Is there a female character with significant screen time who grows, changes, and/or learns something over the course of the story? (for an ensemble cast, or a film with a male protagonist) [why this matters]
Is there a woman whose role could easily have been played by a man? [why this matters]
THE MALE GAZE SCORE:0
Is there a female character who is primarily defined by her emotional or biological relationship with a child or children? [why this matters]
Is there anything either positive or negative in the film’s representation of women not already accounted for here? (points will vary)
IS THE FILM’S DIRECTOR FEMALE? No (does not impact scoring)
IS THE FILM’S SCREENWRITER FEMALE? No (does not impact scoring)
BOTTOM LINE: Apart from the Lone Girl on the otherwise all-boy team of superheroes, there are only two women with speaking roles in this film, both of whom appear only extremely briefly in single scenes: the mother of one of the male coprotagonists, and a soldier. (The film is, of course, packed with men with speaking roles of all sorts of sizes.) It’s only the fact that soldier could have been played by a man that gets this movie even slightly into positive territory. This is a case of a film doing the absolute minimum it needs to in order not to be considered outright sexist.
NOTE: This is not a “review” of Fantastic Four! It is simply an examination of how well or how poorly it represents women. (A movie that represents women well can still be a terrible film; a movie that represents women poorly can still be a great film.) Read my review of Fantastic Four.