Sunday, December 22, 2013

Movies: Are they all the Invisible Woman?

Over the last 13 years, Marvel and DC have been churning out movies like crazy.

Where are the women?

Where are the female superheroes?

We've had The Invisible Girl (Jessica Abla in The Fantastic Four films), Storm (Halle Berry) with Rogue (Anna Paquin), Kitty Pride (Ellen Page) and most of all Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) in the X-Men films.


That's it.

Now in the same 13 years, they've served up Superman, Batman, Wolverine, Iron Man, Captain America, The Hulk, the Green Lantern, the Green Hornet, Spider-Man, the Thing, the Human Torch, Mr. Fantastic, Cyclops, Beast, Iceman, Thor and others.

But all we've seen of the female superheroes is Storm, Rogue and Jean three times, the Invisible Girl twice and Kitty Pride (played by Page and not in a cameo) once.

In all that time, there have been 4 Spider-Man films, 2 Super Man films, 3 Batman films, 2 Wolverine films, 3 Iron Man films, 2 Hulk films and 2 Thor films but there hasn't even been one Marvel or DC film set around a female superhero.

2006's X-Men: The Last Stand is finally getting a real follow up.

We don't count Junior X-Men Frolic (aka X-Men: First Class) as a follow up because it's a prequel and, honestly, you can't do the X-Men without Storm.

The poster above was for X-Men: The Last Stand.  Seven male superheroes are pictured, only three female ones.

The weekend has brought the news that, although Paquin filmed her scenes as Rogue, they're all being cut from the film.

That leaves Storm.  But oops . . .

Halle Berry already explained that her "surprise pregnancy" in real life meant her part was drastically cut: "I wasn't in it as much as I was meant to be."

The only returning female superhero now will be Kitty Pride.

Cutting out Rogue is going to create a backlash and it should.

It will be a backlash that effects all the superhero movies.

Ant-Man seemed so filled with possibilities.

Now it's just proof that they'll even churn out a film about a man who shrinks to the size of an ant before they'll make a film about a DC or Marvel female superhero.


Elektra, though well played by Jennifer Garner in the 2005 film, is not a superhero.  She's a paid assassin.  By the same token, the awful Black Widow is not a superhero.  She's trained to shoot guns and in martial arts.  Those aren't super powers and we won't pretend they are.

Wonder Woman will appear (finally) in film.  It's only taken, what, over 70 years?  She will be in a minor character supporting Superman and Batman in the Ben Affleck film pitting the two against each other.

We're aware Fan Bingbing will play Blink in the upcoming X-Men film. We're also aware that, in the shooting script, she's got very little to do.

Added 6:30 a.m., 12/23/2013.  What of Catwoman?  Catwoman is not a superhero.  She has super powers but her actions are not heroic.  However, as portrayed by Halle Berry in The Catwoman film, the character is simplistic and prone to puppy love -- maybe why the film failed? -- and, if you ignore the character's history and focus solely on that film, then you could argue she comes off as a superhero.  You could also argue the opposite based on her actions in the film which revolve around clearing her name, finding out how she got powers, etc.  In other words, she's not saving the world from Dr. Doom and her actions aren't motivated by stopping Joker from exploding a bomb.

Since we're talking about one of the biggest 'bombs' in a decade we should note many films did worse at the box office and that Halle's performance was not the problem.  Nor was Sharon Stone the problem as the villainess.  Hiding the fact that Stone was the bad guy was very TV-ish and wasted film time.  This wasn't a mystery, it was an action adventure.  The script is wretched and that's especially true in the third act.  Had Stone been established as the bad guy earlier in the film, had we seen her super powers used then, it would have made a better film.  Instead, with 28 pages to wind the whole film down, we're learning Stone has super strength and it's all over the top.

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