21 May 2007

Women in need of rescue?

I went to see Spiderman 3 last night and it wasn't as bad as I was expecting having read reviews and heard friends slate the film. I thought the Sandman effects were striking and action was entertaining, but, I found myself more and more annoyed by the simpering Mary-Jane who was helpless and whiny in equal parts. Maybe I'm remembering this all wrong but wasn't Mary-Jane suppose to be quite feisty? Her Wikipedia entry says she saved Spidey's life on numerous occasions but Raimi's film turned her into the ultimate damsel in distress, and a not very likeable one at that. Obviously, I realise that there are some powerful female superheros in comics and their film representations these days, and not all in the tradition of the highly sexualised images you'd imagine - I'm thinking of the all powerful Jean Grey and other heroes in the X-men, though WIMN's voice also have interesting things to say on the female characters in that particular series of superhero flicks. I'm starting to feel like we're going backwards with this genre, and it's a real shame as directors like Raimi could've made an effort to change things. Judging by his quotes in the article I linked to in the title, it didn't even feature on his radar. It will be interesting to see what Hollywood does with Wonderwoman, and I haven't seen the much lauded Heroes series. Here's hoping they're not more of the same.


Katherine said...

I've just been talking to Jamie about this as he's something of a comics nerd and he reckons Mary-Jane was supposed to be a stronger character (more forthright, more decisive) than Spidey . I saw the Mary-Jane action figure in The Guardian - she's pictured handwashing Spiderman's costume and wearing a thong that shows above her jeans.

Katherine said...

Oh, Jamie also wonders if you've seen the Women in Refrigerators site - it lists female characters in comics and the way they've been treated by writers, and is accompanied by writers discussing their own approach to female comic characters.

T said...

Oh excellent, so I wasn't imagining it! Mary-Jane was a stronger character in the original, way to go Sam Raimi. Thanks Katherine, will have a look at that website.