I have a feeling I'm gonna regret making this thread, buuut...
Yesterday I saw the new Harley Quinn movie, 'Birds Of Prey', at the theater. It was a fun, silly movie with almost nonstop brutal action that was satisfying to watch, well-choreographed/stylized enough to not be boring, antagonist was decent enough, full-on hard R rating unlike most comic book films, etc. A lot of the humor was cringey but I could forgive it because the action made the film as a whole engaging enough to sit through.
So basically overall it was like a solid 7/10 popcorn flick.
However, after me and my brother left the theater, he said to me "I don't like how much they pushed the whole 'female empowerment' thing" and I said "Well what did you expect, it's a movie about Harley Quinn" but later on I thought about that and how Hollywood really has...a problem with how it portrays female empowerment.
For comparison, the film 'Joker', while obviously intended to be far more serious, artistic, topical etc., was not intending you to look at the Joker/Arthur Fleck as a good person, a role model, an idol etc. There's actually an image I've seen shared a lot that he is featured on, among other male characters such as Rick Sanchez, Bojack Horseman, Walter White, and a few others, with the caption If you idolize them, you missed the point.
But I feel like Birds Of Prey was
presenting Harley Quinn as some kind of heroine despite the fact that she's literally a murderous psychopath in most other portrayals. It doesn't make sense to have her be this symbol of "girl power" imo, and the film's attempt at humanizing her, so to speak, felt very hamfisted. "Oh, she goes around breaking people's limbs for fun, but she protects a kid, and she doesn't kill cops because in these films cops are the "good guys".
" It just comes off as strange to me, that, as far as I can tell, this movie is trying to make her be all badass and cool. And I'm not trying to say that it shouldn't be allowed or that it isn't enjoyable, I just feel like it sends a weird message to potential viewers, especially young ones. And maybe I'm just looking into it too much, but it makes me think about other films like 'Hustlers' that have similar portrayals of "strong women".
And then you veer into pop music and the whole "sex sells" phenomenon that seems particularly focused on...well, women, but that's kind of a whole other discussion.
Maybe it's an u