Whether you're sitting down in the theater for the newest puzzle piece from the MCU or catching a repeat viewing of your favorite blockbuster action flick from the '90s, there's always a secret weapon to look out for. In action movies and other big-ticket items, those secret weapons often turn out to be butt-kicking women who take no prisoners even as they take a backseat to their headlining co-stars.
These characters generally only pop up for a few scenes, or they mostly hang out in the background, but in a sense they hold the entire movie together. In many cases, these awesome women are dealing with a B or even C plot that seems less important because of limited screen time, but without their work, there's no way the protagonist could ride off into the sunset.
Which one of these secret weapon women is the most important to their film? That's up to you.
Shuri In ‘Black Panther’
Black Panther may be Wakanda's greatest hero and one of the most important protagonists of the MCU, but he and the rest of the Wakandan army wouldn't be able to bust half as many skulls without Shuri's technological know-how. It's not just that she's a regular genius, she actually figured out how to take vibranium and form it into special tools that allow her brother and his followers to establish the most technologically advanced society on Earth.
One of the major plot points of Black Panther revolves around Killmonger stealing Shuri's designs in order to share vibranium weapons across the planet. That shows just how important she is to T'Challa and the infrastructure of Wakanda. Without Shuri, T'Challa wouldn't have had a Panther habit that fit in a necklace, and he definitely wouldn't have been able to win his kingdom back so easily.Indispensable?
- Photo: 20th Century Fox
Deadpool would be royally screwed if it weren't for Domino. This mutant with the ability to control probability is the one member of X-Force who survives the planned parachute heist of Russell Collins, and it's through that miraculous survival she's able to take control of the prison transport and throw a big enough wrench in its spokes for Deadpool to get his bearings.
Domino factors into the whole saving-the-day motif again when the gang convenes at Essex House to stop Russell from killing the headmaster. She keeps most of the staff/nameless henchmen at bay while Cable and Deadpool focus on Juggernaut. If she hadn't been there, it's likely they wouldn't have been able to take down the giant brute at all.Indispensable?
For the first half of Thor: Ragnarok, it's not clear what - if any - purpose Valkyrie serves, but then her memories of fighting Hela as an elite Asgardian warrior come back, and she takes the reins of the film. Once Valkyrie remembers who she is, she's able to help Thor, Bruce Banner, and even Loki get away from the Grandmaster's trash planet through a wormhole called the Devil's Anus.
Without Valkyrie, Thor and the gang would be stranded on Sakaar with nothing to do but fight and worry about their obedience disks. Once our heroes make it to Asgard, Valkyrie takes on the mantle of MVP. Not only does she mow through a bunch of faceless goons, but she holds off Hela, the goddess of death, while Loki wakes Surtur (a fire giant that is prophesied to bring about Ragnarok) and Thor destroys enough of the Bifrost Bridge. Without Valkyrie, no one would have escaped Ragnarok alive.Indispensable?
Sofia Al-Azwar In ‘John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum’Photo: Lionsgate
Yes, John Wick is the coolest, toughest, and least killable assassin on the planet, but he couldn't have survived on his own after he was declared excommunicado. He would be a grease stain on history if it weren't for Sofia Al-Azwar, the manager of the Continental Hotel in Casablanca.
In Parabellum, Wick has to work his way up the hierarchy of assassins to speak with someone above the High Table; the only person who agrees to help him do that is Sofia. Much of her job is driving Wick to the desert where he has to walk until he can walk no longer, but if she hadn't helped him in that regard he'd be up the creek without a paddle. It's only through Sofia leading Wick to the Elder that he's able to strike a deal with the Elder and remain alive long enough to set up John Wick 4. Of course, let's not forget that, before that trek, Sofia's own assassin skills are put to memorable use in the Casablanca sequence, as she - and her dogs - help Wick take out countless henchmen in one of the film's biggest set pieces.Indispensable?