fembuck: (saxa)
[personal profile] fembuck
WHY ARE MORE PEOPLE NOT TALKING ABOUT THIS CHARACTER?!?!?!

I mean, I know it wasn’t Mad Max: Fury Road level of feminist amazingness (there weren’t enough female characters for it to rival Max Mad: Fury Road), but it avoided a ‘forced romance’, had a strong bond based on mutual respect between the male and female lead, and Ilsa Faust was just as fierce, skilled and competent as her male counterpart. Ilsa Faust was, in two words, utterly amazing.


#queen  #bowdown  #mywifey  #killerthighsliterally  #morebadassthanyou  #bossbitch

Seriously, Rebecca Ferguson stole the damn show, and Ilsa was amazing on like every level. Let me just list some of the things that I loved:

1) I loved that Ferguson actually looked powerful. Like she looked really fit. She was muscled. She looked strong.  Based on the other roles I'd seen Ferguson in I never would have pegged her as a potential action star, but boy was I wrong!  Damn girl!



2) Her characters fighting style was perfect for taking on opponents who were generally much bigger than her (like Nikita and Black Widow)  Not everyone can be Buffy, or Wonder Woman or a vampire or infected with the T-Virus or something that makes them super-strong, so I really love it when you see female characters using their size, their speed, agility, lower center of gravity, etc. to their advantage in fight scenes.



3) The character was mysterious but also layered and human. Like I kept waiting for the typical Hollywood bullshit, where she seduces the hero, despite herself falls for him, is forced to betray him because despite seeming badass she’s actually just a helpless puppet, and then she dies in an act of “redemption” and to give the hero more rage/motivation to defeat the villain. But mercifully we were spared that cliche and just given this awesome character who throughout the whole movie was actually always trying to carry out a mission she believed in, while maintaining a moral code, all while surrounded by enemy.



4) I will never be over the epicness of casually saving Hunt from falling off buildings, jumping out of moving vehicles and dusting it off, that aquatic rescue scene, that motorcycle chase scene, not to mention I will love her forever for taking off her high-heels when she needed to be in formal wear but was called upon to run/jump/kickass.



Like Ilsa Faust was just fucking amazing, Rebecca Ferguson played her to perfection, and I just need more of everyone loving the shit out of this character, because she embodies so much of all of my favourite female badasses.

I want need Ilsa Faust to get her own franchise.  I need her to be the new lead of the Mission Impossible franchise (like Jeremy Renner took over the Bourne one). Or give her her own franchise.  I don’t really care, I just need to have this character, and this actress playing this character, on the big screen again!

Date: 2015-08-18 06:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/_profiterole_/
Ilsa was great, but I found the movie misogynistic. Feel free not to read the rest of this comment, I don't want to rain on your parade, but I feel like I can't say that without explaining myself.

- The camera was objectifying Ilsa on a number of occasions, in a way that put me ill at ease. For example, there was the swimming pool scene (that was horribly out of context in the trailer), or the way it totally spoilt the great dress made of fluid material by focusing on her ass as she walked away.

- A woman who couldn't defend herself was killed the first few minutes.

- The wife of the Chancellor probably got blown up with him.

- There was no other woman that I can recall (oh yeah, the polygraph was admistered by a woman, at least that one didn't die...). Even the panel of politicians judging the future of Mission: Impossible had no woman on it, despite having about ~10 men.

Date: 2015-08-18 07:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fembuck.livejournal.com
I probably wouldn't go so far as to call the movie misogynistic, but yeah, the lack of female characters not named Isla Faust, was a huge problem.

Honestly, I really only think that the movie is a 'must see' if you love badass females characters and are struggling to find them on the big screen. IMHO, other than Furiosa, Ilsa Faust is the best female action hero on the big screen in 2015.

The lack of female characters in the film was really is unforgivable though. Like you said, there weren't even any background/side female characters. Like why not make the Prime Minister of Britain a woman? Why wouldn't one of the Rogue spies that recurred have been a woman? Why couldn't it have been a female Chancellor at the opera with her husband? Ilsa being essentially the only woman on-screen really was a big flaw in the film.

A woman being killed near the beginning wasn't great either, especially since like you pointed out she was only one of three female characters that I can remember speaking. We did see males unable to defend themselves in the movie though (Benji, the Prime Minister, Hadley, off the top of my head), but having a woman die at the beginning to fuel Hunt's angst was pretty gross, like since the rest of the film was so dude heavy, and this character really added nothing to the film, they should have just let a random dude die and saved themselves from the 'fridged woman' trope.

As for the objectification point, I don't think this movie was actually really bad with it. There were definitely shots were Rebecca Ferguson's beauty was highlighted, but within the context of the movie I think those shots made sense.

For example, when you first see her in the green dress it's like, "how are you supposed to be an effective spy in that?", but then you see that the slit in the dress which seemed like it was just there to show off some leg actually allows Ilsa the freedom of movement necessary to kick, climb, jump and kill men with her thighs, so in a way (though we as audience members might find the flash of thigh attractive) in the context of movie it's practical attire (and location suitable camouflage).

I'm not going to try and justify the use of slow-mo for the shot of Ilsa getting out of the pool. No doubt about it that was objectification. They would NEVER have filmed Hunt's character getting out of a pool that way.

The pool scene itself though I don't have a problem with because it was important to the plot, first by showing that Ilsa had already planned out on her own how to get into the hub, and second by showing her training to hold her breath, something that became relevant on the actual mission (and allowed for a very dramatic woman rescues man scene).

And while the wife of the Chancellor probably did get blown up, so did the Chancellor, his driver and bodyguard and whoever else was in the car, so didn't really take that death as particularly offensive (like beyond the regular offensive taken by innocent people being killed by bad guys)

So yeah, I totally agree that the serious lack of females characters is actually a really damning strike against the movie, but considering what Hollywood gives us to work, I didn't think it was that bad.

Like honestly, it's really sad to think that when I think of movies where I get my delicious kickass women, that they pretty much all have the same essential flaw as this movie - 1 amazing women, and like that's it, that's all you get for women:

-Lucy
-The Avengers
-The Hobbit trilogy
-Tomb Raider
-Haywire
-Underworld
-Pacific Rim
-X-Men movies - because the women never really have friendships with each other
-Sarah Connor - movie not TV version
-The Blade movies
-Salt
-Wanted
-Fast and the Furious - there are at least women present but them interacting with each is never a focal point, like how did Mia and Giselle get along? I don't know. Where was Mia and Letty's relationship at after the amnesia? I don't know because the franchise doesn't care about female/female friendships
-Columbiana, etc.

The list is endless.

So essentially, if I were to use 'only one significant lady character/no meaningful interaction between female characters' as a criteria to not to see movies, or recommend movies, I'd never get see another action movie *le sigh*

Date: 2015-08-18 08:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/_profiterole_/
Yes, I agree that the swimming pool scene made sense within the context of the movie (my problem is with the way it was filmed + the fact that it was in the trailer to attract pervs), but the scene where she saves Ethan was so much more respectful. She was shown as an athlete in that scene. That said, Ethan was objectified in the scene where his arms were tied up, but it felt less vulgar to me, so I was able to appreciate it.

For all that the Fast and Furious movies have a lot of fanservice, I find them way more respectful of women than other franchises. They have many women, not just 1 or 2. Sure, they could interact more, but we get a woman who comes back from the dead, when it's always guys in other movies. Also, it's a personal opinion (there's a fine line between fanservice and objectification), but I enjoy the ladies in short skirts at the races, they are partying in a warm climate, it makes sense to me.

Date: 2015-08-20 04:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fembuck.livejournal.com
The movie definitely shows off Cruise's assets as well as Ferguson's, so that's some equal opportunity. I guess that I found Rogue Nation to be more fanservice-y than objectifying which is why I walked out happy. I think it's because even in the shots where the audience was supposed to be like "Dayum she is hot like fire" the character was actually being quite badass. Like even coming out of the pool she was like this visibly muscled sleek jungle cat that could rip you apart if you looked at her wrong. Like I felt the film was constantly reinforcing this idea that she could/would destroy you if you looked at her the wrong way, so be respectfully awed by her perfection lol

I too love the Fast and Furious franchise! I could point out issues I have with it, but the movies are so enjoyable, I LOVE all the PoC in the films, and all the kickass women (even if they never get to interact much), and I'm not about to complain about the attire at the race scenes because I am gay as hell, and also think that this franchise is generally very respectful of women so there's like a balance that be appreciated.

Date: 2015-08-20 05:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/_profiterole_/
Well, it's good that it worked well for you. This kind of thing is always subjective and, in the same way, there are always going to be ladies that I appreciate while other people are seeing sexism that I can't see (I had this conversation with a friend just recently because we like the women in DW and don't get all the attacks against Moffat).

It's kind of a pity that Fast and Furious is the only big franchise doing so well with POC representation. All the more respect for this team!

Date: 2015-08-19 07:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] 4kennedy.livejournal.com
well, guess that's a really good reason to now go and watch that movie =)

Date: 2015-08-20 04:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fembuck.livejournal.com
Do it! Do it! You won't be disappointed. It's actually a pretty good movie, but Ilsa Faust alone is worth the price of admission. Like if you are all about awesome female characters, then you will not be disappointed by this film.

Date: 2015-08-20 04:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kith-koby.livejournal.com
Wow, J, now I really want to watch this movie? It sounded awesome before, but given your praise of Ilsa, it sounds spectacular.

But about females doing spectacularly in their roles, why is nobody talking about Rayna Boyanov? WHY? That woman was absolutely stunning in every way, and there's so much potential for a sequel and for fanfic and femslash with her!

Date: 2015-08-20 04:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fembuck.livejournal.com
Watch it! You will not be disappoint. In terms of enjoyable, entertaining, mostly unproblematic action films, this one ranks right up there with Mad Max: Fury Road imo. And Ilsa is just *dreamy sigh* amazing.

I gotta say, that by the end of Spy, especially after their last exchange I was shipping Rayna/Susan so hard. Like random teenagers in my audience were shipping them by the end. They "awwwww'd" out loud at their last exchange!

If there was is a sequel to "Spy" and it's Hollywood so it's likely, I would want Susan to need to like get Rayna released under her care, to like help Susan deal with some people Rayna used to have business relationships with, and then throughout the movie I just really want to see a Rayna redemption arc, and like her and Susan becoming legit crime fighting buddies to be a major part of movie.

So yeah, Rayna was awesome, I ship Rayna/Susan, and as usual there is just never enough femslash for anything ever.

Also, kudos to Rose Byrne for always managing to "lesbifriends" her comedy roles (lol, I shipped her with Kristen Wig's character in Bridesmaids, and now with Melissa McCarthy in this)

Date: 2015-08-20 07:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kith-koby.livejournal.com
I was shipping them so hard too! And I was comforted by your post on Tumblr that implied we were not alone, that others had seen it and acknowledged it as well...

What I really want to see is something like this: Rayna's horrible at being an international criminal, but then again, that makes sense, since she wasn't raised to it. However, we do know she graduated top of her class from Oxford - in INTERNATIONAL LAW. So I can totally see Susan sent on a mission, being told to meet her source - and suddenly, Rayna is sitting before her, and she's all 'WTF?' and 'Did Interpol let you out so you can help me?' And it turns out that no, but the only witnesses to Rayna's crime were the CIA agents (this is actually canon), and none of them were sent to the trial, so Rayna, representing herself, managed to get away scot-free, fingering all the other guys for everything that happened. Which makes sense, since it was Sergio driving around with the bomb in the car, and everybody knows he tried to escape with it...

So now Rayna is helping out the CIA and Interpol, helping them catch criminals by pretending to be one, and using her law degree on the side as well, and they have to work together, and of course, they end up together with their wonderfully abrasive relationship.

In essence, Rayna is awesome, we need more Rayna, more fanfic of Rayna, and yes, lots of kudos to Rose Byrne.

Date: 2015-08-20 08:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fembuck.livejournal.com
OMG! That "What I want to see" is PERFECT! Like I cannot tell you how my smile got bigger and bigger and bigger the more I read until I was just staring at the screen in absolute bliss because I would love to see this scenario. *the dreamiest of sighs*

My Rayna/Susan shipper heart is so warm and happy right now.

Date: 2015-08-20 08:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kith-koby.livejournal.com
I know, right? It just made so much sense once I realized that... it's perfection. Why hasn't somebody, anybody, written it?

Date: 2015-08-23 03:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] spanishtvjunkie.livejournal.com
Thank you! My take away exactly! I immediately went home and Googled Rebecca Ferguson. This was a brilliant way to reignite the Mission Impossible franchise by introducing us to an awesome female character, she did steal the show. I couldn't take my eyes off her.

Date: 2015-08-31 03:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sav8801.livejournal.com
Sure, I'll join in the love :). I didn't expect to like Ilsa that much, to be honest, but she almost tied Benji for my favourite character of the movie (Simon Pegg? *James Bond vilain mode active* I'm sorry, Ms Ferguson; the game was rigged from the start). Very close race.

Like you said, it's the humanity that makes the character as much as the ample ass kicking. I like Hunt a lot (one of, if not THE first childhood action hero of mine), but the way he never really stumbled in his convictions or got discouraged (shot, disavowed, hunted by his former comrade, beaten at every turn...) for more than ten seconds made him a little hard to relate to. They should have propped him up a little less, maybe. Lane didn't really do it for me; acceptable vilain, but too laconic. Ratiocinations and lack of charisma. Not great bad guy material. Her own considerable merits aside, it's no wonder Ilsa pops up whenever she's on screen. In her, you do see the toll intelligence work would take on someone, no matter how strong. And damn, but no one should look that good snapping necks with their thighs. *is shallow*

You stared too. Don't even pretend you didn't. ;p

As for her taking the lead of the MI franchise... eh, like I said, I loved Hunt for a very long time. I don't know if I'd like to see Faust replace him. Wouldn't feel the same. Now, would I trample everyone in line to see a movie STARRING Ferguson as a conflicted but fiercely badass deep-cover operative (or any action movie, let's be real)? Heck yes. Give Ferguson her own franchise. She's shown she can pull it off.

Semi-related note on the subject of female badasses, it looks like we'll get a final Resident Evil movie after all, and Ali Larter (Claire) is in it. Excited?

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