Sunday, December 3, 2023

What “Wonder Woman” Means For Female-Led Action Films

By Josh Williams ​The action film genre has always been primarily filled with men. High tension, quick edits, and a lot of masculinity and testosterone. But with all the sweat glistening off of these guys amazing pectoral muscles audiences are left with one question, where are the women-led action films? We all have our favorite female-fronted action films; “Aliens,” “Kill Bill,” “Mad Max: Fury Road,” the list goes on and on. But for some reason, female action films seem to be few and far between. Despite a lot of these films cracking the box office numbers and being wildly popular among critics and fans, we do not receive many of them. Join us as we take a dive into this topic which we also discussed on Episode 40 of the podcast. You can also read our reviews on the latest female-led action film, “Wonder Woman,” here. ​With the release of “Wonder Woman,” a certain barrier is being broken down. Now, this stigma isn’t completely cured or fixed with the release of “Wonder Woman” but it definitely is a step in the right direction. Typically these female led action films are directed by men and usually marketed more towards men. With “Wonder Woman” however, the film is led by a woman and directed by a woman. Patty Jenkins leads the charge on this film with only one other feature film under her belt. Not to mention that this one film is “Monster,” a 2003 film which won its lead actress Charlize Theron an Oscar for Best Actress. “Monster” also performed well at the box office so Patty Jenkins came out swinging with her first film. Sadly Jenkins has struggled with getting some other films made since then, so she has resorted to television ever since. “Wonder Woman” is her first feature in 14 years and it is projected to crack at least 100 million dollars in its opening weekend. So with all of these signs pointing to the enjoyment of both female led and female-directed action films why do we not receive more?

The politics that fall into this discussion become a little long winded but the short version is that despite the numbers and evidence being crystal clear, the numbers are not large enough to warrant more being made. This state of mind comes from the studio obviously. Fans and critics alike are up in arms for more of these kinds of films to be made and for them to be made as quickly as possibly. Since the stigma of women in film has been around forever and isn’t going away for a bit it seems like we won’t see studios push for these kinds of films to be made. Which is depressing for many reasons but the biggest reason that women should be prominently represented in cinema is their strong viewpoints.

Since the dawn of film, we have received the viewpoints and beliefs of men all across the world. Films are constantly evolving and we are constantly getting new information from newer filmmakers as the entire the public eye. Sadly the large portion of the filmmakers that entire the public eye are male. Women deserve no less than what male directors are receiving and it is a really toxic and upsetting approach to film form, from the studio side. Film is a place where we can all come together through the art medium and rejoice in the assurance that everyone regardless of race, gender, sexuality is welcome. We want more women films so we can receive a different viewpoint in cinema that we haven’t been receiving lately. Not only do these talented female directors deserve to be represented and have their shot at a big budget blockbuster, but also we are dying for fresh outlooks on film and the world in general. 

Women led action films are incredible and a ton of fun, and with “Wonder Woman” releasing this weekend we can probably add this project to our favorite female action films. Patty Jenkins has taken a fantastic approach to this film and she deserves to shatter the box office with the film. The reason we want more women-led action projects is so women can finally be represented in big budget blockbuster filmmaking, but also so that we can begin receiving a new outlook on the film format in general. 

Wonder Woman” is out now in theaters. Be sure to let us know what your thoughts are in the comments below. You can follow Josh and hear more of his thoughts on the Oscars and Film on Twitter at @josh_williams09

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