Friday, 7 September 2012

Green Lantern Barbie

Or how the sexist treatment of the character Carol Ferris was my least favourite part of the Green Lantern movie.

I don't think it's surprising that I didn't particularly enjoy the green lantern movie. I agree with most of the criticisms out there: the movie was quite silly, focused too much on Earth stuff and ignored all the great space adventures, and just didn't work well as a film.

I also find Ryan Reynolds about as charismatic as a block of wood and felt that the romantic subplot of the Green Lantern movie was, perhaps as a result of this, extremely wooden.

That said, there was one scene in Green Lantern that was particularly horrendous. Enough so that I still feel like writing about it all this time after. Specifically, I am still bothered by the scene where the movie threw Carol Ferris under the sexist bus.

When we first meet Carol Ferris she is introduced to us as this intelligent business woman who runs her fathers aviation company, who is also a super courageous fighter jet test pilot , and who just so happens to be a beautiful young woman. Which is fine. There is no reason why a woman can't be smart, brave, and pretty (which is obligated in both movie and comics lands). This was an interesting character.

We then get the opening fighter jet test piloting scene where Carol and Hal Jordon (Green Lantern) go head to head with a robotic fighter prototype. Hal does a dick move that gets Carol "killed" (electronically) but allows him to pull another dick move and defeat the robot planes at the expense of crashing his own plane. He barely bails out of his crashing aircraft (which as Top Gun has taught us is dangerous) and has to be rescued. All of this is okay too.

But this is where shit suddenly goes sideways for me.

The next scene, which has a freshly rescued Hal also has a primped and sexy business attired Carol WHICH MAKES NO SENSE. Her childhood friend/secret love crashes his plane and almost DIES while her company's new product has just failed an important test. Apparently in the face of these two pretty monumental catastrophes she decides to shower, do her makeup and hair, and put on the sexy skirt and blouse.

This is crazy-nuts! Think about it: the person Carol loves may be dead or at least seriously injured and her business may have just gone bankrupt but she takes the time to primp herself beautiful before she deals with either crisis. This is either unprofessional and a sign she can't prioritize things or it's a sign that she is a SOCIOPATH. Just for a second think about how insane it would be if a male character did that! This is as insane!!

It's also insanely sexist. The fact that the film makers decided to put Carol's appearance ahead of all her more interesting character traits really diminishes her as a person and objectifies the shit out of the chatacter. It's kind of disgusting.

It's also pretty unnescesary.

I get that thefilmmakers were trying to convey that she is a sexy lady and that she is vulnerable and what-not, but putting her in her best business-fancy isn't really needed to do this. (NOT that I feel making her sexy in this scene is at all nescesary or even appropriate, I'm just saying that IF you wanted to there are less sexist and easier ways). Now Blake Lively (the actor playing Carol), for all her acting faults is a pretty conventionally attractive woman. She remains attractive while wearing her flight suit. In fact, the film makers could have had her undo the top half of this thing, hang it off her waist, and be wearing an undershirt underneath. All the sex appeal they might want coupled with her taking charge of the situation in a manner that is consistent with her badass mogul-pilot character as well as basic human decency and common sense. Add some frazzled hair and you have vulnerability too: Carol is so worried about Hal that she doesn't worry about her appearance. So you could have easily emphasized how sexy and vulnerable Carol Ferris was  (had you wanted to) without character assassinating her.

So yeah, this is the scene where instead of having strong, smart and attractive Carol Ferris we got intorduced to green lantern Barbie instead.

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