Sunday, May 26, 2013

Fast and Furious Inclusivity

You know what? I want to talk a little more about the cast of Fast 6.

I know, I know, I'm giving this movie WAY more thought than it deserves. And yet, it's a massively successful action movie that's more intersectional than not. It's inclusive of gender and ethnicity to an extent that many "smart" movies are not. I think that may be worth a closer look.

Okay, so we've got a main cast of nine that comprises the "family" that makes up the core of this movie. And though they're not pictured here, there's two other characters that are consistently on screen enough to qualify as mains.

Big Bad. That henchlady there is scary as hell, but not
in it enough to qualify.
Agent Riley. Hey, check out those clothes. They cover her
So yeah, let's look at this. Out of a main cast of 11, we can break it down into:

4 white actors
3 black actors
2 hispanic actors
1 asian actor
1 Israeli actor

7 men
4 women

3 white men
3 black men
1 asian man

1 white woman
2 hispanic women
1 Israeli woman

Up until Fast 6, the last Fast and Furious movie I watched was the first one. What I remembered from that movie was an awful lot of women in bikinis shaking their butts around drag races while the white cop did his thing. But look at this! It is possible to acknowledge the existence of people other than the default white male, and still make a profit. IT CAN BE DONE.

So speaking about diversity of characters...

Can we just talk for a second about how incredibly great it is to see Michelle Rodriguez play a role like this?

In the movie, Letty is a tough criminal who looks and acts hard. Not saying she isn't gorgeous because... come on.

But they're not afraid to let her look rough.

She's entirely self-sufficient, saved no more than the guys save each other, wears no revealing clothing, and acts about as sexual as the guys do (which is to say... a bit?). What I'm saying is, the movie isn't trying to sell Letty as a sweet, kind, supermodel-gorgeous love interest (yes, she is in real life, but movie logic is not real life logic or this movie would never exist). And to compound on this, at the beginning of the movie Vin is shacked up with someone who is supermodel gorgeous.

This is not to diss on Elena - I was so happy
that she got a dignified exit at the end. "This
is your family. I have mine." Yeah! You can
do better, Elena! Promise!

And yet the entire movie is about Vin Diesel being so in love with this harsh, uncompromising woman that he'll do anything just to try to win her back.

Think about that for a second. How great is that? A movie about a guy who's madly in love with a woman who is not the most beautiful in the group - in fact, to be honest, Letty is probably the least traditionally beautiful. Certainly not the nicest. But it doesn't matter, because Vin is in love with her. It's almost like... how real love works! Gasp! Oh, and as a bonus, it's implied that she and the Big Bad had a thing going on for awhile there, and Vin never brings it up or acts jealous.

I'm not saying it's great art. But I am saying that...

"This woman is yours now. I have paid my whore. I owe you nothing.
And you are nothing to me. "
You could do worse.

1 comment:

  1. I love Michelle Rodriguez. I want to see the movie just to see how they explain her not really dying in that one movie. I forget which one, but I've only seen 2 so how hard can it be to narrow it down. Lol!

    The diversity in that movie is great!