Pacific Rim

December 30, 2013

I am doubling up on posts tonight because that way I won’t have to write three tomorrow to play my self-imposed game of catch up.

Today I decided to watch Pacific Rim since I hadn’t yet seen it and because some folks were talking about it at the party I attended on Saturday. I figured I would finally see what the hype was about. Immediately, I could tell it was going to be a visually stunning movie. Twenty minutes later, I was annoyed because there was not even one woman with any significant role in the film. Once that woman showed up, her actions were limited by men. Often, she was talked down to, and not permitted into certain roles just to protect her. Even when she proved she was able to protect herself, she was not to be trusted, because she might cave into her emotional side.

There was at least one other woman with a significant role in the movie, if you don’t count the voice of the giant robot thingy, which I do not. That woman was seen very briefly, looked remarkably like her male counterpart, and both she and her co-drifter were killed and essentially forgotten about. So that really leaves ONE woman in the entire film filled with men running around trying to save the world.

You could say, hey, at least the woman wasn’t just a sex object. At least that, right? I fucking guess. But she still needed saving, and a man risked his life for hers.

With any kind of gender balance in the movie at all, it could have been a much more awesome movie. I felt torn between wanting to enjoy the story and being grumpy at the inequality. I mean, at least they had people of color in extremely prominent roles, right? Except that in a few scenes, the main guy talks down to Idris Elba’s character, telling him things he should actually know, because he is the one who engineered the entire fucking plan in the first place. A simple shift in which character was speaking could have fixed that.

This sort of thing annoys the shit out of me with major motion pictures and television shows, especially when it’s sci-fi and it’s something I really want to enjoy. It made me glad I always look for things like this in films anymore. Oh, things like this… sexism, inequality, etc. Such blatant slaps in the face are good for writers like me. It reminds me to write better, be more mindful, and always do a revision on this level. Sweep for stereotypes. Think about what they mean, if they cause harm, or if they’re a commentary on it.

…And I think I am all diatribed out for now.

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