a team playing off against each other in the same way that "buddy cop" movies work so well with partners playing off against each other?
If anyone can point me towards other female revenge films where there is actually a pair of female protagonists, I would appreciate it. I'd like to explore this idea and see if there are any conclusions that can be drawn.