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'Jungle Cruise' star Emily Blunt is among most underrated female action heroes, here's why

Emily Blunt has acted in many action flicks, then why is she not considered a great action movie star?
Emily Blunt attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)
Emily Blunt attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

Emily Blunt has been one of the greatest actresses of this generation and the kind of performances she has given in recent years is a testament to her talent. The British actress began her career by doing roles in drama and comedy movies. Her portrayal of Emily in ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ made her a star as she won the Best Supporting Actress accolade at the Golden Globes.

Her career began to flourish and she came to be known as an intense actor who specializes in working in the drama genre. Maybe that’s something that Blunt did not like and she changed her direction. She kept on doing movies in various genres, but one particular genre that turned out to be her favorite was action. But she wasn’t getting a chance in those kinds of movies initially and had to wait for a good amount of time for her first action film.


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That’s probably not where most moviegoers thought that this actress would be heading towards and there is a good reason for that. She played an assistant to a magazine editor in ‘The Devil Wears Prada’, a Queen in ‘The Young Victoria’ and Matt Damon’s futuristic crush in ‘The Adjustment Bureau’. So, why did she take a new direction and turn towards action movies?

Actor Emily Blunt attends 'A Quiet Place' screening at the Curzon Soho on April 5, 2018, in London, England (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images)

There is a notion that action movies are mostly headed by male actors. Stars like Tom Cruise, Sylvester Stallone and Jason Statham have been the poster boys of action flicks for so long but there was no female actress heading an action franchise. But then came Quentin Tarantino, who gave us ‘Kill Bill’ and changed everyone’s mind. People were now talking about badass female characters beating the hell out of bad guys.

Blunt wanted to enter the elite list and make herself ready for the challenge. It was 2014 when the time finally arrived and she was cast in an action movie titled ‘Edge of Tomorrow’. But she was acting with one of the biggest action stars of all time: Tom Cruise. When the movie was released, it turned out to be a blockbuster hit. For a change, people were talking more about Blunt than they were talking about Cruise. Blunt’s performance and action sequences enthralled everyone. She made a subtle entry into the list of female action heroes which was dominated by some of the biggest names like Milla Jovovich, Charlize Theron, Linda Hamilton and Carrie Ann-Moss.

Emily Blunt as Rita Vrataski in 'Edge of Tomorrow' (Warner Bros.)

In 2015, Blunt continued the trend and starred in the movie ‘Sicario’. The movie stunned everyone and Blunt was universally acclaimed for her impeccable acting. Despite giving strong performances in these action movies, it was hard for her to be considered as one of the best. When the movie came out, Blunt made it clear that her character should not be seen as someone “protecting some sort of feminine ideal”. She spent a lot of time with women who work alongside men in specialist police squads.

Her character was the most believable character in the movie, balancing defiance and vulnerability, physicality and emotion seamlessly.

Emily Blunt as FBI agent Kate Macer in 'Sicario' (Lionsgate)

In between all this, a report came out that Jon Favreau actually wanted Blunt to play the role of Black Widow in ‘Iron Man 2’. With all respect to Scarlett Johansson and her riveting portrayal in the MCU, one would have loved to see Blunt playing the assassin.

Even after playing so many action roles and giving some of the best performances of her career, Blunt is considered an underrated female action star. The biggest reason for that being her movies are not big-budgeted superhero movies that make everyone curious. Her characters are really believable and people can resonate with them. Not many actresses can switch between comedy, action and musicals with such ease, but Blunt is no ordinary actress. She is one of the most consistent actresses of this generation, but unfortunately, she doesn’t have many action roles in her briefcase.

Emily Blunt and John Krasinski attend the 71st Annual Writers Guild Awards New York ceremony at Edison Ballroom on February 17, 2019, in New York City (Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Writers Guild of America, East)

Her screen presence is so powerful that she can give the most successful actors a run for their money. But her name always goes into the background when we talk about great actresses or great female action heroes of all time. With ‘Jungle Cruise’ just around the corner, we hope that Blunt gets what she deserves. She should be known as a true action icon and one of the best female action heroes of this generation.

We are lucky that such a tremendous actress is at her prime during our generation and it would be a travesty if in the future she is just known as any other actress because she is much more than that.

‘Jungle Cruise’ will release simultaneously in theaters and on Disney+ with premier access on Friday, July 30.