MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD . . . You’ve been warned!
Wonder Woman is a treat of a movie. From the character's origin to her introduction into the 'real world', from Gadot and Pine's on-screen chemistry, to the beautiful action sequences, often underscored by that most epic of superhero theme tunes (you know the one), Wonder Woman represents a DC superhero movie done right.
Patty Jenkins has given DC something that they can proudly parade in front of Marvel, and while the latter has far more wins in terms of cinematic extended universe and sheer consistency of quality, DC has done something Marvel has not. They let a female superhero lead her own movie. While we know Ms. Marvel is coming one of these years, Marvel has treaded lightly when it comes to females in their movies, even giving Black Widow a bit of a hard time and degrading her character ala Civil War. We see no such degradation in Wonder Woman and it wins on multiple levels. But were there any negatives?
The ‘love’ story at the centre of the plot is represented more by self-sacrifice than by romantic relationship so it’s easy to overlook the absence of romantic development.
Yes, but they were minor. Chris Pine generally plays ‘Chris Pine’ so it wasn’t much of a surprise to see him once again playing Chris Pine. There was a little more awkwardness to the character this time around as he struggled to deal with a dominant female in a society where women are still fighting to vote, but it was still Pine underneath it all. Consequently the love story and the speed in which it developed was a little hard to believe, but I think we can chalk it up to being an ‘under extraordinary circumstances’ situation. The ‘love’ story at the centre of the plot is represented more by self-sacrifice than by romantic relationship so it’s easy to overlook the absence of romantic development.
There were a few more bits and pieces that stood out, like the whole story behind the creation of the amazons and the battle between Zeus and Ares, that leaves a few questions, and I did wonder more than once as to whether Wonder Woman is bullet proof? I’m assuming the answer is yes as she went through a hell of a beat down at the end and came out unscathed, but that leaves me to wonder why all the stopping of bullets with her wrist guards all the time? And what has she been up to since World War 1? Anyway, minor stuff like I said. Moving on . . .
Gadot was five months pregnant while filming!! How the? What the? You go, girl.
Gal Gadot was a superb find for the role of Diana/Wonder Woman. She brought the right combination of emotion and aggression to the role in such a way that no one thought was possible. True, all we had to compare the character to was previous DC animated adventures, the 1970’s Wonder Woman TV Show with the amazing and beautiful Lynda Carter, and that absolutely horrific TV Pilot from David E. Kelly. Gadot’s Wonder Woman appearance in Batman v Superman was the highlight of the whole movie and that was just a glimpse. The Jenkins/Gadot solo outing solidified the character as a major player in the cinematic DCU. Also, Gadot was five months pregnant while filming!! How the? What the? You go, girl.
I could likely go on and on about this movie but I’ll save it for the Trilogy Spoilers Podcast. This is supposed to be a bite-sized review after all. However, there are bits I want to highlight that made this movie shine.
The combination of well choreographed action sequences and beautiful CGI fused with that kickass guitar riff theme tune made for such enjoyable action sequences. While snippets were seen in the trailers, they did a great job of hiding many of the scenes, including the final battle which I don’t believe was even hinted at in any of the trailers.
The irony that she’s a woman in no man’s land wasn’t lost on anyone, but it’s a poignant moment that separates the women from the boys.
When Diana can no longer ignore the suffering around her and is told flat out that she cannot enter No Man’s Land, she fully ignores the warnings and does just that. The irony that she’s a woman in no man’s land wasn’t lost on anyone, but it’s a poignant moment that separates the women from the boys.
Wonder Woman’s natural compassion, despite not being raised in the modern world, is touching. She sees a baby and wants to hold it, she sees people suffering and struggling and she feels the need to help. She feels pain when an entire village is brutally wiped out. Coming from an isolated island of amazonian warriors, this perspective is such an endearing quality that it naturally humanizes her.
Her actions speak for themselves and the representation of women in this movie, not as god-like creatures (though in many cases they are), but as strong people who want to make the world a better place through their actions, not through the way they look, or the way they are perceived, is inspiring and relatable.
And finally, the thigh jiggle. Bear with me here. I don’t know why it stood out to me so much but the more I think about it, the more I believe that one single scene carried a powerful message. Gadot as Diana is naturally beautiful, I doubt anyone would disagree. But she isn’t overly sexualized throughout, which I think we can credit to Jenkins. I have little doubt that a male director would have chosen different shots and likely would have opted for several slow motion shots of Diana moving seductively, with or without clothing. Even when she’s in full battle gear, she comes across as warrior-like and majestic. During the big final battle, Diana does the patented superhero landing, dropping heavily on the ground, but instead of concrete unwavering muscles her leg actually jiggles slightly. I challenge you to find this happen to any other superhero on film. She’s a strong, powerful woman who doesn’t have to be sexualized, who exudes natural strength, and doesn’t have to be the perfect archetype of a hero or what we’ve been led to believe is a hero. Her actions speak for themselves and the representation of women in this movie, not as god-like creatures (though in many cases they are), but as strong people who want to make the world a better place through their actions, not through the way they look, or the way they are perceived, is inspiring and relatable. This is true of almost all the female characters, including Robin Wright’s aged warrior, Pine’s secretary, even Doctor Poison. Sure, the latter is making the world better by her own crazy standards, but she seems to spend a lot of time around poisonous gas, so we can forgive it this time around.
Diana is an inspiration. A purer character than Batman who is driven by revenge, and a brighter shining light than Superman who, let’s face it, is a mopey boring character. I liked the humanized elements of Wonder Woman as much as I liked the superhero qualities. I hope they keep her character consistent as the movies continue to be developed, and that we see a lot more of her in the future.
Welcome to the blog of Author, Andrew Buckley. Why Blogocity? Why do I need a reason? Here you’ll find updates, musings, vlogs, audio clips, images, events, and all sorts of other silly stuff. Enjoy!