Blog #2: The Fast and the Furious
The movie I chose for the second blog is The Fast and The Furious. After watching the movie, I concluded that The Fast and the Furious does pass the Bechdel Test. After using that test, I ran it through the Representation Test. This film passed with a B and a total of 7 points. Although the film is clearly dominated by men, there are women present who do NOT in fact talk solely about men. Being the first of the long string of seven movies in the series, this movie was interesting to compare to movies that continue to hit theaters today. This film includes famous actors and actresses among the names of Paul Walker (now deceased), Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, and Jordana Brewster. This film also contains several different races that do not succumb to stereotypes. However the movie does present many manly roles, scenes, and protagonists, but it surprisingly does not fail either test.
In the Representation Test, there are six different sections. One of those which is a bonus section. First off, is the section titled Women. The first point given under this category regards if there is a woman protagonist, of which there is, Michelle Rodriguez. She has a very strong female role in this movie. The next question that gained a point is if the film has women in it that are not just eye-candy or for the purpose of men to stare at sexually for their pleasure. This earned a point because Rodriguez, however beautiful she is, is more a powerful model in the movie than one for men to drool over her body and looks. Another point given in this section fell under whether the movie contained women with speaking roles with diverse body types. In my opinion, the only reason this movie earned a point for this question is because it is an older movie, first of the seven. I mention this because body types of women and media's expectations have changed drastically from when this movie came out. The last point that this movie earned in this section was whether it passed the Test or not, when in fact, it did. This movie contained many scenes where women directly talked, mostly about family, cars, or conflicts that occur in the movie. For example, at one of the street races, two women held a conversation concerning the race. One of these many women was Michelle Rodriguez, a main character. The two points not received in this section regarded people of color. This movie did not hold many roles with women of color. There were many different races including Hispanic and Asian, however very few women of color who had speaking roles, or none at all. Surprisingly, this movie, about cars, did especially well in the Women's section.
The second section was titled the opposite of the previous one, titled Men. Unfortunately, right off the bat, the first question didn’t earn a point. The question asks whether men are glorified in a violent matter. In fact, in one of the very first scenes, two of the main characters get into a fist fight. They take it outside and start glistening with sweat in the sun beating down on them. Therefore, violence is clearly glorified. However, the second question, is if the film avoids perpetuating an extreme and unhealthy body ideal for men. Similar to the question about women's body image, this is in the same aspect. Due to the movie being a bit outdated, coming out in 2001, the expected body image was not so focused on bulging muscles and a washboard set of abs that you can see through a fitted and see-through white tee. The men in this movie are of all body types. From long and lean, to chiseled, to the so-called "dad bod". The next question regards men of color, and whether they have speaking roles, and that they are not reduced to typical stereotypes. In fact, one of the main characters is an African American man. He is a very great character that is very involved in the movie and all the experiences that occur. The last point given was for if the film includes men in non-stereotypical roles. In 2001, the stereotypes we have today were not as focused on and forced to a certain group of people as they were then. And with those few points, that concludes the Men's category of the Representation Test.
I only exemplified two sections of the six total, which is because this movie did not score in any of the other four sections. The other four were titled: "Race, Ethnicity, and Culture", "LGBT People", "People with Disabilities", and "Bonus Points". The Bonus Points section regards whether the director is a women, person of color, LGBT person, or one with disabilities. However, this movie was directed by a man. This movie scored no points in any of these sections because the movie contains little, if any, LGBT people or those with disabilities. They certainly do not have speaking roles, and if they do it is not pointed out that they contain these qualities.
Overall, this movie is about cars and the conflicts between the powerful people in the movie. I do not think it specifically excludes those of color, LGBT, women, or those with a disability. For being such a masculine movie, it passes the Test with flying colors, and earns a Representation Test score of a B (7 points). Although it may not show great equality throughout all of the sections and people they mention, it does show equality between women and men, scoring high in each section. Overall this movie may not seem to cover these areas as greatly as it does. I was surprised when I finished both the and Representation Test and saw how well they scored. In conclusion, I think this test (Representation Test) grades movies fairly accurate covering many fields regarding gender and color. If I were to add anything to this test, it would be to expand on the Race, Ethnicity, and Culture Section. It was very interesting to put this movie to the test.