The Seven Greatest Female Action Heroes
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The recent release of Steven Soderbergh’s Haywire, starring MMA fighter Gina Carano, was as notable for its A-List cast and crew as it was for the casting of an actress not named Jolie in the lead role. As such, it got us to thinking: How many true female Action Heroes are there?
I’m sure everyone’s tired of all those cheesecake Lara Croft photos, so here’s something a bit more drab.
1. Angelina Jolie
Along with Carla Gugino, Jolie may be the actress with the looks and the body most able to match the implausible dimensions and gravity-defying contours of the typical comic book/video game femme fantastic. This physical package helped get her cast as the live-action equivalent of a character few thought could have a live-action equivalent: Lara Croft. But breasts and legs aside, the two Tomb Raider films that resulted—Tomb Raider (2001) and The Cradle of Life (2003)—busted down a door that had only occasionally opened before, allowing actresses to be cast as resourceful, weapon-wielding leads in action flicks. Her transformation of the risk-averse industry’s perspective is nowhere clearer than with 2010’s Salt, in which the title role, originally written for a traditional male lead, underwent gender reassignment so that Jolie could be cast. As a result, though one can argue which actress on this list makes for the most believable Action Hero, there’s little room to argue who has been the most influential.
See the honorable mentions and future contenders on the next page.