“This is a man's world,” James Brown sang, “But it wouldn't be nothing without a woman or a girl.” Best believe.
Modernism has snuck its way into the heart of literature and art, and we have a new style of entertainment to show for it. With feminism being one of the many facets of “woke” culture, the movie industry has inducted female representation, which is fantastic by all counts, into its repertoire. Partisans – or women – worldwide should be ecstatic at this new turn of events, right. Right?
Sexism remains one of the world's oldest ailments, and feminism is the remedy. But any drug meant to save can also kill, depending on the dosage. Many recent and older gender-correction, supposed advocacy films have suffered a “feminist overdose”. A wrong, forceful implication, interpretation, and elucidation of the ideology. In the name of representation, filmmakers have produced audacious garbage. They pander to make socio-political statements that the oppressed community, movie lovers, and film critics should embrace or risk sounding “anti-feminist”.
Here, we explore twenty of the best worst demonstrations of feminism in the movie industry.
1. Ghostbusters (2016)
Of course, this had to be number one.
For a movie co-written by a female screenwriter, Katie Dippold, listed under Variety's 10 Screenwriters to Watch, the Ghostbusters female reboot was a total letdown. Ghostbusters: Answer the Call was directed by Paul Feig, who also co-wrote the movie. It stars Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, and Chris Hemsworth.
The Ghostbusters franchise is one of the oldest and most loved movie franchises, becoming a cultural staple since its first installment released in 1984. Loved for the comedy and action scenes, the plot of the movies revolves around, well, ghost busting. The 2016 reboot followed in the same tradition, with one irreconcilably huge, unwelcome difference: it was Ghostbusters, but women.
The Humor Is Almost as Dense as The Script
There were many things wrong with this reboot, such that when one thinks of terrible feminist films, this tops the chart. Although the CGI is not half bad, the humor is almost as dense as the script. It had nothing original and noteworthy to offer, only birthed as a form of political statement. Not to mention how they objectified poor Hemsworth, like the solution to sexism is sexism reversed. As expected, it received massive backlash, especially from lovers of the original, who were enraged, having their childhood memories sullied by this disrespectful reboot.
2. Ocean's 8 (2018)
Here's another infamous feminist reboot. Another case of a terrific cast but terrible characters. There are a couple of things to love about this, starting with A-List actors, including Anne Hathaway, Sandra Bullock, Sarah Paulson, and Cate Blanchett. Oh, Rihanna, too. The biggest names in the industry all in one place – a movie that met with mixed reviews, most of which thought it flopped in more ways than commercially.
Like the other films in the installment, Ocean's 8 centers on a heist with a team of all female stars once the lead, Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock), is released from prison.
But the epigonic Ocean's 8 is a drudging copycat of the others in the franchise, that, of course, forgets the thrill and humor. Perhaps an all-female heist team is something we've never seen before – and the filmmakers were intent on showing that. That it's women doing it just as good, as bad as men.
Cringeworthy Moments and Cheesy Scenes
Aside from the story's progression, which mocked the previous movies' intelligence, there were many cringeworthy moments and cheesy scenes. And any movie can be bad. But suppose they were more invested in the film than an assembly of the biggest female names, hoping that would suffice for what the movie lacked. In that case, it might have had a better reception.
3. Black Christmas (2019)
Apparently, not everyone dreams of a white Christmas. Black Christmas is an American holiday slasher film, as the title suggests. It's a remake of the 1974 classic of the same title – like we needed another – and was directed by Sophia Takal, who also co-wrote it.
But unlike the original and the 2006 remake, this was more concerned with being about women than it was about telling a great story. The misandry, which is wrongly often involved in women's empowerment, is clear-cut in the movie's first act. And throughout the film, we see more of the male gender vilified. The cast seems underutilized, with unintriguing characters in a movie lacking the suspenseful thrill of a typical slasher.
It's clear they hoped to create something phenomenal with this remake of the critically acclaimed horror film, but what they ended up making was a horror itself.
4. Thunder Force (2021)
We see a lot of Melissa McCarthy in feminist-themed movies like the action comedies, The Heat and Spy, and often, she does absolutely fantastic work. But Thunder Force falls in the less unfortunate percentage of her movies that suck. McCarthy's husband, Ben Falcone, who was also in charge of the screenplay, directed it.
Overreflection of Inclusivity
Two best friends, who couldn't be more opposite, one a genius scientist and the other a featherbrained klutz, reunite to build a formula that could change the world – and anyone in it. Admittedly, the movie had a good premise. Still, they ruined it by overly reflecting the self-concept of inclusivity. The end product was a movie that is so cringy and cliché and acutely tiresome from a case of bad writing.
5. Charlie's Angels (2019)
Just when you think you've had enough, seen enough, there's Charlie's Angels, which completely butchers the franchise's legacy.
Cheap Rip-off of The Mission Impossible Movies
With a plot like a cheap rip-off of the Mission Impossible movies, Charlie's Angels, with its derogative nature again, vilifies and turns sexism against men. It is supposed to be a fun, lighthearted watch, but the humor is drab and listless. In addition, the acting seems unnatural – and seriously, those action scenes?
Let's not forget that the director, Elizabeth Banks, who also stars in the movie, tried to gaslight the audience by claiming they weren't supportive of feminist films. But the reason Charlie's Angels flopped so badly is not that the entire world is terribly sexist. It is because it is a pretty awful movie. Not even the stellar cast of Kristen Stewart and Naomi Scott could take that away.
6. Revenge (2017)
The one thing female empowerment movies never seem to lack – often to the audience's chagrin, as it gets misconstrued – is strong leads. Here, the movie's protagonist is so strong that she becomes invincible to a simple human function – dying.
So Many Plot Holes
The cinematography is the only mildly applaudable thing about the movie. It is full of so many plot holes, cheese, and absurdities that the only way to watch it would be by totally abandoning logic. Not only does she survive such a fatal accident, puncturing her torso and losing pounds of blood without losing consciousness. She also devises the ability to heal herself.
All this pushes the narrative that she's a strong, vengeful, indestructible woman, and men are the monsters that must be punished. Also, the movie is gratuitously violent and heavily sexualizes her, with too many images of near-nudity – just in case some people find that empowering.
7. Whale Rider (2002)
Whale Rider is based on a novel by Witi Ihimaera, even though the film is nothing like it. Niki Caro wrote and directed it. The storyline follows a young girl, Kahu Paikea Apirana (Keisha Castle-Hughes), on her quest to become chief in a male-dominated tribe. Keisha Castle-Hughes is one of the youngest female stars nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress. So, they must have gotten something right about her portrayal as the lead.
Protagonist Stuck as Damsel in Distress
Whale Rider is high in cultural representation value, and most of it is an “uplifting” inspirational film. But the protagonist is stuck as the “damsel in distress” and “lone savior” in a community that disrespects her. The whole time the movie throws in our faces how badly females are treated and how Paikea shouldn't have to fight to be chief – that's great. But the feminist projections felt forced, without a sound, engaging plot or anything to enjoy besides the setting.
8. The Kids Are All Right (2010)
Here's an American comedy by Lisa Cholodenko, who also co-wrote the movie. The Kids Are All Right received four Academy Award nominations and won a Golden Globe award – which is fair, considering it is a decent movie. It centers on a lesbian couple, their kids, and the sperm donor – who complicates matters for the couple. This movie does an exemplary representation of same-sex couples. While it's not feminist per se, it has feminist undertones.
Loss of Stamina
The movie had a good premise, but somewhere in the middle, it loses “stamina.” The finishing touch is the awful ending, where we see the picture-perfect lesbian couple in a new light of self-absorption and insensitivity. There are lots of questionable, tasteless scenes, so much so that the movie becomes torturously dull.
9. The Love Witch (2016)
The Love Witch is a fantasy horror directed by Anna Biller. It is a visually striking movie with smoldering retro-styled glamor. Unfortunately, although the concept seems cool, the end product is amateurish. We have heavily flawed acting/characters and a plot lacking in depth, tip-toeing in faux intellectualism.
Sexist Movie About Men
It's not all bad – the cinematography and costumes, as earlier hinted, are impressive. Otherwise, we just have a sexist movie about men, objectifying them as tools for self-gratification to an insatiable witch. Feminism emboldens equality between both genders, but this film depicts the witch as a preeminent being and men as weak, expendable puppets on a string.
10. Under The Skin (2013)
In Under the Skin, we have Scarlett Johansson, who plays Black Widow, in another feminist-themed movie. The only difference is this one actually sucks. It was directed by John Glazer, and is based on the novel by Michel Faber.
Superficial, Non-linear Progression
When the movie tends to be intellectual and profound, with its non-linear progression, it ends up superficial. To quell her curiosity on humanity, the humanoid has sex with different men. That gives away ninety percent of the plot, the other ten percent invested in factitious symbolism and overdrawn, boring scenes. They might have had an excellent shot at the alien femme fatale trope if they didn't overly sexualize Scarlett Johansson throughout the movie. Honestly, the excessive nudity is irrational.
11. The Hustle (2019)
The reboot of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels tells the story of two con women of different classes as they indulge in a world of petty theft.
In a movie that tries to recapture the genius of Sir Michael Caine and Steve Martin, Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson deliver a performance that falls flat and lacks originality. Instead, Hathaway tries to pull off an accent that is just plain wrong, and Wilson plays the same character she does in every other movie; the foul-mouthed Aussie.
Lack of Groundwork
While they're both talented actors, the movie tried hard to portray them as strong female characters. With no way of making the movie their own or even the slightest bit of groundwork to support it, The Hustle falls short of what it wants to be. It's just another movie with women at the forefront, simply because, why not?
12. American Pie Presents: Girls' Rules (2020)
A sequel to the American Pie franchise, the all-female cast was targeted at vanilla audiences hoping to be a self-aware teenage movie. Female protagonists need to have something other than men to talk about. For us, the film itself is a lot to talk about. From how cringe-worthy the scenes are to how it's basically replaying the original premise of horny teenagers doing whatever they want, American Pie Presents: Girls Rules offers nothing new. And the sexualization of teenagers in the movie has a lot to say about society today.
A Cringy Attempt at a Woman's Take on the Franchise
The 2020 title of American Pie raised viewers' expectations, all of which were met halfway. Instead of the raunchy, hilarious and refreshing, we're stuck with situational humor and a cringy attempt at a women's take on the franchise.
13. Overboard (2018)
Gender swaps are usually hard to pull off and usually very unnecessary. There's no point in retelling a story because what if it was a woman?
Anna Faris stars as Kate, a single mother with two jobs and three daughters. Working as a cleaner on a yacht, she runs into Leonardo (Eugenio Derbez), the son of the third richest man in the world. Kate takes advantage of his amnesia after an accident and claims to be his wife, to teach him a lesson for being a pompous, rich brat. She forces Leonardo into chores and a job, and makes him sleep in the garage.
In a movie with dull comedy, there's little to develop the plot in other aspects, and it appears absurd. The film flips the script on the original and tries to play on gender politics, letting the woman “win.” All while the movie's romance takes to the sidelines.
14. Death Blow: A Cry for Justice (1987)
Death Blow was a simple attempt at the exploitation of societal rage, but it absolutely bombed at the box office. It starts with a noble message, alerting the public of the appalling statistics of rape cases in the country. But, compared to the number of rape cases reported, the number of convicted rapists is slight, and the rape continues. So, the women band together and take matters to themselves through activism.
Every man in the movie is projected as sexist, misogynistic, and immoral, only a day away from raping someone. Even when the women try to fight back and engage in some sort of retaliation, there's hardly any exciting action.
The low-budget film crams in a handful of B-list female actors, who deliver cliché, subpar performances. Martin Landau admits the movie is one of the worst films of his career.
15. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
The Force Awakens is another important staple in the Star Wars franchise. It brings in quite the ensemble, with old actors Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford, who capture the heart of the movie, bringing some nostalgia for the older films in the franchise to the forefront.
Despite this, the film's conflict feels forced, taking much input from the originals in a manner that leaves it weak. Rey (Daisy Ridley) delivers a stellar performance, but we fail to see her struggles to control and use The Force. There is no effort on the character's part, as she has unlimited power and skill. She matches Kylo Ren's strength, with nearly zero training, to portray her as a strong female lead. Seeing other characters earn their place and watching Rey get everything handed to her makes her less captivating to watch and steals the appeal from her character.
16. Mulan (2020)
Mulan (Liu Yifei) runs from home into the army because she is not ready to marry a man just to fulfill family and societal obligations. But, to her, life is more than that. Her parents have always known Mulan has a powerful chi and could change the world – but they are afraid she might lose it all by chasing an ambition designed for a man.
While the storyline seems the perfect feminist movie to be made, this film is a disaster on many fronts. For one, the narrative sends a somewhat misleading message, prompted by some backhanded misogyny, that only women with certain extraordinary advantages can survive in a man's world. Also, it images that a woman must surely get support from a male-driven community to be validated, just as in the case between Hua Mulan and Commander Tung (Donnie Yen). The narrative simply shows women serving patriarchy.
17. Captain Marvel (2019)
Captain Marvel is full of inorganic feminist themes. Of course, the fight for equality goes beyond beating men within an inch of their lives, even though it is a fight. Still, Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) has a fun time with it. Still, what happens when women aren't being extraordinary or kicking ass? Does femininity become some kind of weakness?
Bland and Contrived Acting
The whole absurdity might have been bearable if her character wasn't so insufferable, not to mention her acting itself being bland and contrived. The most entertaining parts of the movie rarely involve her, Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) stealing the show each chance he gets – thank God.
Apart from the movie featuring Danvers, a woman, as a radical superhero, no other themes show its concrete support for feminism, despite being so political.
18. Booksmart (2019)
In her directorial debut, Bookworm is an American comedy film by American filmmaker Olivia Wilde. Some critics believe part of what contributed to its hype was how it allowed women to lead, both off and on screen. And, apparently, many people avoided the systematic issues, and kept urging everyone to go see the movie, else movies “like this” would no longer be made.
Obnoxious and Unrealistic Female Characters
The female characters in the movie are obnoxious and unrealistic, making it both predictable and silly. The movie tried its best to create equality between nerdy teenage boys and nerdy teenage girls, but it failed.
19. Paradise Hill (2019)
It's always nice to see a superb cast. In this case, actors like Milla Jovovich, Emma Roberts, Danielle MacDonald, and Awkwafina. The film follows the story of Uma (Emma Roberts), who is to be married to a man. But, before her marriage, she suddenly wakes in a facility, Paradise Hill, with no previous knowledge of how she got there. Here, it seems she needs every conviction to be married to this man.
Overbearing and Redundant
The movie had a lot of potential but didn't match up to them. In an attempt to be feminist, it becomes overbearing and redundant. The plot sees that the good men are ruled out. Except for the protagonist's deceased father, who they remember in a positive light, the male characters are all a bunch of scumbags.
20. Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey (2020)
Birds of Prey is a superhero/action movie written by Christina Hodson and directed by Cathy Yan. Based on the DC Comics of the same title, it follows the events that occur when Harley Quinn is thrown out on the Gotham streets after the Joker breaks up with her.
Despite being a pretty remarkable film, it faces several issues, especially regarding the themes it tried to explore around feminism. In trying to infuse the subject of gender parity in the storyline, they created many impractical scenes and subplots. For one, it seemed pointless for Harley to be involved in that confetti gun action scene in the police station for, like, fifteen minutes. Also, for what it hoped to portray with scenes of girl-powered fights, the action is just too weak, and the acting is really nothing impressive when compared to her performance in Suicide Squad.
21. The Next Karate Kid (1994)
The Next Karate Kid is the fourth installment in the Karate Kid franchise. It was written by Mark Lee and directed by Christopher Cain.
Although no one is asking for a movie “as good as the original” or the Jaden Smith famous installment, we're asking for a good movie, regardless. Unfortunately, The Next Karate Kid came nowhere close to being entertaining, let alone living up to the legacy of the previous movies. One of its major problems is Hilary Swank's aggressive character as Julie, hoping to convey her as a strong female character. Instead, she becomes the least favorite part of the film, as she annoys her fellow characters and the audience.
Lacks Action and Stimulation
The Next Karate Kid lacks the action and stimulation of the other Karate Kid movies. Also, it serves no purpose of development or progression of the franchise. So instead, we have another one that exists just because it should.
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This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.