Tag Archives: Gal Gadot

‘Wonder Woman’ (Quick Movie Review)

13 Jun

Last weekend, I had a movie day. I saw two long movies in one day at the movie theater. Spending money on movies isn’t normally my thing, but I needed someplace to cool down from the heat.

‘Wonder Woman’ was one I’ve been wanting to see for awhile.

I have grown up with the DC universe more than I have the Marvel universe. I watched the Batman cartoons on Cartoon Network as a kid, read Superman‘s comics, and was obsessed with Teen Titans. I know that’s not saying much in comparison to the serious fans, but it made Wonder Woman an attractive movie for me. Also, as a woman, why wouldn’t I support a female super hero movie?

That being said, let me sum up my feelings on Wonder Woman in one sentence: Your typical super hero movie.

Wonder Woman is getting quite a bit of praise from crowds. I can see why. It has the bells and whistles: Flashy lights, explosions, a moral center, and an attractive lead female character. Oh yes, and did I mention a lead female character?

Of course the feminists were going to eat this up. First off, it passes the “Bechdel test”, the test that requires a movie to have two or more women in a movie, discussing something other than men. With a look into the island of Amazons kicking this movie off, we are introduced to a warrior tribe of empowering women.

I was quite interested in this island. In fact, I found some of the other female Amazons on the island to be better representations of feminism than the leading goddess and would’ve liked to see more development for them. But no good movie can keep going without an idiot. Yes, the lead character has to be the “fool” otherwise this story wouldn’t have existed.

Yes, I said it. Wonder Woman played “the fool” in this movie. She was all brawn and no brains. I’ll give some spoiler examples…

When Wonder Woman, real name Diana, was trying to help the “strange American man” named Steve back to his home so she could “save the world”, there was this awkward scene with her speaking to him about the Amazons’ view of men, with her trying to understand why he won’t sleep next to her, and then her ultimately  convincing him that this is okay. I couldn’t help thinking to myself that she probably shouldn’t have been running away from all of her studies as a child. I’m sure the Amazons wouldn’t have just taught her how to wield a sword, but I’m sure they were adamant about teaching her the details of life. That is, if she had actually stayed in one of her classrooms. But because she focused so much attention on being strong, no one was able to teach her to be observant. If she had been observant, she would’ve been able to maneuver in the “world of man”. When the American man refused to sleep next to her, a shrewd warrior would’ve quickly caught on to the custom of man and kept a healthy distance.

When Diana first arrived in the world of man, she walked around sporting a sword and shield. A truly observant warrior would’ve observed the people around her and realized, “Hey, no one else walks around with their weapons drawn. I should keep a low profile until the time is right.” Without the careful shrewdness of a real warrior, I couldn’t take this Amazon princess seriously. Then again, I’ve never been able to take most super hero stories seriously, and I suppose this moment was to give us light humor and add flaws to her almost-perfect package, even if it didn’t exactly make her the “feminist” ideal. Furthermore, she wasn’t considered a real warrior. She clearly lacked experience.

I applaud the female director Patty Jenkins for bringing a female superhero to the screen, though. And she is exactly what all the other heroes onscreen have been: balls of power with dim wit. Very few heroes are depicted as intelligent creatures. She was treated equally, and that’s all we can ask for.

If there was one area Wonder Woman delivered on, it was on the battlefield. Sure, she’s stupid. But she’s not afraid to charge head-first into bullets and bombs. She shows no restraint or hesitation when she slices her sword through a man she assumed to be Ares (the villain she believes is responsible for causing WWI).

Still, her whole voyage was lead by her naivety.

I also wasn’t too convinced of her romance with American spy Steve. To me, from the first encounter, the romance seemed to be developing, which made it feel forced. It was bettered developed than the romances in other super hero flicks, but that doesn’t mean it was the best. I’m not one for romantic flicks much anyway, but the few that I’ve gotten into seemed to develop slower over time and moved about unexpectedly. I’ll take the Hermoine and Ron coupling for example (though I’m still team Harry x Hermoine). Hermoine and Ron’s relationship developed over the course of the series. Yes, it took several sequels to build them up, but for me, that’s how long it should take. In that sense, the romance didn’t have to stand in the way of the main plot and story. I can’t jump on the bandwagon of a love-at-first encounter match nor can I side with a story where romance becomes the center (or even a secondary plot) without the proper time.

Despite the hang-ups, Wonder Woman was still an enjoyable time. I particularly liked the scene where Diana (aka Wonder Woman) hopped out of the trenches, sword and shield in, and faced the guns firing at her, repelling bullets with her wrist guards along the way, too. Even though this part was in the trailer, something about this scene on the big screen brought out the best of the character: her determination and her strength.

Throughout it all, Wonder Woman also showed remarkable compassion for humankind, even when they showed more flaws than she expected. She was outspoken and spunky in her own way. She doesn’t have the slut-shaming mentality, so she doesn’t care if her skirts are above her knees, which made us all seem small-minded in comparison. She truly had a broader view of the world, even if the world wasn’t as idealistic as she’d assumed throughout the story.

Still, as “compassionate” as she was, she was blind to who her real enemies were and failed to truly investigate the situation around her. For example, I wish she could’ve talked to her indigenous friend a little more. So captured by her boyfriend-to-be Steve, it’s almost as if she ignored her comrades’ words regarding how Steve’s people wiped out tribes of other people. Once I’d heard of that, as a warrior, I would’ve immediately questioned Steve about it and that would’ve lead me to truly question the honesty and integrity of humankind as a whole. It could’ve opened a gate to more knowledge about humans and brought deeper truths to the screen.

But I forgot, Diana is stupid. And they obviously wanted us to continue to see Steve as tender and handsome. So, I guess some issues will just have to be tossed to the back.

And then her “compassion” did not compel her to spare a General’s life, even after she was repeatedly told that individual might not be who she thought he was. Heck, she failed to truly understand Ares, the God she was seeking. Her whole moral character seemed to sit only on the surface.

If you want to turn your brain off to real history, but you enjoy a slice of it with some mythological tales, lots of explosions, action scenes, and a strong female kicking butt, you’ll love Wonder Woman. If super hero movies are your taste, you’re in for a treat. It was a good movie, but for me, it could’ve been better.

I give this an 8/10.

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