Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft

Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft

It is fair to say that there are not to many great action roles for women and it is not very often we get to see Hollywood's biggest actresses flex their muscles.

This week sees the return of the G.I. Joe franchise and the likes of Adrianne Palicki get to show off their action skills.

To celebrate the release of the movie we take a look at some of the best modern day female action stars.

Angelina Jolie

When you think of female action starts perhaps it is Angelina Jolie that does immediately spring to mind as she has taken a range of roles during her career.

She really made her action mark back in 2001 when she took on the role of Lara Croft in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.

Jolie brought a mix of strength and sexiness to this character as the movie was a box office hit - not to mention it showed off a very different side to Jolie as an actress.

She returned to the action genre in 2005 when she teamed up with Brad Pitt for Mr & Mrs Smith.

This time around she plays an assassin who discovers her husband is in the same profession when they are sent on the same job.

Directed by Doug Liman this movie is great fun that showed off a playful and deadly side to Jolie - the casting for this film really is just perfect.

We last saw her tackle this genre back in 2010 when she took on the role of Evelyn Salt in Salt.

This was a full on action role that saw Jolie at her very best - she really should take on more roles like this.

Mr & Mrs Smith

Uma Thurman

Uma Thurman hasn't done too many action roles throughout her career but the one that she will forever be remembered for is Kill Bill.

She took on the role of The Bride for the first time back in 2003 as she reunited with Quentin Tarantino.

That yellow catsuit has become iconic as she delivered one of the best female action performances of all time.

Both Kill Bill movies are bloody and brutal and Thurman excelled after spending time training in martial arts and swordsmanship.

This really was the role that revitalised Thurman's career and Kill Bill has gone on to achieve cult status.

Despite the success that Thurman had with both Kill Bill vol 1 & " she hasn't really returned to this genre since.

Kill Bill

Gina Carano

Gina Carano made her names as a mixed martial artist and she is now making the transition into movies.

With a couple of action roles already under her belt Carano is the female star that could really go on to take this genre by the scruff of the neck.

She grabbed everyone's attention in 2012 when she was cast in the lead role of Mallory Kane in Steven Soderbergh's action movie Haywire.

The movie hit the big screen at the beginning of last year and saw her team up with Ewan McGregor and Michael Fassbender.

Haywire was a full on action ride and Carano's background as a mixed martial artist really gave her a presence in this film.

She will be back on the big screen later this year as one of the new faces in Fast & Furious 6.

She will take on the role of Riley and the trailer shows her in some great action sequences.


Milla Jovovich

Milla Jovovich launched herself as an all action star when she took on the role of Alice in Resident Evil.

The franchise hit the big screen for the first time back in 2002 and while this first film didn't show off all of her action ability it paved the way.

Over the next ten years she has returned to this role for a further four movies and each time it has become more action packed and she has done more and more of the stunt work.

A sixth film is believed to be in the pipeline that will see Paul W.S Anders on back in the director's chair.

Back in 2011 we were treated to a new version of The Three Musketeers and with it came a new take on the character Milady de Winter.

She was more assassin like than ever before and Jovovich threw herself into another action role.

Resident Evil: Retribution

Michelle Yeoh

One of the actresses that is often overlooked in this genre is Michelle Yeoh but she has delivered some great performances over the years.

She is famed for performing her own stunts and it was Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon that really grabbed everyone's attention.

She took on the role of Yu Shu Lien in the movie and performed all of her own incredible stunts.

Se has also starred in Tomorrow Never Dies and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor - where she continued to show off her action credentials.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Adrianne Palicki

Adrianne Palicki is showing off her action side this weekend as she takes on the role of Jayne G.I. Joe: Retaliation.

In this sequel, the G.I. Joes are not only fighting their mortal enemy Cobra; they are forced to contend with threats from within the government that jeopardize their very existence.

We have already seen her jump into action in Red Dawn earlier this month so could Adrianne Palicki be the next big female action star?

G.I. Joe: Retaliation

Check out these female action stars kicking some ass

G.I. Joe: Retaliation is out now.

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