5 FOR 2015: Five Feminist Action Movies
Let’s be honest: there’s times we all get sick of dialog. Writerliness aside, I’m a woman deeply interested in watching all things explode. That being said, there’s nothing less interesting than watching another Princess in a Tower trope, and the politics of action movies have been classically frazzled. If you’re looking to delve into some awesome flames and fury without provoking a righteous feminist rage, these are my top five movies for you.
3. The Dark Knight Rises
The last movie in The Dark Knight trilogy is brimming with intelligent, beautifully complex female characters. For one, Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman, both fragile and fierce, the kind of woman who steals Bruce’s mother’s pearls from him and who ventures into the occupied streets of Gotham to save and feed a small child. Despite their turbulent and mythic affair, Catwoman’s bargaining with Batman isn’t predicated on some lost woman refinding herself in love; she knows what she wants and it’s a new identity as herself, not as anybody’s rescued woman. And Christopher Nolan directing guarantees an edge-of-your seat, fantastic ride.
SPOILERS: Someone’s inevitably going to ask why I included, in the massive and wonderful canon of movies focusing primarily on starkly white women shooting people, a movie with a main male protagonist. It goes a little like this: I’m also really sick of movies where women are beautiful protagonists because they are beautiful protagonists who have been wounded in some often-gendered way or are responding to a very gendered set of norms, such as when Katniss Everdeen volunteers for the Hunger Games in a maternal effort to save the little sister she basically raised. Christopher Nolan slaps us with the idea of complex female evil in a way that’s inherently designed to challenge our gendered assumptions of who people are and where they come from.