Feminist Film Review

Using the Bechdel Test and Mako Mori Tests we can determine the amount of representation of women in films. The Bechdel Test uses three simple requirements, 1) are there two women in it that have names? 2) do they talk to each other, and 3) do they talk about something other than a man? The Mako Mori test goes in a little deeper asking a) is there at least one female character; b) who gets her own narrative arc; c) that is not about supporting a man’s story? You look at these two tests and think that they’re simple enough, any movie would pass. But that is not the case. These tests exist because there are people that believe women are everywhere in film, have great stories being told about them, and that women are represented. These tests were created and exist to prove those people wrong, to show them that there is a problem with how women are represented in films.

One movie that I realized does not pass the Bechdel or Mako Mori tests is Now You See Me 2. Now You See Me 2 follows the story of four illusionists known as the Four Horsemen. After fleeing from a stage show, the Horsemen find themselves in more trouble in Macau, China. A deceitful tech genius Walter Mabry forces the skilled magicians to steal a powerful chip that can control all of the world's computers. Meanwhile, the vengeful FBI agent Dylan Rhodes hatches his own plot against Thaddeus Bradley, the man he blames for the death of his father. This movie does meet the Bechdel or Mako Mori tests because out of all of the main characters, only one is a woman. In this movie there are three women that have roles with lines, but none of them ever have a conversation with one another. Therefore it only meets ⅓ of the requirements for the Bechdel test. As for the Mako Mori test, there is at least one female character, but none of them have their own narrative arc that doesn’t support a mans story. This movie only has ⅓ of the requirements for the Mako Mori test. As a result, this movie passes neither tests.

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As for my test that I have created, the following are the requirements:


  1. There is at least one woman-

  2. That is not white-

  3. That is not straight-

  4. That talks to another woman-

  5. About something other than a man.


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This movie follows three women that come from very different situations and lives. After breaking up with her girlfriend, a nightclub singer, Jane, answers a personal ad from Robin, a real estate agent with AIDS, seeking a cross-country travel partner. On their way from New York City to Los Angeles, the two stop by Pittsburgh to pick up Jane’s friend Holly, who is trying to escape an abusive relationship. With three wildly distinct personalities, the women must overcome their differences to help one another in times of need. This movie passes my test because it has more than one woman, a woman of color, a woman that is not straight, and they all talk to each other about something other than a man. They talk about their lives and the struggles they face within their lives. I believe it is important for any film to meet this criteria because there is way too little representation in movies with women of color, women that are gay, and just women that have stories about them.