Fast Five – A Run Down on the Critics

Interesting feedback.

A few random thoughts on the critical response to Fast Five.

One reviewer mentions that the film panders to young minority audiences.  As opposed to ignoring them or treating them with contempt or ridicule?

Several reviewers mention that the franchise is testosterone fueled. Really?  Where have they been?

New research from Stacy Smith and Marc Choueiti of USC’s Annenberg School of Communications and Journalism has tracked women on screen and behind the scenes in the top 100 grossing films of 2008.

Here are the main highlights:
• Males outnumber females in speaking roles.  Out of 4,370 speaking roles, 1,435 or just 32.8% of those roles are female.
• Girls aged 13-20 are hypersexualized in films.  Compared to boys, young women wear revealing clothing – 39.8% vs. 6.7%..
• There are very few women working behind the scenes of films.  (This research is very similar to Dr. Martha Lauzen’s studies.  Dr. Lauzen counts the top 250 grossing films and this study counts the top 100 grossing films.  The numbers are close but not exactly the same because of the different parameters.)
The numbers in this study show:
Women directors – 8%
Women writers – 13.6%
Women Producers – 19.1%.

Another laments that the film is short on shots of Brazil’s beaches and long on shots from the favelas. Hmm. Visual interest? Anti-cliché? The more … ahem … diverse, dynamic representation of Brazil?

“Justin Lin gets multiculturalism in a way that white directors just don’t.” I smell bullsh*t. Just like Ang Lee and Mira Nair can direct Europeans, whites can direct non stereotypical minority characters. Just takes research, interest and respect.

Dunno, after Zumba class, I may head to the pictures. What’s the summer for if not explosions, action, hot looking average acting?


About liftingasweclimb

Mildred Lewis writes and directs for theater, television, film and the web. She's also a full time professor, Christian, activist and troublemaker with a passion to save as much of the world as she can.
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