Is there any punching or shooting in Star Trek 4? Any at all? But it made $130 million in 1986. I fundamentally believe that it’s still possible for that sort of thing to happen again. But there’s no studios willing to risk it. So we get two characters in bad alien makeup doing half-assed movie karate in the climax of a Star Trek movie.
We’re getting more and more diverse, in these blockbusters. Sulu’s got a new husband in one of the rare non-punching, non-shooting scenes; the lady Ghostbusters have a pointless and wearying scene where they shoot a lot; soon you’ll be able to see the Black Panther punch. And while I think the current liberal obsession with superficial diversity above structural equality is weird, I recognize that there’s progress in greater representation. But if there’s diversity in the faces but not in the stories, if we start to better include women and people of color in movies but give them nothing else to do but punch and shoot, that’s barely progress at all.Regarding the last sentence, I don't subscribe to any sort of essentialist view that women, people of color, the LGBTQIA+ community, etc. would inherently prefer to make movies with fewer explosions and more plot, character development, etc. People of all backgrounds are perfectly capable of making cheesy and unoriginal movies. I think the bigger point is that if we limit the range of stories that get told then it doesn't help much to diversify the stories; the world is still culturally bereft.
And, to be clear, I like action movies. I really like action movies. But that doesn't mean I want action movies to be the only sort out there.