I realized that while I had ultimately enjoyed ‘Captain America: Civil War,’ it exemplified the worst tendency of the Marvel Cinematic Universe — namely, the avoidance of dramatic risk and legitimate emotional stakes in order to create and maintain a sense of delight and entertaining status quo.
The scene with her blazing after Ultron on a motorcycle was one of the highlights of the film for me (though I could have done without the “I am always having to pick up after you boys” joke when she grabs Captain America’s shield from the road). Regarding action, super-hero skills, and the ability to banter (an aspect of the film many reviewers like the most), there is not much of a gender differential. The inclusion of a “rape joke” and the perpetuation of the infertile-women-as-monstrous trope detract from this more egalitarian super-hero world, however.
‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ succeeds in all the places you’d expect it to fail, but while Joss Whedon was tiptoeing around all the expected pitfalls of a major franchise sequel, he stumbled over a cliff when it came to the one character I would have most trusted him to get right: Scarlet Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff, or Black Widow.
I dreaded seeing this trite sexism applied to Saldana’s character, Gamora. To be fair, while she does require saving by male characters on multiple occasions, Gamora has moderately strong agency throughout, and her character is a load-bearing beam rather than a Trinity-esque distraction. If only her last lines could’ve been less deferential.
While villainesses often work at cross-purposes with our heroes and heroines, we love to hate these women. They’re always morally complicated with dark pasts and often powerful and assertive women with an indomitable streak of independence.
From a Saudi Arabian female filmmaker to loving your body to privilege–check out what we’ve been reading about this week! What have you been reading/writing this week? Tell us in the comments!