Could the protagonist have been female without significantly impacting the film as a whole? (for a film with a male protagonist) [why this matters]
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]
FEMALE AGENCY/POWER/AUTHORITY SCORE:+3
Is there a female character with insignificant screen time in a position of authority? [why this matters]
Is there a woman whose role could easily have been played by a man? [why this matters]
THE MALE GAZE SCORE:-5
Is there a female character with significant screen time who dresses less appropriately for the environment than her male counterparts do? [why this matters]
Is there a female character who is primarily defined by her emotional or biological relationship with a child or children*? [why this matters] (*in this case, an AI child)
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? Yes, one of two credited (Terri Tatchell) (does not impact scoring)
BOTTOM LINE: Yes, the movie features Sigourney Weaver as the CEO of a robotics weapons contractor, but she doesn’t have anywhere near the screen time — or anywhere near the impact on the story — as does the scantily dressed woman who is primarily mommy to a newborn AI.
NOTE: This is not a “review” of Chappie! 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 Chappie.