Here they are, the women of Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation:
Yup. That's it. Ms. Rebecca Ferguson, you are woman. You are women. You are the token female in Tom Cruise's latest action movie.
This is where people will start to argue, "But she's a GOOD female character. A really good one, in fact. She kicks all the ass. Tom Cruise never has to rescue her. She rescues him, in fact, several times. She's duplicitous and hard to pin down. SHE TAKES OFF HER HIGH HEELS AT APPROPRIATE TIMES."
And here's where I'll say, "You're right. And thank you, writer and director Christopher McQuarrie, for giving us such a well-rounded, complex female character. TOO BAD SHE'S THE ONLY GODDAMN ONE."
Sorry, that's not fair. There was another female character in the movie. A record store employee who gets a whopping three lines (if that?) before getting killed. Her death is the catalyst (not really) that sends Ethan Hunt off on his big quest to stop the Syndicate. Yay, nameless dead girl. You did it!
The rest of the movie is one giant sausage fest. (Don't get me wrong, it's a fun sausage fest, even a good sausage fest, but it's still a sausage fest.)
And it didn't have to be one.
Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation is not a documentary. The storytellers did not have to adhere to strict character guidelines. If Fantastic Four can have an African-American Human Torch, Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation can have a female CIA head.
(Also, that title is very punctuation-heavy.)
I get that The Powers That Be wanted the main four dudes back on Hunt's team -- Cruise, Pegg, Renner, and Rhames. I get that they wanted Alec Baldwin as the aforementioned head of the CIA. I will allow them those sausages. But what about the head of British Intelligence? What about ANY SINGLE ONE of the senators on the hearing committee? (Women are senators now. That is a thing that happens in 2015.) What about the Big Bad guy? What about his henchmen? If Big Bad were willing to bring Rebecca Ferguson's character into his fold, it's not a stretch to assume that he's padded out his villain team with a few more ladies.
Yes, Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, you gave us a pretty damn good female action movie character, second only to Imperator Furiosa this summer, in fact. But we want more. And we're going to keep calling you out until you give them to us. We will continue to buzz around in your bonnet on the off chance that maybe, next time you cast a movie or write a screenplay, you'll stop defaulting to dudes.
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