The Action Movie Trend We Can't Get Enough Of

It’s August, and we’re heading into the twilight hours of summer blockbuster season. Looking back on this summer’s runaway hits and critical slams, we can say that the summer of 2017 rewarded originality — as with Baby Driver and The Big Sick — and wasn’t as kind on efforts to bring obscure monsters back to life (The Mummy).

But the real winning trend of summer 2017? The sheer number of brave, bold, and completely ass-kicking women action heroes featured in film. This was the summer of Wonder Woman proving that not only could women superheroes win world wars, movies about women superheroes could be the top-grossing films of the summer.

Aside from Diana Prince (Gal Gadot), the summer offered a slew of other beyond impressive women action stars. Charlize Theron’s spy choreography in Atomic Blonde has been etched into our minds. We’re still recovering from Katherine Waterston’s attempts to dodge a slithering xenomoprh in Alien: Covenant.

Here’s to the summer of Wonder Woman and her kindred.

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The spy who's upstaging James Bond

Charlize Theron as Lorraine Broughton in Atomic Blonde

Who's the real MVP of Atomic Blonde? Is it Lorraine Broughton, the M16 spy who sneaks into East Berlin to recover a list of double agents, and takes on an average of five KGB officers at a time? Or is it Charlize Theron herself, who bruised her ribs, cracked two teeth, and eventually underwent dental surgery while performing Broughton's intense stunts? Either way, Atomic Blonde ushered in an era of women doing their own cinematic tricks, and doing them well.
The war photographer who'd do anything for a good shot — including befriend King Kong

Brie Larson as Mason Weaver in Kong: Skull Island

Not many of us are as committed to our jobs as Mason Weaver. After the Vietnam War ends and her gig as a war photographer is over, Mason barges onto an army mission heading to a mysterious island where massive monsters are thought to roam. Mason's the only individual to show King Kong any kindness — and that pays off for her, in both lives saved and great photographs.
The alien assassin who doesn't have time to play your games

Zoe Saldana as Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy 2

Look, we get it. Baby Groot is a thrilling cinematic presence. We love his one-line dialogue as much as we love Hodor’s.

But don’t kid yourself: the real treasure of the Guardians of the Galaxy series is the darkly funny, absolutely lethal Gamora. She’s burdened with the responsibility of managing a tribe of egoistic personalities: A vacuous Star-Lord, an immature raccoon, a toddler tree, and a grunting ex-con. We’re amazed she has energy left to fuel her insanely powerful bouts of hand-to-hand combat.
The gun-slinging 18th-century vigilante

Laura Dern as Clementine in The Good Time Girls

Clementine is the modern-day take on the vigilante of the Wild West, administering justice with an eagle eye and a wry smile. The madame of a brothel, Clementine and her employees are waiting for a group of guests to arrive, so that, after all these years, they can unleash their revenge.

After working on other Western films, like The Hateful Eight and Django Unchained, the film's director, Courtney Hoffman, was inspired to bring a feminist twist on the genre in The Good Time Girls, a Shatterbox Anthology film.

"I think, specifically, Westerns are America's Greek mythology, and it has created the white male hero in cinema and storytelling...To me, breaking down those boundaries with gender felt really exciting," Hoffman told The Hollywood Reporter.
The princess-turned-mummy

Sofia Boutella as Princess Ahmanet in The Mummy

Princess Ahmanet is a blue eyeliner-wearing warrior, and she's nothing like the mummies you see on Halloween. Living in Ancient Egypt, the princess had been promised the throne. The birth of her son strips her of that right — and, gruesomely enough, she calls upon the god Set to help her get the throne back, no matter how bloody the method. Ahmanet undergoes a major transformation, from princess to mummy to modern-day villain. Boutella brings pathos and emotion to each stage. Ahmanet is not just a monster — she's an individual.
The most wondrous superhero of them all

Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman/Diana in Wonder Woman

Imbued with superhuman strength, a truth-telling lasso, and a sword more powerful than Valyrian steel, Wonder Woman is the ultimate powerhouse. But it’s more than just physical abilities that make Diana such a crucial component in stopping Doctor Poison's (Elena Anaya) path to destruction in WWI. Hailing from the all-women, mythological island Themyscira, Diana is bewildered by humanity’s lack of empathy. Though others chalk up her seemingly boundless capacity for love and kindness as naïveté, it’s actually her most important quality.
The rookie FBI agent with unflappable resolve and an expert shot

Elizabeth Olsen as Jane Banner in Wind River

Immediately upon arriving to Wyoming’s Wind River reservation to look into the murder of a local teenage girl, FBI agent Jane Banner knows she’s in over her head. A blizzard is coming, and Banner, clad in nothing more than a lightweight jacket, isn’t prepared. She is, however, prepared to fight for justice in finding the young woman’s killer. With the help of Jeremy Renner’s Cory Lambert, Banner realizes that the gruesome truth is embedded into the reservation’s difficult living conditions and pervasive feeling of hopelessness.
The 28th-century special agent on a mission to save life, the universe, & everything

Cara Delevigne as Sergeant Laureline in Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Along with her partner, Valerian (Dane DeHaan), Laureline travels through space and time to solve crime. Overall, it's a far more colorful and exciting gig than anyone on Law and Order experiences. Valerian and Laureline's mission brings them to Alpha, a city of 4,000 alien species, and home to all of the knowledge of the universe. Beat that, Big Apple.
The tough-as-nails heroine who weathers a dystopian desertscape & a pack of cannibals

Suki Waterhouse as Arlen in The Bad Batch

Imagine being taken captive in a desolate, Mad Max-esque desert, and waking up without a leg or an arm. Or, actually, don't imagine it — it's gruesome. Instead, watch how boldly Arlen (Suki Waterhouse) fights against her cannibalistic captors.
The steely commander ready to blow some xenomorphs into space

Katherine Waterston as Daniels in Alien: Covenant

When their ship is hit by a stellar neutrino, a group of space colonists are woken from their deep sleep. To their horror, their captain, who also happens to be Daniel's husband, is burned to death in his space pod as a result of the impact. From then on, the mission goes completely awry. Their new captain Oram (Billy Crudup) has the bright idea to divert their course to a closer inhabitable planet, which just so happens to be full of chest-bursting, back-bursting, overall bloody aliens.

If only everyone had listened to the sensible Daniels from the start. Even while clouded by grief over the loss of her husband, she proves to be the most brave, capable leader of them all.
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