Rhona Mitra is the Next Death-Dealing Diva
by Kevin Powers
March 16, 2008
Most can rightly say that the positive spin I put on my review of the mediocre Doomsday from yesterday is due to a liking I have for director Neil Marshall. While certainly true, there's another aspect of the film that kept me entertained, which I didn't give proper justice in my description of the movie. Second only to Marshall's dexterity in dismembering cast members, Rhona Mitra's performance as Major Eden Sinclair was an exotic, eye-catching delight. This is the first time the sultry Brit has lead a major production, which feels like Mitra is stepping up as the next sci-fi heroine, definitely replacing Kate Beckinsale and giving Milla Jovovich a run for her money.
Coincidentally timed with the release of Doomsday, I've begun watching back episodes of "The Practice". Mitra played a devilish kitten of an assistant to the firm, Tara Wilson, delivering silky lines of legal arguments and retorts that make you delirious. Of course, her accent does most of the work, but the rest of her certainly bolsters the appeal. The lion share of Mitra's career so far has been in television, including a recurring role in the 2005 season of "Nip/Tuck".
Intermixed with her small-screen experiences are a variety of notable, but unremarkable appearances in such B-movies as Sweet Home Alabama, Hollow Man, Highwaymen and others. (Ok, some might consider her topless scene in Hollow Man to actually be remarkable, so I'll give you that.)
In 2007, Mitra seemed to start her climb toward sexy badass by playing a title character in the very lame werewolf flick Skinwalkers. Despite a shaky plot wherein her character, Rachel, unknowingly sleeps with a werewolf, it's still a treat to watch Mitra run around with guns, all bloodied-up from battling evil creatures.
Mitra furthers her presence in the horror/sci-fi/action space exponentially through her lead role in Doomsday. Marshall's flick will certainly give the seductress volumes of credibility; enough, it seems, for her to take over the title role in the next installment of the Underworld series, Underworld 3: Rise of the Lycans. Most recall the latex-lovin' vampire, Selene, played by Kate Beckinsale in the previous two films. Well, Beckinsale won't be returning for the third time, partly because Rise of the Lycans will be a prequel to the overall story and, as one could imagine, her career has grown a bit outward from the sci-fi genre, what with her recent roles in Click, Vacancy and Snow Angels. Of course, Mitra and Beckinsale on the surface seem pretty interchangeable, so I doubt the series will suffer much and Mitra should gain even more clout as hardened heroine.
While Mitra did an awesome job in Doomsday - chopping off heads, driving fast cars and making ballsy, sarcastic quips - she hasn't quite attained near the physicality of the one and only Milla Jovovich. Certainly, Jovovich's portrayal of the genetically engineered human weapon, Alice, is the bar to be reached. I realize a lot of folks consider the Ukrainian to be a cult icon already; but I must say, Mitra has promise and a much better accent.
Interestingly, Jovovich announced her retirement from the Resident Evil series late last year. Time is certainly right for Mitra to step up and become the sci-fi vixen. However, she might have some competition. Ali Larter, who played Claire Redfield in Resident Evil: Extinction is rumored to be getting her own spin-off of the zombie franchise. Larter, most well known for her role as Nikki in the TV favorite "Heroes", has yet to get as down and dirty as Mitra, but she certainly has potential and is a nice contrast to the Brit - Larter being straight-up American and blonde.
I'll continue to root for Mitra, however. Her silky accent and smoky stare is far deadlier than any sword, gun or telepathy!