Thoughts before seeing Wonder Woman
I hope the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) succeeds. I hear good things, but I haven’t read a single review.
From a social standpoint does it check all the boxes to be more than a simple genre film and be the zeitgeist of our society—giving little girls and boys a female icon as embraced as Superman and Batman?
Does it speak to the sensibilities of where we are as a nation and a world?
Thoughts after seeing Wonder Woman
A resounding yes! Wonder Woman checked all my boxes.
“Everyone is fighting their own battles Diana, even as you are fighting yours.” Sameer to Diana —Wonder Woman
In a pivotal battle scene in the movie, Sameer (spy and fellow freedom fighter) says to Diana (Wonder Woman/Princess of Themyscira), “Everyone is fighting their own battles Diana, even as you are fighting yours.” Those words capture the essence of the film. The statement conveys compassion, which is seldom a theme in a typical run-of-the-mill superhero blockbuster. It says a lot about our world and the world Wonder Woman inhabits. Although Wonder Woman conveys compassion, it has elements that are more subversive than the ‘punch everyone in the face because you killed my mom’ tropes we’ve grown accustomed as audiences.
I’ve heard that each generation or era has a hero. The booze guzzling lady-killer, Tony Stark, was that hero in the early 2000’s in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Now, Diana, Princess of Themyscira, is the new hero for this generation of boys and girls.
Wonder Woman is one DC film where they didn’t get caught up in its own self-importance and hubris. There is no scowling Superman bemoaning who and what he should be, or a psychotic Batman, lost in his quest for vengeance. The movie is actually fun.
This film is not a blatant cash grab by a big studio, nor is it the purported drum-beating leftist, feminist battle cry that scares insecure males. It’s a movie about equality, hope, and most of all fun. The director, Patti Jenkins, weaves a uniquely beautiful narrative about finding purpose and direction in a world that seems to have veered out of control. Sound familiar?
Why it matters
The big screen debut of Wonder Woman is a long time coming. Her relevance has withstood the test of time as one of the most iconic superheroes of all time. (It even survived the period in the 70’s when she lost her powers, started dressing like a mod, and did kung fu.) She stands tall as one of the most copied heroes yet one that needed explaining to modern audiences. Some will have you believe that the movie is another attempt at creating a social justice warrior by elitist Hollywood. And yes, I agree the movie has an agenda —to be a good goddamn movie!
Gal Gadot’s performance is amazing. She plays Diana with a strength and vulnerability that is mesmerizing to watch. All the performances of the Amazons are electrifying. The fight scenes are very original and well-paced. Gal Gadot’s action scenes are intense and spectacular. There is a scene where Wonder Woman charges the German trenches—that’s spectacular to watch. It fills the viewer with hope and awe. She embodies this role with a type of strength, naivety, and self-assurance that not a lot of actors can pull off.
No spoilers because I think the movie should be seen and felt. The character development is amazing, the action is stellar, and the special effects are top notch. Overall Wonder Woman has erased the stain of Batman v Superman and the Suicide Squad for me, and you’ll leave the theater a little bit more hopeful than when you entered.
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