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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

Ratchet & Clank movie review: wretched and junk

Ratchet and Clank red light

Could have been assembled entirely from clips from other movies — mostly the Star Wars prequels — and would have been better if it had been.tweet
I’m “biast” (pro): nothing

I’m “biast” (con): never hopeful about based-on-videogame movies

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

Ah, so there’s my answer, once again.

I was wondering how that standard movie philosophy still applied to me. You know, that standard movie philosophy that is not only the stuff but the actual stuffing of 99 percent of wish-fulfillment genre fantasy movies for decades now. I approached Ratchet & Clank with great anticipation. Can I do anything? Can I be anything I want to be? Am I destined for greatness, to save the world or even the whole galaxy even if I am a foolhardy, thoughtless, unfocused screwup with almost nothing to my name but maybe some undisciplined smarts and outsized aspirations to grandeur?

And the answer is still No. Not for the likes of me, anyway, because I am female. The 187,943rd iteration of that standard movie philosophy once again reassures me that only boys need apply for Great Destinies. Boys don’t even need to be human boys, as R&C reminds us. You can be a Lombax — a sort of half-fox, half-cat vaguely humanoid alien biped — and still presume you are destined for greatness, all evidence to the contrary, and have your ridiculous presumption confirmed 94 minutes later. Just like the Lombax Ratchet (the voice of James Arnold Taylor), who hails from a PlayStation videogame series that debuted in 2002 and is generally reminiscent of the incredibly popular videogame hero Sonic the Hedgehog, though I’m sure that’s pure coincidence.

“Based on the best-selling videogame” is a warning, not an enticementtweet. It’s cute how Hollywood doesn’t realize that.

And another thing: “Unlikely hero” no longer means what Hollywood thinks it means. The likes of Ratchet are now very likely, very tedious sorts of heroes. Time to change the record.

Oh, and one more other thing: If you are a girl, R&C suggests, you might aspire to be a sidekick for the male hero, as long as you have huge Bratz-doll eyes and a shape that exaggerates secondary female sexual attributes. You cannot be an alien Lombax or even like Ratchet’s robot sidekick, Clank (the voice of David Kaye) — yes, even the machines are gendered, and gendered male. You could perhaps be a mostly human-ish girl with a funny forehead or ears for that exotic Star Trek touch. But you must still be fully fuckable in the eyes of 14-year-old human boys. Know your place, ladies!

“No, Clank, I am your father!”

“No, Clank, I am your father!”tweet

Anyway, Ratchet is a mechanic on planet Whatever, where he does things like soup up an elderly Generic Alien’s future space car with mods that are totally uncalled for and recklessly dangerous, because that’s how he rolls, isn’t he awesome? That Ratchet is not actually awesome appears to escape everyone, such as director and cowriter Kevin Munroe. (Munroe’s previous movie and most prominent credit is as director of 2010’s Dylan Dog: Dead of Night, the huge flop reviled by critics and rejected by audiences that might be best known as the movie that killed the film career of Brandon “2006 Superman” Routh. So naturally it makes sense to give him another shot at the big screen. Also one of his coscreenwriters is Gerry Swallow, who wrote dialogue for one of the worst movies ever, Walking with Dinosaurs 3D, so why not give him another job too? Kill me now.) But Ratchet is a boy and the movie is about him, so presumptions of awesome hover around him regardless. And never mind that the test drive of these unrequested mods with the elderly alien — a paying customer, mind, who I hope will refuse to pony up for work he did not ask for — is like a ripoff of the pod-racing sequence from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.

I mean, literally, do not mind this: I surmise that this is a feature, not a bug. Because most of the rest of Ratchet’s adventure in becoming heroic and saving the galaxy despite being a juvenile fuckup will be hugely derivative — mostly, but not entirely, visually — of the Star Wars prequels. The first of which, mind, came out just a few years before the videogame that inspired this movie. (I use the word inspired loosely. Actual creative inspiration is not a thing that came anywhere near infecting this movie.) But what a bizarre choice to stick with a visual ethos that, while it may have informed the game, is no longer the best option. For today, a decade and a half later, the geek gamers who must surely constitute this movie’s sole demographic have come to despair of Lucas’s self-indulgent prequels.

“Wesa gonna get sued by George Lucas!”

“Wesa gonna get sued by George Lucas!”tweet

Probably there was no real choice in the matter, because if you’re going to make a movie out of the R&C games, what else could you do? Perhaps everyone here identifies a bit too much with Ratchet, and presumes themselves destined for greatness, all evidence to the contrary. Perhaps this movie should never have been made at all.

To be fair, late-90s/early-2000s era Star Wars is not the only far better franchise stolen from here. (And yes, even given the problems with those SW flicks, they are still more entertaining than this.) The big bad villain here — Chairman Drek (the voice of Paul Giamatti [Straight Outta Compton, Love & Mercy], wait, what?) — may look like an underwater-dwelling Gungan from The Phantom Menace, but his planet-destroying weapon is like the Death Star, which is from a totally different series, the original Star Wars trilogy. And the head of the villain-fighting superherogroup that Ratchet wants in on (and which he of course manages to triumph among), known as the Galactic Rangers? Captain Qwark (the voice of Jim Ward: Minions, Inside Out) is stolen from further afield yet: he’s comics, cartoon, and live-action superantihero The Tick crossed with Futurama’s Zapp Brannigan. Toss in some Strauss musical cues meant to invoke 2001: A Space Odyssey, and you have a movie that — and I’m being generous here — might think it’s meta but is never anything greater than mehtweet.

“What? No. The Tick? Never heard of ’im.”

“What? No. The Tick? Never heard of ’im.”tweet

Ratchet & Clank could have been assembled entirely from clips from other movies, and would have been better if it had been. This is a lot of noise and nonsense, colorful idiocy good for nothing more than being an electronic babysitter for especially undemanding toddlers, utterly charmless and unfun. (Disclaimer: Please don’t expose your children to this.) One of the film’s associated production companies, whose logo proudly appears at the beginning of the film, is “Cinema Management Group,” which sounds more like an organization that determines the optimal rate of Bags of Factory-Popped Popcorn-Flavored Snack Per Mean Moviegoer at the Average Multiplex than one that has anything interesting to contribute to a well-told story. And which appears to have been confirmed by the end of the film.

red light half a star

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Ratchet & Clank (2016)
US/Can release: Apr 29 2016
UK/Ire release: Apr 29 2016

MPAA: rated PG for action and some rude humor
BBFC: rated U (mild comic violence, very mild bad language)

viewed in 2D
viewed at a semipublic screening with an audience of critics and ordinary moviegoers

official site | IMDb | trailer
more reviews: Movie Review Query Engine | Rotten Tomatoes

If you’re tempted to post a comment that resembles anything on the film review comment bingo card, please reconsider.

  • RogerBW

    The games are basically platformers:so, puzzles about timing and movement. What you’re doing in a platformer is not making strategic or moral choices or deciding how to get your allies on your side, as you might be in some other games; it’s being cunning with your runs and jumps and getting to the end of the level, so that you can play the next level. Nothing wrong with that, but it lends itself to plots which to say the least are uncompelling.

    What puzzles me is why anyone thinks film rights to a game like this are worth bidding for. Sure, you’ll bring in a few suckers with the name, but word gets out quickly these days when a film’s rubbish. Fantastic Four.

  • Nathan

    Wreck It Ralph is the foil to these types of films. Films that are just as toxic to young boys as Pop Idols and Barbies are for girls. How is it healthy to hold up an unattainable icon and say “this is what you should want to be.” Not only is it exclusive, it’s trashy and manipulative.

  • RogerBW

    It gives people impossible dreams of personal success, so that they can chase after those (and be told it’s their fault when they don’t get them) rather than doing something that might actually make a difference.
    (See also: pro sports.)

  • LA Julian

    One hopes that the success of Zootopia/Zootropolis will lessen the public’s patience with this sort of, ha, dreck (both the cliches AND “boys will be boys/girls will be toys” sexism) — and the excuses made by those who say “What do you expect? It’s a kids’ cartoon! as if that ruled out excellence in storytelling or visual artistry…

  • LA Julian

    Note that Judy Hopps doesn’t want personal glory or indulgence (at least not on the surface – learning to overcome her own pride & recklessness is a big part of her arc) but to help other people is the primary reason for her career goals, although her adventurous nature is why she wants to be an officer instead of a more traditionally “nurturing” “girl-appropriate” career in health care or teaching…and she doesn’t learn to give up that, only not to step all over other people in the process of pursuing justice/adrenaline highs at the same time…

  • Jeremy Kelem

    You spelled “biased” wrong.

  • Bluejay
  • Valiexi

    I was amazed so many people were still on board with this movie even after that first terrible trailer.

  • Helioskrill

    Gender appears way too often for a “movie review”.

    Don’t cry about it, take off half a star and move on.

    Also, you poke fun at how “awesome” the movie makes Ratchet out to be, but you act like the movie isn’t supposed to give its characters charm. Clank may be a robot, but you can’t expect him to be as anti charismatic as one.

  • Danielm80

    As Stephen Colbert would say: Thank you for your service, Bluejay.

  • Danielm80

    The problem with reviewing a movie based on a video game is that you get comments from angry gamers. It seems to have started already.

  • Owen1120

    Surprisingly, given his movie track record, Gerry Swallow wrote A Whole Nother Story, which is a pretty good book.

  • Kyle

    Youre really complaining about Ratchet and clank being males? No room for sexism in 2016.

  • BraveGamgee

    She’s not complaining about Ratchet and Clank being males, she’s complaining that they are males having THIS sort of story about them. As a guy, I get to see movies all the time about ordinary/unskilled/untalented guys “like me” succeeding. Women don’t really have movies like that. In a world where we already have too many examples of this story, wouldn’t it be nice not to have it again (or, if we MUST have it, to change it up by girls getting a shot at being ordinary/unskilled/untalented unqualified success stories)?

    If you bring up that the video game characters are already male, and that we should accept it, my response is this: I love video games. I love movies. I think that video games should NEVER be turned into movies, and I would love for someone to prove me wrong

  • Braden Gunn

    In Ratchets defence though the story was always entertaining and the characters were mostly likeable, it’s one of the few gaming series that truly has potential on the big screen and should have been easy to translate to the medium of film, but apparently someone fucked up.

  • Braden Gunn

    I’m not sure on board is the right phrase, more hoping it would be good, I mean to me Ratchet seems like something that would make a really fun film… apparently I was wrong

  • Valiexi

    I’m sure it COULD make for a good film, but boy howdy, that trailer sure hit all the beats for a mediocre, unfunny CGI kids’ movie.

  • NoahJG

    The story isn’t about female protagonists, and it hasn’t been for nearly 15 years, so the story, therefore, doesn’t need to be criticised for something that is a non-offensive continuity from the past. It’s not sexist that the main characters of a movie are male (or presumably male based on the robot’s voice actor actually being male). It’s also not sexist that there are female characters in a movie that are not the intended focus. What if there were no female characters? That would probably be sexist too, right? It’s not like this is a story that is demeaning to women in any fashion; it is just a movie whose main focus is two male characters who, in no way, represent or portray dominance over females (although, they are the center of attention). So please, when making reviews relating to sexism, focus on movies where it actually applies. I mean, the point you made was so irrelavent to this movie that you could go on to say that Finding Nemo is a sexist movie because Dori has bad memory and is bad with navigation.

    Also, not every animated movie is supposed to have the same influence on it’s viewers as Disney Pixar movies. Some movies, such as this one, might only seek to entertain the audience and deliver a compelling story rather than inspire them to overcome seemingly impossible endeavors. Whether the narrative is actually compelling is one of the opinions that a reviewer should focus on and express. And I am not saying that you did not express your opinion about the story; it just seems as though you were so focused on and angered about the lack of a female “hero” and the allusion or similarities to other movies that you got distracted to a point where you were unable to identify whether the combination of the presented narrative and ties to other movies can actually result in a good experience for some viewers.

  • Butternut

    Gonna blow your mind lady. If you look up Ratchet on Google, you’re gonna find a LOT of porn from a LOT of girls who want Ratchet to pound them. The audience for this series isn’t just boys.

    Though I can agree that the audience for the movie is nobody at all.

  • Onigiri

    “If you bring up that the video game characters are already male, and that we should accept it, my response is this: I love video games. I love movies. I think that video games should NEVER be turned into movies, and I would love for someone to prove me wrong”

    Those two things have nothing to do with each other its the fact that its a movie adaptation of a game released in 2002 and shes complaining about it sexist and the attention should have been more focused on the women then the main characters who the movie is named after. Literally the whole review is just unnecessary complaining over nothing because i want to know if the movie is good, not if its super sexist or if the reviewer thinks that the main characters should be female and that the female side characters should get more screen time. If they are not majorly important to the story they dont get that much screen time, gender has nothing to do with it

  • Jace Cotton

    Oh fucking please. If you had done any research you would know R&C is FAMOUS for its satire of hyper-masculinity (Qwark, Nefarious, etc.), as well as its prominent female characters that ARE NOT sidekicks (Sasha, Angela, Talwyn, and now Cora, who, you might be disappointed to find out, was Ratchet’s boss, not his sidekick).

    And if you’re going to criticize the series for having two male protagonists you’re a little fucking late. Like, 14 years late. What did you expect them to do, change Ratchet or Clank’s gender to female? Piss off.

    This review is nothing but pre-packaged, pre-loaded feminist bullshit that you intended on regurgitating before you even saw the film. Take your time and do a little research next time.

  • Owen1120

    “I want to know if the movie is good, not if it’s super sexist.” If it’s sexist, wouldn’t it be bad?

  • brian577

    Keep in mind Zootopia was never about sexism, there was a female elephant cop. Judy was never judged for being a woman, she was judged by her species and size. The allegory has more in common with racism, I doubt sexism was even on the writers mind when they wrote the movie. I do get annoyed when people try to make real world comparisons to the movie. It’s about prejudice plain and simple and none of said prejudice is meant to parallel any specific real world example. The goal of the movie to make people think about their perceived prejudices and as it demonstrates, the oppressed can be just as guilty as the oppressor of this behavior.

  • At some point, someone has to make a good movie based on a video game. I mean, surely it can happen at least once, at least by accident. I wonder which video game it will be?

  • TheAverageGuyTAG

    Nope. 007 is proof of that. :P

  • Metaphors can work along multiple vectors.

    I do get annoyed when people try to make real world comparisons to the movie.

    Then you are in the wrong place. That’s pretty much all I do here.

    the oppressed can be just as guilty as the oppressor


  • You’re cute.

  • Don’t cry about it, take off half a star and move on.

    Thanks for the tip!

  • No room for sexism in 2016.

    I’m assuming you’re male.

  • the attention should have been more focused on the women

    I said nothing of the sort.

    i want to know if the movie is good

    It’s not.

  • It’s not sexist that the main characters of a movie are male

    No, it’s not, and I have never ever said that this was the case.

    This site is not Feminism 101, but if you lurk long enough, you might absorb some basics. I suggest you start by reading the rating criteria for my Where Are the Women? project.

    two male characters who, in no way, represent or portray dominance over females

    That’s the totality of your definition of sexism?

    Some movies, such as this one, might only seek to entertain the audience and deliver a compelling story

    I presume this is the basic goal of all movies. This one fails at that.

  • Wow, there’s fan porn online? Amazing.

  • Edge of Tomorrow is still the best videogame movie yet.

  • Butternut

    You imply that only teenage boys are being pandered to with the side characters. Teenage girls are too, by the main character.

  • Agitatius

    And you wonder why females on the internet are being attacked more than males (at least that´s the modus operandi). This “review” is completele bizarre.

  • Modus operandi: I don’t think it means what you think it means.

    Why don’t you tell us why you liked the movie?

  • Whaaaaat?

  • Edge of Tomorrow is the best you can come up with?

    Not Ressurection of Little Match Stick Girl, Avalon, Otogirisou or eXistenZ? All these movies were groundbreaking in their portrayal of video game culture/mechanics in movies.
    Edge of Tomorrow was a nice adaption of a japanese light novel, that toyed with a few ideas about video games here and there.

  • “And the answer is still No. Not for the likes of me, anyway, because I am female.”

    Never had a problem identifying with Ripley in Alien, Ada McGrath in The Piano, Major Kusanagi in Ghost in the Shell, Carol and Therese in Carol or Thelma and Louise in the movie of the same name, even if all these characters were women.
    I could even identify with a female Bunny in Zootopia without any problem.
    To me the question is, why do you have problems to identify with a male protagonist? Seems like you aren’t as open minded as you think.

  • LA Julian

    They gave it to the fellow who fucked up a popular European comic book by making it into something entirely unlike the original, but hey! Mediocre white guy with industry connections keeps getting more chances, surprise, surprise!

  • LA Julian

    You don’t understand allegory at all, do you? Bunnies – as a species, male or female – are explicitly coded as feminine throughout the entire film, and the negative interactions Judy has in the story, although ALSO applying to ablist discrimination and racial bias, are TYPICAL of sexism, mostly of the “benevolent” chivalrous kind.

    Now, the social coding of rabbits as femme vs the more “macho” stereotyped animals – not just predators but all the big “cool” heraldic and symbolic beasts – is also something that has racist aspects, in the West, where Asian men and Latinos are often dismissed as “unmasculine”, the flip side of characterizing Asian women and Latinas as all hypersexual and submissive, see also the Bell Curve of infamy and all the generations of pop culture it reflected.

    The movie plays off this as well by having traditionally-fierce male animals turn out to be gentle, non-violent, and even gay – AND positive role-models. EVERY bit of prejudice in the movie is intended to parallel MANY specific real-world examples. That’s how allegory works!

    And you really need to do some basic reading in sociology before you start making sweeping pronouncements about complex matters. And basic literary criticism.

  • Nathan

    Well her argument hinges on the overwhelming majority of white-bread dudes in film so…

  • RogerBW

    Pretty rare to see a good videogame based on a movie, too. Goldeneye?

  • Nathan

    Gah! Your comment is simply inconceivable!

  • Nathan

    The premise of EOT is video-games. Not a videogame or videogame culture but full on mechanics.

  • Nathan

    You know how you said Ratchet looks kinda like Sonic the hedgehog? Well for some reason there is a huge “porn community” comprised of teen girls that obsesses over SEGA’s hyperactive rodent. So it follows (it doesn’t but this is a pocket reality or something) that any other characters like Sonic get picked up by this group.

  • Nathan

    I haven’t seen Zootopia yet, but from what I’ve heard it’s definitely looking to be not trashy and manipulative.

  • amanohyo

    1) If you read a few more reviews here, you’ll find that MA has no problem identifying with some male protagonists. I’m pretty sure she’s mentioned that she wanted to be Indiana Jones and/or The Doctor at some point.

    2) The issue raised by this review is the prevalence of a specific type of male protagonist: the unlikely hero destined to save the world. There are very few movies about a loveable, average, fuckup female character who goes on to have grand adventures, save the universe, and obtain greatness, respect, and a little romance along the way. In order to accomplish anything, female protagonists are typically established as perfect, highly skilled badasses from the get-go, and even then they are often relegated to the side-kick/love interest role. The review specifically criticizes this type of unrealistic, wish-fulfillment carefree shlub to savior plot and bemoans the fact that these plots almost always center on a male main character.

    3) The larger issue is the relative number of male and female protagonists in stories that are meant to tell “universal stories.” Women are expected to identify with male characters far more often than the reverse, especially in children’s action adventure movies.

    4) MA also clearly states that apart from this issue, the movie is derivative, lazily produced garbage. If you disagree, it would be helpful to point out some aspects of the movie that you enjoyed.

  • Ryan Smith

    > to change it up by girls getting a shot at being ordinary/unskilled/untalented unqualified success stories)?

    When girls were depicted as ordinary/unskilled/untalented in movies, we were all told it was sexist. Those were the Wilma Flintstone and I Love Lucy days.

    Women are specifically depicted as being hyper-competant and amazing at everything with no character flaws in media now because the studios are afraid of being called sexist. That’s why, for example, every sit com relationship has the woman an intelligent, thoughtful, morally upstanding, beautiful, healthy, courageous, wise professional, and her husband an absolutely unlikable boob: all the actual opportunity for comedy (i.e., flaws) has to be heaped upon the male so feminists don’t rage.

    But of course, as we all know now…nothing is good enough. Somehow now having women be talented is also sexist. According to this review, depicting (cartoon) women in a way that allows you actually discern that they are women is sexist.

    Studios are slowly starting to wake up to the fact that whiners about things like this can never be appeased- they do not want to be appeased, they like the attention and affirmation they get from whining. We’re going to reach a point where the ‘everything is sexist’ whiners will be ignored and artists will actually make what they want to make. Horrifying, I know.

    I agree with you though that the video game => movie transition always ends up as trash.

  • Ryan Smith

    >I’m assuming you’re male.

    That’s sexist.

  • Braden Gunn

    What did he fuck up?

  • Mary is subhuman

    you are fucking retard its ok most of here are laughing at your retard ass as i myself see you just another subhuman looser who cant do anything in life whine bitch and moan like the cow you are

  • MaryAnn rapes kids

    no its not but then again you the one whos a fan of a pedophile so enjoy the fbi watch list subhuman

  • Jonathan Roth

    Yeah.Given that Disney has had a bad track record of burying the awesome of their movies under generic trailers, I had hoped this would be the case.

  • Jonathan Roth

    I think your sarcasm meter needs recalibrating.

  • Jonathan Roth

    Maybe this will be one of the few times we really disagree on a movie? (peeks at metacritic) Nope. 30%. Ouch.

    (Shame too, I really like this game series.)

  • Tourette’s is a serious condition. Here’s some info if you would like to know more. http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/tourette/treatments.html

  • Bluejay

    When girls were depicted as ordinary/unskilled/untalented in movies, we were all told it was sexist. Those were the Wilma Flintstone and I Love Lucy days.

    1. Those aren’t movies.

    2. Her argument was about stories where unskilled/untalented characters become unqualified successes. How many films can you point to where women who are unskilled/untalented become unqualified amazing successes? And how long is that list, compared to the list of similar films about men?

    Women are specifically depicted as being hyper-competant and amazing at everything with no character flaws in media now … every sit com relationship has the woman an intelligent, thoughtful, morally upstanding, beautiful, healthy, courageous, wise professional

    No character flaws? Women perfect at everything? All the flaws and comedy are heaped on the men? Wow. So you haven’t seen Bridesmaids or Trainwreck or Sisters or The Heat or Pitch Perfect etc. Maybe you need to see more movies.

  • Jeremy Kelem

    Aw xoxo

  • I *can* identify with male protagonists. I’m just damn tired of having to do so as often as I do. You, as a man, are not required to identify with a female protagonist anywhere near as I have to do the reverse. And you would be damn tired of it if you did.

  • Girls appropriating a character from a property that completely ignores them and doing their own stuff with that character, for their own amusement, that is nothing like anything found in the original property is the diametric opposite of pandering.

  • Women are specifically depicted as being hyper-competant and amazing at everything with no character flaws in media now because the studios are afraid of being called sexist.

    Well, they’re doing it wrong, and they’re still sexist.

    Women — and lots of men, too! — want to see women depicted as *human*: flawed, fucked-up, in need of growth and change. You know, just like men get to be onscreen. We want stories *about* women, not stories in which women are supporting characters to men *all the damn time.* Why is this so hard to understand?

  • Maniate

    Would I like the movie if I’m not into identity politics?

  • Agitatius

    I majored in Latin Philology, but that aside: I haven´t seen the movie. I don´t need to for realizing that you calling Ratchet and Clank sexist is completely crazy.

  • Do you like derivative crap? If so, you’ll love it.

  • Why is it crazy?

  • NoahJG

    You’re correct; you may not have directly said that male protagonists in a film is a sexist approach. However, what you are failing to realize about your own writing is that the notion of even mentioning gender in this review is completely irrelevant to the story, and thereby INDIRECTLY implies that you believe this movie to be sexist (You, by the way, would have acknowledged that as my actual point if you would have “lurked long enough” to “absorb the basics” of my comment). Why else would including what you said be necessary in a review for this movie? Also, if you truly did not write this review with the intentions of making it seem worse because of male protagonists, then next time, please make it a goal to write the review in a way that its viewers will not interpret incorrectly. . . There is a reason half of the comments on this review are a response to what you wrote about gender.

    And speaking of things we never said: I am sorry I did not give my definition of sexism in its entirety; I assumed we both knew what it means and I guess I failed to see how its inclusion is necessary. Anyways, along with gender superiority, my definition of sexism is the same as would be found in a dictionary. Hopefully this suffices.

    Furthermore, I assume you did not quite understand what my point was when I mentioned that some movies might ONLY seek to entertain; the point I was making, (and clearly, I might add, if you finished reading my comment), by explaining this is in response to where you elaborate on how this movie falls short in providing realistic goals in life. That is why I mention Pixar movies in my previous comment; they, possibly unlike Ratchet and Clank, seek to do more than entertain the audience; they attempt impacting the lives of the viewers in a translucent way by having an underlying meaning to them. One such example is zootopia with the subject of racism.
    Then you go on to say, “This one fails at that,” in reference to the movie having a compelling story. This is what us viewers came to this site to see; your opinion on the actual movie; not life as a female when watching movies. Your review would be exceptionally better and more clear if that is all you focused on.

  • Thanks so much for all the tips! I’ll get right on trying not to be female so much. Good advice!

  • Bluejay

    Hey! I just read a NY Times article about you!

  • NoahJG

    Out of everything I said, you sarcastically took out something that I didn’t even say (something you seem to do a lot as a response); not very impressive

  • You just mansplained to me how to do a job I’ve been doing for almost 20 years, and you think you deserve something other than sarcasm?

  • Bluejay

    Sexist to assume someone whose handle is “Kyle” is male? Whatever, dude.

  • Myuu Tsuu

    Doing this kind of work for 20 years and then showing such a lack of professionalism?
    This is… sad, to put it kindly.

  • Myuu Tsuu

    His points are valid.

  • Agitatius

    Because there is no sexism. And even if there was, calling your text a “review” and then dedicating it in its entirety to complain about sexism, is crazy. This is the sort of “revenge feminism” that gives real feminism a bad image.

  • Ryan Smith

    1.) So what? I’m not going to look up movies from that time period that depict women in the exact same way just so I can make the exact same point because of your nitpick. The point I’m making is fine as is.

    2.) Virtually every romantic comedy is about a relatable woman with nothing particularly wonderful or super competant about her landing a man that’s way out of her league through no feat of her own- and usually enjoying some other sort of great life success along the way. And anyway, why is this weirdly specific thing important at all?

    As to your last unnumbered point, you’re just pretending not to notice the trend I’m describing because it suits your your agenda to pretend in such a way. I mostly watch action movies, and it’s gotten downright boring any time there’s a woman in the scene, because you already know from the moment she shows up that she’s a one-dimensional ‘better at every man at every thing because feminism’ trope.

  • Ryan Smith

    >Women — and lots of men, too! — want to see women depicted as *human*: flawed, fucked-up, in need of growth and change.

    Every time a woman fails at something or needs help with something or isn’t amazing at something *that is called sexist too*. I don’t know how old you are, but that’s what the 80’s and a good part of the 90’s era feminist bitching consisted of: any time a woman showed any weakness on film, it was allegedly ‘because she was a woman’ and sexist. Now that feminists have gotten what they wanted then- every single woman is hyper-competent with no flaws that can be even indirectly blamed on her gender- apparently that’s sexist too.

    That’s the entire problem here- is people writing characters to appeal to ideologues who literally get paychecks in exchange for never being satisfied, instead of telling the stories they want to tell.

    >Why is this so hard to understand?

    It’s not hard to understand, it’s just not at all what you said in this review. If you had said “How come there’s no stories about women” in a movie review about two male video game characters, you would have been mocked and laughed at in the comments section for entirely different reasons than you were.

    When your complaint revolves around a female’s characters eyes being too big in a cartoon in which every character’s eyes are huge, or her sexual features (breasts I guess you mean) being too prominent when every character is gendered, it starts to look like you’re the problem and not the movie.

    Also, keep in mind that in this world of billions, not everybody is a feminists or even inherently sympathetic to feminism. So, your complaining is viewed alongside people who complain about excessive violence, or people who complain about depictions of smoking, or people who complain about depictions of sex, or people who complain about satanic imagery, or people who complain about some race or ethnicity or ideology not being portrayl positively or negatively enough. There is a WHOLE lot of complaining out there, and no particular reason to the outsider why your species of it should be listened to any more than anybody else’s species of it. If we listen to ALL the complaints, we can’t have anything; maybe a movie about vague grey spheres humming pleasently.

    If you want stories with female leads instead of as supporting characters, perhaps movies about video games and explosions are not the first place to look. There are actually tons of movies with female leads, they just don’t tend to be about the sorts of things this movie is about. I realize you may well live in a headspace in which the idea of themes of action and violence being of more inherent interest to males strikes you as outrageous or offensive or whatever, but this is where I remind you again that most people are not feminists. For most of us. a movie about a talking animal and a robot joining the Galactic Rangers to defend against a planet-destroying weapon is a movie that is made for men/boys, and it is no surprise that female characters will be in supporting roles.

    Your point boils down to “It is sexist that things clearly made for boys are clearly made for boys”, and it is that kind of silliness that results in fewer and fewer people being feminists every year; we’re down to single digit percentages in the U.K. now last I heard, and nearly as bad in the U.S.

  • Ryan Smith

    No, sexist to bring up the person’s gender when it had nothing at all to do with the conversation. Why did she even say it?

    If I replied to somebody’s comment with, “I’m assuming you’re a woman” when it had nothing to do with anything, it would be seen as sexist by your ilk.

    And I didn’t set the standard here. If a cartoon can be sexist because the female cartoon character was drawn with breasts, then that’s a pretty damned low standard.

  • Ryan Smith

    Why is it mansplaining? Because he’s a man? What would it be if a woman said the exact same thing?

    Stop being sexist.

  • Ryan Smith

    And of a character that allegedly isn’t drawn to be appealing to the female gaze, too! Imagine that.

  • Ryan Smith

    The point is that the character is designed in a way that many women find sexy. This completely dismantles your “Why is the female in this movie drawn to be sexy” complaint.

  • Ray

    You should really take a minute to read what you posted for a review. For one, how do you give it 5 stars and berate everything about it at the same time. It’s only my opinion, and is subject to being incorrect, but the feeling I get from reading your review is that you have a deep hatred for males in general. Perhaps if you were to let go of your hang ups against the men in the world you just might learn to enjoy something that has nothing to do with promoting the concept of “butch lesbianism”. Just saying. You sound like all of the other so called” feminists ” in the world who merely seek to oppress and humiliate their male counterparts at every opportunity.

  • NoahJG

    Under what pretenses can you assume that I am a man? Is it because I think your review, in many ways, is irrelevant to the subject you are reviewing? There is nothing I have said that is gender exclusive, right? Why do you think I am a man? And please, deliver a response with your reasoning.

  • Bluejay

    Under what pretenses can you assume that I am a man?

    Your handle, for one thing. And if you were a woman, you would have said so right away, to undercut her assumption.

    You can still admit you’re a woman right now, of course, to settle the question.

  • Bluejay

    Because there is no sexism.

    If you mean there’s no sexism in the movie, how do you know if you haven’t seen it?

    And if you mean sexism doesn’t exist, boy howdy. Nice life you have, that you can afford to think so. The rest of the real world isn’t so lucky.

  • LA Julian

    An Italian noir comic called “Dylan Dog” starring Brandon Routh (!) which was turned into some sort of unholy offspring of The Spirit and BTVS in the hands of Monroe and the writing team of Donnelly and Oppenheimer, better known for such gems as Sahara, the Conan reboot, and A Sound of Thunder, in spite of all of which they were awarded the plum prize of writing Marvel’s Doctor Strange, so now I am even LESS optimistic about that prospect.

  • Bluejay

    Being a man or a woman affects how we experience and think about sexism, just as being white or brown or black affects how we experience and think about racism. The conversation is about sexism, and so pointing out gender identities, which informs perspective, is not irrelevant.

    If a cartoon can be sexist because the female cartoon character was drawn with breasts

    Way to miss the point.

  • Bluejay

    If you mostly watch action movies, how do you know what “virtually every romantic comedy” is about?

    If the woman in the action movie is one-dimensional, that’s not feminist. If she happens to be more competent than the man but STILL has to be the one to be rescued or play the supporting role, that’s not feminist.

    On the flip side, it’s interesting how some men have no problem with unrealistically competent men like Batman or James Bond — but as soon as an unrealistically competent woman shows up, they whine that feminism is ruining the movies.

  • Bluejay

    The male butthurt is strong in this forum. This tells me that your review is very probably spot-on.

  • amanohyo

    I only read a miniscule fraction of the comments here, and even I find the lack of empathy and comprehension in the responses to MA’s reviews frustratingly predictable. Imagine you had to read comments from strangers telling you that you were doing your job wrong (strangers who, by the way, don’t seem to understand what your job is or even how it is that you do that job) for twenty years. If you didn’t already have a snarky, sarcastic sense of humor, you’d develop one in hurry. The other options are: become a media shill, disengage and delete everything, quit doing the thing you love to do, or go insane.

    NoahJG’s comments, like this review and this movie, are happening in a larger cultural context, in this case the context of a community which has seen hundreds of virtually identical comments over the years. Believe it or not, MA is showing remarkable restraint by not simply cutting and pasting a link to the bingo board.

  • NoahJG

    But would not that assumption be considered sexist? You think I am a man solely based on my syntax and another sexist assumption that women would have, by now, proclaimed their sex out of defense?
    I do not actually believe these two examples to be offensive, but they are meant to represent how far of a stretch the claims made in this review are.
    And I am, by the way, not a man because I have yet to become an adult. But with this aside, the purpose for me asking those questions was not for someone else to answer them; my intent is to show that maybe her argument that I deserve sarcasm for “mansplaining” should be reconsidered. Mansplaining can only be done by a man so, as Ryan Smith previously mentioned, “What if I am a woman?” Would the writer then treat me with the same decency she implies she would for a women?
    And I don’t mean disrespect when I say this, because while one may be a very decent reviewer in most cases, explaining that he or she has years of experience is not something that a person should use to prove the validity and accuracy of their point. The reason being that practice makes permanence, not perfection. This is because if this person practices something incorrectly the entire time, then they only improve at what they are doing wrong.
    To directly allude to this movie for an analogy: Captain Qwark has been the “best” Galactic Ranger for many years. With this being said, his experience turns out meaning nothing in comparison to Ratchet’s, and Ratchet’s only experience is his desire.

  • Butch Lesbian

    This is only my opinion, but the feeling I get from your comment is that you don’t realize how condescending it is to suggest that a professional writer “take a minute” to read their own work. Perhaps if you were to let go of your obsession with placing “butch lesbianism” in quotes when it is not clear what or whom you are quoting, you might be able to make your points more clearly. Just saying. You sound like all the other so called “helpful internet advisors” in the world who merely visit sites run by women in order to “mansplain” to them how their opinions are incorrect and illogical at every opportunity. It’s almost as if you are a soldier of some sort endlessly seeking a measure of justice within society.

  • Why did she even say it?

    Because it’s typically men who don’t think sexism is really a thing. It’s completely relevant to the conversation.

  • Aww. Your concern trolling touches me deeply.

  • Because there is no sexism.

    Ah. I didn’t realize you were the sole arbiter of whether something is feminist or not. I shall be sure to ask you next time I am tempted to make such a determination myself. What is the best way to reach you? Phone? Email? Are you available 24/7?

    dedicating it in its entirety

    Entirety? Really? Hmmm… This makes me doubt your skills of perception.

    This is the sort of “revenge feminism” that gives real feminism a bad image.

    Alas, there’s not a lot of money in revenge feminism. I may not be able to afford to sexism-determination service. Drat.

  • Guess what? Women — feminists! — complain about perfect sitcom moms too! Depicting men as incompetent boobs is sexist too!

    Stop complaining about straw misrepresentations of feminism and feminists. You clearly have no idea what you’re talking about.

  • no particular reason to the outsider why your species of it should be listened to any more than anybody else’s species of it.

    Then what are you doing here?

    There are actually tons of movies with female leads

    No, there are not. Male leads dominate way out of proportion.

  • Then she’d be a woman who had internalized misogyny.

  • I don’t have to imagine it. It happens constantly. Girls and women have been doing this forever. Are you surprised that women have imaginations?

  • The point is that the character is designed in a way that many women find sexy.

    Citation needed. I would be astonished to learn that “what women find sexy” came anywhere within a thousand miles of the minds of the creators of the game.

  • Your username is NoahJG. Either you are a man, or you want to be perceived as a man. If so, congrats, you succeeded!

  • Ah, so I’m Qwark and you’re Ratchet, are you?

    And now we see the problem with movies like this.

  • You obviously haven’t seen any of the movies I mentioned, otherwise you wouldn’t have written what you wrote.

  • “I’m just damn tired of having to do so as often as I do. You, as a man, are not required to identify with a female protagonist anywhere near as I have to do the reverse”

    You have no clue what movies I watch. My advice, if you want more female protagonists, stop watching AAA movies that target a male audience. There are millions of movies out there with female protagonists, but complaining about male protagonists in a movie based on a video game with male protagonists seems kind of useless.
    When I go to my imdb ratings and look for the movies I watched in cinema in 2016 I see 17 movies from which 8 where with strong female leads:
    Room, Suffragette,Rak ti Khon Kaen, Dólares de arena, An, Song of the Sea, Carol, Unimachi Diary

    All these movies have a different, but nonetheless female perspective, so to me it’s obvious a wide range of movies with female leads exist, you just don’t wanna see them.

  • rotton

    because it’s not…

  • Agitatius

    Just leave me a message on my disqus account; that is if you´re hot. (did that trigger you?)

  • Agitatius

    Please explain how you could read my previous comment as “there is no sexism in general”. Come on.

  • I literally just finished a huge, 16-month project on women’s representation onscreen, but please, do continue to tell me how much more you know about this than I do.

    I must say, I do love how you think it’s just fine that movies about women are best left to the arthouse while movies about men are appropriately “AAA” mainstream movies. But it’s not fine. Women are not a “niche.”

    Oh, and *Song of the Sea* has a male protagonist.

  • What’s not what?

  • Bluejay

    But would not that assumption be considered sexist?

    No, because, AGAIN, you’re using a male name as your handle. You WANT us to perceive you as male. Therefore we are.

    You think I am a man solely based on my syntax

    Who said anything about syntax?

    And I am, by the way, not a man because I have yet to become an adult.

    That’s an impressive dodge; you’ll make a good lawyer when you grow up. You and I both know this conversation is about gender, not age. And after all this fudging and dodging, you admit you’re a guy after all, to absolutely nobody’s surprise.

    You seem to think “mansplaining” simply means “an explanation by a man.” There’s a lot more to it than that. Read around. Pay attention to context, to larger social attitudes, to cultural patterns and how you participate in them. Maybe you’ll understand when you’re older.

  • Myuu Tsuu

    The job of a critic, or “review writer” in that case, is not to rip everything apart but to judge the things fair and without any prejudice. This is not the case here. Hell, she even admits she’s biased. So no. This review can, under no circumstances, count as fair. And for someone, wo “supposedly” does this job for 20 years or more, it should be a given to judge without beeing influenced by a personal motive.

    Also, if so many comments are filled with similar complains.. hey, maybe these people are right?

  • amanohyo

    The review is probably spot-on, but the backlash has very little to do with accuracy. As I’m sure you know, a large portion of the geek community has taken an entrenched, defensive stance against the perceived logical inconsistencies of third wave feminism. Any negative review of a game or comic-based product from a feminist perspective will inevitably attract negative attention.

    In fact, the review doesn’t even need to be overtly feminist. I guarantee that any woman that gives Captain America 3 a negative review will receive far more angry comments on average than the negative reviews of men, regardless of the content or quality of the review (as you know, most early negative commenters haven’t even watched the movie). Ironically, many people seem to be triggered by seeing a women with a critical opinion of any kind.

    For the most part, anti-feminist arguments center around the ideas that the gender playing field has actually been level for decades, feminism is a zero-sum one side loses/one side wins power struggle, and that modern feminists have gone too far and are now requesting special treatment using the imaginary/out-of-date concepts of privilege and patriarchy. They also believe that political correctness often trumps honesty – I agree with them on this point in some cases. Unfortunately, they also seem to lack an understanding of the social effects that suppressing female honesty for thousands of years has had on our culture. To the privileged, equality feels like oppression.

    Some of them are young and have a limited understanding of history, culture, and socialization in general. Some of them are adults who lack basic empathy and/or capacity for nuance and introspection. The one thing they all seem to have in common is a veneer of logic and evolutionary biology spread razor-thin over a seething irrational core of anger and fear. I used to think I was a master projector, but many of these men (and a some women too) have me beat by several thousand lumens.

    The increasing level of male butthurt is a sign that the world is changing in ways that are very frightening to a lot of people. I suspect that the changes are primarily driven by financial rather than moral reasons, but hey at least they’re coming. It came to television, it’s coming to movies, and games are next. Damn feminism! You scary!


  • Myuu Tsuu

    For the love of god, read what people are actually write, not what you want to belive they write. It should be more then obvious that the sentence “no room for sexism in 2016” means that we should have, in fact, no room for sexism and not that sexism dosn’t exist anymore.

    And again “Because it’s typically men who don’t think sexism is really a thing”. Hypocrite much?

  • LA Julian

    Tautology alert! Perhaps you should have studied Greek Logic instead.

  • LA Julian

    Male characters aren’t drawn to be appealing to women, by and large, so we make do with what we have. You need to go and study up on Male Gaze 101, including “sameface syndrome” and ask why even reptilian humanoid females have to be drawn with enormous breasts in video games and so forth.

  • LA Julian

    If you don’t mean disrespect, then you need to take a basic communications course. And how many women do you know named “Noah”?

  • LA Julian

    Assertion assumes facts not in evidence.

  • LA Julian

    No, the fact that people can find Sonic appealing, when he’s meant to be appealing, is not the same as “pandering to the teenage girl gaze” — and by the way? A lot of that porn is gay. So not JUST appealing to female viewers.

  • Bluejay

    That’s pretty much exactly what I meant, but I didn’t have the energy to use all the words. ;-)

    To the privileged, equality feels like oppression.

    Very nicely said. This can apply to so many current political arguments.

  • LA Julian

    There’s also the problem that sidekick female characters are generally designed to repel ANY identification with them, which is so not the case for male sidekicks, who are NOT written or drawn to appear as hapless sex objects and prizes for female or gay male characters.

  • David_Conner

    It’ll be *Warlords of Pong* (as soon as someone picks up my spec screenplay)!

  • Bluejay

    No reviewer is without biases (and if you think otherwise, you’re deluding yourself). She’s one of the few who’s upfront about hers. If you think a review is “objective,” it’s only because you share the reviewer’s biases. If you don’t like her perspective, then this website isn’t for you. Move along.

    if so many comments are filled with similar complains.. hey, maybe these people are right?

    There are also many comments disagreeing with the complainers. So maybe THOSE people are right?

    Are you suggesting that this is a numbers game? The most commonly held opinion is always the better one?

  • Bluejay

    So you admit sexism exists. Fair enough.

    What you meant, then, was that you don’t see any sexism whatsoever in this movie that you have not, in fact, seen. I am awed by your brilliant reasoning.

  • Myuu Tsuu

    The problem arises if beeing biased interferes with your judgement. For that job it is required to put down your personal opinion and to simply look at the hard facts without interpreting something into it that dosn’t even exist to begin with.

  • Agitatius

    Based on the author´s reasoning, yes. She calls out the mere existence of the hero duo a justification to call out sexism. That is wrong, independently from whether I´ve seen the movie or not.

  • Agitatius

    If I told you that was part of my side subject, you probably wouldn´t believe it ;)

  • Let me fix this for you:

    “I literally just finished a huge, 16-month project on women’s representation onscreen IN MOVIES FROM US STUDIOS, but please, do continue to tell “me how much more you know about this than I do.”

    It may surprise you, but more movies are made outside the US then not. Maybe by widening you movie horizon you will find more movies that fit your criteria instead of just continue watching movies made for a mostly young and male audience.

  • tcnitsni

    I wonder why gamers would care about a movie. They should only care about games.

  • tcnitsni

    I’m assuming you’re male too.

  • NoahJG

    I personally know one woman whose name is Noah along with one man. Of course, it is more common for males to have that name but there are still many females who have it as well. I do not see how going by my name makes me want to be perceived as a man though. . . I want to be treated as you do, equally, whether I am male or female. And I do not mean disrespect; that is why I never said she is bad at reviewing movies; I can’t make that judgment as I have not read all of her reviews. In that comment, I make an analogy to explain that her point that her abundance of experience verifies her rudeness is irrational. And I never said she is Captain Qwark and I am Ratchet; my analogy was comparing them to a hypothetical statement, not reality.

    To Bluejay: Syntax = sentence structure = how I handle myself when writing. There cannot be writing without syntax. By mentioning my age though, I was explaining that it’s illogical to assume that someone is male based on their writing if their age can’t be determined as well.

    And my goodness, MA saying I would be an internally misogynous woman, if I were one, is probably one of the most ignorant things she has said so far. In no way do I dislike or am prejudice against women. I happen to be a strong advocate of feminism because I recognize that everyone is equal. However, I do not support ignorance and I do not support sexism. I honestly do not consider most of what is said in this review to be sexist material, because I agree, there are not enough female super heroes or protagonists in movies. Why do Marvel and DC make movies about their male heroes so much more frequently than their female? It’s probably because of popularity in those heroes but that does not mean I do not think it should change. Anyways, the point I have been making in all my comments is that her inclusion of this substance in her review is so irrelevant when pertaining to this movie that it comes across as sexist (whether or not it is actually sexist).

    Nothing I have said, I would change if I thought she were a man. Her gender has nothing to do with the irrelevance of what she started this review with. Her writing could easily and justifiably be placed in many places where this issue applies (it just does not here). So, again, I am not mansplaining; I am not telling her how to do her job because I think I am either better at it or because I think my points of view are better than hers (and I don’t think I would be a better movie reviewer). I am reviewing her review, which is what the comments are for. This is similar to how she is reviewing a movie; that is what this website is for.

  • Bluejay

    Newsflash: A review is ALL ABOUT personal opinion. If a review just “looked at hard facts” without interpretation, it would be nothing but an IMDB entry.

  • Bluejay

    To Bluejay: Syntax = sentence structure = how I handle myself when writing.

    Again: who the hell said anything about your syntax? (Also, addressing me in a reply to someone else is bad form. I don’t always read comments directed at others. If you have something to say to me, do it in a direct reply.)

  • Myuu Tsuu

    The amount of bullshit you managed to put into these vew sentences is barely fathomable. I am not sure if that means i should tip my hat, or just shake my head.

    Anyway, let’s hope the time will come that you realise what you had actually written. And let’s also hope that, when that time comes, it’s not to embarrassing for you to reflect back at this.

  • bronxbee

    you obviously have really not looked at this site — she reviews *every* kind of movie, independent, foreign and whatever she can squeeze in. she averages about a movie a day.

  • Bluejay

    Of course, you didn’t actually refute anything I said. No points for you.

  • Ryan Smith

    >The conversation is about sexism, and so pointing out gender identities, which informs perspective, is not irrelevant.

    Right. So if I say, “That’s the kind of thing a woman would say”, then you’re just cool with that, and there’s no sexism to be had. Of course not.

    This double/inscrutable standard is part of the whole reason feminism is cancer. You simply make up whatever rules suit your immediate needs, then discard/change them when your needs change.

  • Ryan Smith

    >Because it’s typically men who don’t think sexism is really a thing.

    Which is why I called you sexist. That is the pure, undiluted essence of sexism, what you just said. It is no different from me saying “Typical woman” in response to some comment of yours.

  • Ryan Smith

    >Because it’s typically men who don’t think sexism is really a thing.

    Remember- feminists can insult and generalize about men as much as they want, but if a cartoon is drawn in a way the feminist doesn’t like, it’s misogyny. That’s the caliber of ideology we’re dealing with here.

  • Ryan Smith

    Read what I wrote again.

    “The point is that the character is designed in a way that many women find sexy.”

    This doesn’t imply intention. The character IS designed in a way that many women find sexy. Was it intentional? I have no idea, because I don’t make up wild, unfounded stories about the motivations of strangers, because I’m not a feminist.

    You whined that the female character looked like a sex object. I pointed out that the male lead looks like a sex object to many as well. You’re making up stories about the intentions of the creators, I’m not.

  • Ryan Smith

    Just like there are presumably plenty of lesbians who find characters appealing that MaryAnn would whine about ‘catering to the male gaze’, right?

    The important thing here is that the idea of the creators *pandering* is just a story MaryAnn made up in the first place. She sees the character, and she has created a fictional tale about the intention of the creator. The plausibility of that fictional tale is undercut by the fact that not just the female characters are taken as sex objects.

  • Ryan Smith

    >Male characters aren’t drawn to be appealing to women,

    This is a story you’re making up.

    >You need to go and study up on Male Gaze 101,

    I have a degree in political philosophy, and there’s nothing you’re going to say about feminism that I haven’t studied and tested on. YOU need to stop assuming people who disagree with you are doing so from a lack of education.

    As to why female characters are drawn that way in video games, you have three basic reasons: one, it’s only been the past few years that video games graphics were good enough to be able to tell female and male characters apart without exaggerated characteristics, whether that’s breast/hips, pink dresses, bows, and so on. For the first 15 years or so of the industry, the audio tech wasn’t good enough to have voices, either.

    Secondly, because video game plots tend to revolve around physical violence or other situations that require extreme physical fitness from the characters. It is very difficult to draw a female character in a way that suggests “extreme physical fitness” that is not sexy to at least a good number of men. This goes both ways, of course- it’s hard to create a male character that can realistically swing on a vine, roll under a speading truck, then karate half a dozen thugs to death who isn’t ripped and sexy.

    Third, because the video game industry (at least the part of it making AAA titles that would have things like a sexy lizard woman or whatever) is an industry that serves overwhelmingly young men, and seeing sexy women is something most young men like right up there with simulated violence. It is the same reason you will find more beer commercials on T.V. during a NASCAR race, and why daytime soap operas don’t have many swordfights.

  • Ryan Smith

    If we’re now talking about movies that just happen to have video games as a major plot element and not movies that are actually based on a pre-existing video game, then the obvious answer is Tron.

  • LA Julian

    “because it’s not” is not a complete thought. Paying attention to what you people are writing (spelling and grammar errors and all) does not yield any possible conversation, because you defenders of sexism and/or the Ratchet & Clank movie are not making any sense thus MaryAnn is forced to extrapolate.

    And no, it’s not hypocritical to point out that the beneficiaries of a bias typically do not think it’s a real problem. Sexism, racism, classism — those on the up side of the see-saw are less likely to admit it is balanced in their favour. Do you not get out at all?

  • LA Julian

    I think this is more proof that the spambots have become sentient and are trying to have conversations, without understanding how human communication works.

  • LA Julian

    So you just got on the internet this week, I take it, and have never taken any art or sociology classes, let alone participated in any Feminism 101 discussions? Because that’s the only answer for you thinking MaryAnn made up all of this out of thin air.

  • LA Julian

    You’re obviously a sentient spambot and have never interacted with real people. Nobody who has ever engaged in any discussions about perception in media would think that we are “just making up” the idea of the Male Gaze, and you are simply lying about “the last few years” and foolishly, because many of us women in fandom have been on the internet since it was a thing, and playing video games since before DOS, and also are aware that the low res pixel art in the 16-bit was SOLD with 3D high-res imagery based on RPG and comic illustration.

    Grow up and stop telling obvious untruths.

  • Myuu Tsuu

    I just hope we all wake up one day from this..
    I certanly don’t have a problem by woman per se, and i do support the idea of giving them the respect they actually deserve. But this feminist movments go way to far.
    I remember some complaining over a road sign. The sign in question was related to bicycle traffic.
    And the problem with it: The pictured bike had a cross-piece, wich means it was a bicycle for man.
    Is this really worth complaining about?
    I for my part realised at this time: don’t even bother with trying to please anybody. It’s imposible.

  • LA Julian

    I’d believe it, I’d believe you flunked it though.

  • Myuu Tsuu

    Nobody was forced to “extrapolate” anything. If you get the feeling someone did not quite understand your point, you try again but this time you are more specific. Easy as that.

  • LA Julian

    FYI, Tomb Raider came out in 1996. Twenty is more than “a few” years!

  • Bluejay

    Now MaryAnn has explained that she actually was making a judgment based on her stereotype of what men believe

    That’s not what she did. There’s a difference between stereotyping an entire group of people and making the sociological observation that someone who expresses a particular view is likelier to belong to a group whose experience commonly (if not universally) supports that view. Nuance is hard, I know.

    Feminists simply can’t be wrong- to feminists.

    Who’s doing the stereotyping now? If you think feminists don’t debate a whole lot of issues or argue about whether something is feminist or not, you’re clearly not in the loop.

  • NoahJG

    I just recently saw it, and it is a great movie if you enjoy the video game series or if you don’t mind movies aimed more towards a younger audience. It has a somewhat confusing start but it has a compelling story, and transitions between scenes are sometimes a little underexplained.

  • Ryan Smith

    She literally did. Unless she personally knows the creators of this movie, her argument that they designed the female characters but not the male characters to be sexy is just that- a product of her fucking imagination. If it’s NOT her imagination, then kindly show that she knows the creators, or that they have publicly stated their intentions.

    Meanwhile, outside of her imagination, what we *actually know* is that people find the male and female characters to be sexy. That refutes her position that the female characters are sexualized more than the male- as her only evidence is the appearence of the characters, and not the actual stated intentions of the artists.

    You’ve never taken any critical thinking classes, or participated in any Logic 101 discussions, I take it? You probably should, and stop wasting your brain with this feminism bullshit.

  • Ryan Smith

    >If you mostly watch action movies, how do you know what “virtually every romantic comedy” is about?

    Call it a consequence of having a love life. Why do you want to know?

    >If the woman in the action movie is one-dimensional, that’s not feminist.

    Why? If she’s vulnerable, that’s sexist. If she’s attractive, that’s sexist. If she relies on a man for anything, that’s sexist. If she talks about men too much, that’s sexist. You start subtracting everything you can’t have a woman in a movie do without feminists bitching, and you end up with extremly one-dimensional characters: we call them mary sues.

    >If she happens to be more competent than the man but STILL has to be the one to be rescued or play the supporting role, that’s not feminist.

    Case in point. Can’t have a situation where a competant woman needs rescuing, or the feminists will bitch. One more story that can’t be told. And you say feminist characters aren’t one dimensional.

  • Ryan Smith

    >Guess what? Women — feminists! — complain about perfect sitcom moms too!

    Dont I know it! It was in college studying feminism that I had it explained to me that women being portrayed as incompetant boobs that depend on their husband for everything was sexist against women, and that portraying men as incompetant books that depend on their wives for everything was ALSO sexist against women!

    In the first case it was obviously because the stereotype that wives depend on their husbands is sexist, in the second case it was because suggesting a competant woman would settle for a shitty husband is sexist.

    So yeah, everything is misogyny all the time.

    As far as straw man (oh shit is that sexist too) representations of feminists, you’ve used ‘mansplaining’ and accused women of internalized misogyny in this conversation about how drawing a cartoon character with boobs is sexist. You are a walking, talking stereotype. If you don’t want people to address ‘mispresentations’, maybe don’t live up to them in every way.

  • Ryan Smith

    >Then what are you doing here?

    Because you have an open comments section that invites criticism. And feminism needs criticism because it is horrible.

  • Ryan Smith

    >That’s not what she did. There’s a difference between stereotyping an entire group of people and making the sociological observation that someone who expresses a particular view is likelier to belong to a group whose experience commonly (if not universally) supports that view. Nuance is hard, I know.

    There is no nuance. There’s you wording it one way when you like it, and wording it another way when you don’t. “Observing that somebody who holds a particular view is likelier to belong to a particular group” is sexist as hell when you don’t like it, no doubt.

    >Who’s doing the stereotyping now?

    Me. I’m stereotyping feminists. Feminists tend to be irrational and very bad at logical arguments, only using reason to self-serving, inconsistent ends. Avoiding stereotyping is your standard, not mine.

  • Ryan Smith

    Most of us have woken up from it. According to any reliable measurement, more and more people (especially women) are considering feminism an embarassment and don’t want to identify with it.

  • She pointed me to her project, here are the movies included in this project:


    This is a list that consists to at least 95% of movies by US studios.

  • Myuu Tsuu

    Certanly, many male characteres, let it be in videogames, comics or
    movies, are portrait in a way that the male audience would not complain
    if they could be like them. But at the same time, those very characters
    are also appealing to a good percentage of the female viewers. So yeah. There is an “eye candy” factor.
    Saying that it happens barely that male characters are deliberately created/casted to appeal to the female audience is indeed a bold lie.

    Would you like to reword your previous comment into something like “Male characters are drawn to be appealing to women, even though it feels like this happens more often with female characters.”?

  • Danielm80

    If you live in the U.S. or (like MaryAnn) in the U.K., those are the movies that are going to be playing at your local theatre. In parts of the U.S., it may even be difficult to find a theatre that’s showing Suffragette. It’s considered an “arthouse” movie. MaryAnn seeks out a wide variety of movies, so her list includes films that may not be available at the multiplex. If you, personally, enjoy movies made outside the U.S., that’s great, but for most people reading the reviews on this site, her list is pretty representative of the films they’re likely—or able—to see. Most of those films aren’t about women. People who want to see a movie with a female protagonist have to make an effort to do it, and that’s just sad.

  • Look. The evidence of what movies I have seen and reviewed over the course of almost 20 years is all around you, as if the evidence of what films I covered with Where Are the Women? (Hint: plenty of them were non-US films.) And I am far from the only person talking about the shocking state of women’s representation onscreen, and why it’s a problem. If you don’t want to hear this, fine. You want to think you know more about movies than I do, fine. If it makes you feel better to think that everything is just hunky dory when it comes to women onscreen, great. When you’re ready to learn otherwise, this site will still be here.

  • Pandering — the word you are defending — *requires* intention. It is inherent in the notion of pandering.

  • I most certainly did NOT “make up” the notion that this movie is “pandering” to girls and women.

    I’m done with you.

  • It is not mandatory to participate in an open comments section.

    And if you think I’m horrible, please go away.

  • Keep dreaming.

  • Nope. It does not. (Hint: Check the tabs beyond the first one. And check the *other* ranking pages — this is not the only one.)

    The entire list of all 295 movies covered in the project can be found at the bottom of this page:


  • Bluejay

    It’s stereotyping to say, “All Republicans think Obama is a secret Kenyan Muslim socialist whose health care plan is government overreach akin to Nazi death camps.” But somebody who has those views IS much more likely to be a Republican than a Democrat, so if they express those views, it’s reasonable to assume they’re part of that larger group. Again, I get that nuance can be hard. Keep at it, you’ll get it someday.

    Me. I’m stereotyping feminists… Avoiding stereotyping is your standard, not mine.

    And here’s where you reveal you’ve never been arguing in good faith, accusing us of betraying a standard you had no intention of honoring yourself. I think we’re done here.

  • Bluejay

    If she’s vulnerable, that’s sexist. If she’s attractive, that’s sexist…

    Context is everything. As with nuance, you fail at it.

  • bronxbee

    i think your example is an urban myth, and what, exactly is going “too far”? women are, worldwide, 51% of the population, we should, in point of fact, be the “default” sex in all signs, writing, and points of view. yet, we are not.

  • LA Julian

    Given how many defenders of this movie haven’t even seen it, but are defending it against feminist criticism “on principle”, you seem to be spot on.

  • Myuu Tsuu

    No, it is not a myth. There was a feature story in the news about this. But i don’t blame you if you never heard about it. Just because it was in the news in my country, i don’t asume this was a wide spread issue in others, too.

  • Bluejay

    I see he’s now changed it to “NJG.” For the record, future readers, this conversation took place when he was “NoahJG.”

  • NJG

    Yes, I changed my profile’s name. However, I only did this so people like MA would not be able to profile me as a man and treat me differently because of it. I suggest the same to any other people on this site who have a profile whose name consists of a name that is typically male; maybe then, your comments will be taken seriously

  • Bluejay

    If you want to be taken seriously, it’s not your username you have to change. How do you expect her to react to a wall-of-text of condescending advice? “What you are failing to realize about your own writing”? “Please make it your goal”? For crying out loud.

    What YOU are failing to realize about your own writing is that it’s coming from a place of presumptuousness rather than honest engagement. Here’s the thing: MaryAnn doesn’t have to change a damn thing about her writing. It’s not her job to give you the “balanced” or “objective” review that you want. Her job is to respond to movies from HER distinctive perspective; that’s what her readers value her for. It’s YOUR job to sift through different reviewers with different perspectives, and find the ones that are useful to you.

    Learn to listen to others and understand their point of view (especially if their point of view isn’t already heavily privileged in the general culture) instead of jumping in to prescribe what they should or shouldn’t say. It’s a valuable life skill.

  • NJG

    If it is not my username, then that should not have been brought up in the first place, and I should not have had to clarify my sex.

    My first comment, as I have stated in a previous comment, is a review of this review which I related to how on topic it was with the movie. That is what comments are meant for; that along with questions. I do both of those in my first comment, but she misinterprets it in her response and does so very impolitely. So, I then respond by saying she fails to realize that her writing is making her appear sexist to any viewers and that if that is not what she is going for, she should make it a goal to make her intentions more conspicuous because they are unclear based on her response that her review is not sexist. While that was polite on my part, I was responding with the the same I received. However, if it is a sexist review, then it is perfectly clear. And I would not have had to verify that if her initial response to me actually directed its attention to the things I pointed out rather than things such as my definition of sexism.

    I don’t know why you are quoting “balanced” and “objective” considering I never said either of those words. I also never said that I expect or want an unbiased review; because that is what a review is, and expecting something other than that would be ignorant to what a reviewer does.

    And I do interpret all reviews and I have noticed that this movie has overall, pretty bad reviews. I read each review thoroughly and try to understand each individual perspective. By doing this, I tend to notice outliers; and while this review’s score is not too far away from others’, its reasons for its score are far different from any other review I had seen (Even from reviews coming from women). I did listen to this review, and what I got from it, I explained in my first comment. By writing, I am also trying to further understand her point of view; but as I previously said, she did not deliver a direct and clear response to the subjects that I pointed out.
    And please use your own words of wisdom when trying to understand my comments.

  • Danielm80

    If it is not my username, then that should not have been brought up in the first place, and I should not have had to clarify my sex.

    Changing your username gives you the ability to travel back in time. Good to know.

  • Bluejay

    I should not have had to clarify my sex.

    Your sex was never in doubt and didn’t need clarifying. YOU’RE the one who kept demanding that she explain how she knows you’re male, which was clear right from the start!

    I don’t know why you are quoting “balanced” and “objective” considering I never said either of those words.

    I wasn’t quoting you, I was using irony quotes to show there’s no such thing in reviews. You did, however, say that she shouldn’t bring her “life as a female” into her review. Dude, that’s fucking rude and offensive, and it IS basically asking her to keep her subjectivity out of her reviews.

    I don’t think “polite” means what you think it means. Your comments to her have been condescending, and by basically repeating your entire argument you’re simply doubling down on your condescension. You may be too dense to be aware of it. LISTEN when others point it out to you.

  • NJG

    I changed my name so people, “would not be able to profile me as a man and treat me differently because of it.” “Would” implies future.
    As an analogy: You don’t change your clothes everyday to look different in the past.

  • NJG

    Yes, I asked why she assumes I am a man because she had no reason to, aside from my name (which can be considered a sexist assumption because there are many women named “Noah” as well. That was my point behind asking). I got that from her assertion that I was mansplaining when I was actually only initially making observations about her review. Then you defended her by saying, “You WANT us to perceive you as male,” when in actuality, I do not. I want to be treated as if nobody knows what I am. I said that I should not have to clarify my sex because her assumption that I “mansplained” her shouldn’t have been included in her argument as to why I deserve sarcasm.

    I never said she shouldn’t write about life as a woman; I said that it is not what viewers came for. Of course, I’m sure some came for that reason, and I admit, I misspoke; I made too much of a generalization, and I didn’t word it in a the way I wanted it to be perceived. But again, you’re are missing my point; I know I can’t object to her point of view, and she can express things as a woman, or however she wants to, for she has that right; but that doesn’t change the irrelevance of some of what she said in relation to this movie.

    I repeat things that I say when someone misinterprets them or when I’m not clear in what I say. However, I am clear, and it seems as though what I write is often misunderstood or manipulated(maybe because of the length of my comments?). I repeated my entire argument because you didn’t receive it properly; not to make it have twice its meaning and condescension. If I wanted to do that, I would have repeated my entire argument in my very first comment. And I don’t know how you speak to other people but maybe they would listen to your sage advice if you didn’t call them things. This is a lesson YOU can learn.

    Because I am done sounding like a broken record, done with this conversation, and want it to be over with, I would like to make a summary of everything I have said into three sentences so as to make very clear what I mean in my first comment:

    I believe that this review inadequately rates Ratchet and Clank because of the irrelevance behind how much it focuses on the lack of an important female character or how it supposedly aspires young girls to be no more than “fuckable” sidekicks. While this is an issue in many movies, it is not, here, and does not deserve to be one of the main focuses in this review. I therefore give this review a 5/10.

    This is my opinion on this review and you can disagree with it. But just leave it at that and please keep it to yourself because I don’t like constantly explaining myself, (although I always will), or proving to others that I know what I said. You can go for the last word legacy; I don’t care. I’m done here

  • Pa

    I like you Mary, but honestly, why are you still reading this dark pit of venomous snakes that is the comment section in any review where you bring the sex issue ? It’s not a discussion that lends itself well over commenting board.

    I liked the comment above to mention it, remove a half star and get over it. Though I wouldn’t entirely get of rid of it, and you could link to a more generic text stating your problem with gender representation across all movies, instead of repeating it in each movie that has the problem. It’s becoming a cliché to read, especially for those movies who do not really have a problem by themselves, but rather they’re just another item into the heap of movies with same gender representation, the size of the heap being the actual problem. Just let us aware, link for the ones who which to understand more and it’s done. (Of course I would never hope you not to blame the movies where sexism is a big problem on their own.)

  • Won’t someone think of the men?!?!?!

  • I liked the comment above to mention it, remove a half star and get over it

    And what makes you think this isn’t exactly what I did? This movie is shit even apart from the gender problem. Despite what some other commenters keep insisting, I do offer plenty of other non-gender-related complaints about this film in the review.

    instead of repeating it in each movie that has the problem.

    Oh, you can rest assured, I do not do this. It would leave me with nothing else to discuss if I did. If you think I bring it up every time a movie is male dominated, I suggest that you don’t realize how endemic the problem is.

  • RogerBW

    …and here we see frat houses across America, once home to magnificent herds of dudebros, now… deserted. What caused this catastrophic population crash? One survivor thinks it was a film reviewer.

  • Danielm80

    If we don’t talk about “the sex issue,” people will continue to believe that the lack of women in movies—and the constant stereotyping when they do appear—isn’t a problem. The snake pit of a comment section shows you just how many people believe exactly that.

    Also: Some of us think that stereotypes about women are a reason to avoid a movie, and we’d like to be warned about them in the review.

  • Pa

    “I do offer plenty of other non-gender-related complaints about this film in the review.”
    True. Never argued that.

    “If you think I bring it up every time a movie is male dominated.”
    Actually no, I was more reacting on the comments and I was remembering it is a core topic of this website. Sorry for misrepresentation. Now that I think of it, maybe you bring it more often for bad movies. That’s fair though since more bad movies falls into tropes, that one in particular.

    Anyway I stand by my first point : why do you keep reading those anti-feminism comments ? It’s a war of attrition I still can’t comprehend how you can hold up against it.

  • I keep reading the comments because this is my site, and my community, and I am your host here. It may be a war of attrition… but it’s the misogynists who don’t have the numbers to win. The forces of openness and inclusiveness do have the numbers. And we will win the war of attrition.

  • Bluejay
  • Tonio Kruger

    I once had the same hopes concerning Pixar’s movies but so far that hasn’t panned out. But then people have always been making excuses for the mediocrities of certain kids’ cartoons almost as long as there’s been kids’ cartoons.

  • Tonio Kruger

    Apart from the first three Daniel Craig movies, MaryAnn is not really a big fan of the 007 films. And in any event, I suspect most modern-day Bond fans like 007 despite his sexism, not because of it.

  • Tonio Kruger

    Well, I for one am sure glad that today’s movies no longer depict women who act like Lucy Ricardo in the candy factory.


  • Tonio Kruger

    Well, most old-school film buffs might be tempted to go with the following, but Bluejay’s selection is less obvious.


  • Bill_Cipher


  • TheAverageGuyTAG

    The claim was not that sexism can make a movie good. The claim was that a movie can’t be good if it’s sexist, and the 007 franchise is the counterpoint to that claim.

  • Bluejay

    If we’re going old-school, this works too.


  • Danielm80

    There’s more than one way to define a “good” movie, though. Birth of a Nation is good in all sorts of ways. It’s technically accomplished. It’s influential. But because it glorifies the Klan, some people would find it completely unwatchable today, even if they admire its technical merits. So for some of us, including Owen1120, a sexist movie can’t be a good movie.

    Also, some of the Bond films aren’t good on any level.

  • Danielm80

    Can I choose all three?

  • TheAverageGuyTAG

    While that’s true, at the same time, “Birth of a Nation” isn’t really considered a good movie these day; just an influential one that was at best good for its time. Compared to say, “Goldfinger”, which is still considered a classic.

    And obviously, I’m not referring to the bad Bond films. :P

  • And you will have seen me give positive to reviews to plenty of movies that are sexist. This is all a non sequitur.

  • TheAverageGuyTAG

    Well, yeah. I’m not arguing against anything you have said. I only jumped in to mention 007 in response to what Owen1120 said, which splintered into a mini-discussion of its own.

  • welp

    Because it’s a movie based on the game. What? Are gamers only compelled to playing games, and not watching movies?

  • CB

    Because the movie based on the game is not the game, so why would you care if the movie based on the game is bad, or is called bad by a reviewer, because that has no effect on the game? It’s like getting upset when someone notices that the lunchbox based on a game is low quality. That doesn’t change the game!

  • LaSargenta

    I call that a feature, not a bug.

  • RogerBW

    Well, it saves them the effort of watching the film, but how does it make our lives better?

  • Danielm80

    Only if you have enough popcorn.

    via GIPHY

  • LaSargenta

    Honestly, I think it would be more like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZynHUtNaeo

  • LaSargenta

    Gives them something to stay occupied with? Look, I’m convinced they will eventually die out.

  • tcnitsni

    yes, you are right…. Just like men should only care about men, and women should only care about women.

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