Film Review: Wonder Woman
What the hell am I about to watch?
When a pilot crashes and tells of conflict in the outside world, Diana, an Amazonian warrior in training, leaves home to fight a war, discovering her full powers and true destiny.
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Running Time: 141 mins
Director: Patty Jenkins
Staring: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Connie Nielson, Robin Wright
Distributor: Warner Brothers
Budget: $149 million
Opening Weekend US: $103 million
Alright now that I know that bit - hit me with a little clip....
Well I'm still reading so I must be intrigued tell me more!
Diana -- a semi-goddess of immaculate virtue and disposition, who was raised in an all-female inhabited secret island created by all-too-powerful Zeus-- takes on the honourable quest of killing Ades, god of War. In her adventures, she is accompanied by an “above average” English man and his group of fellow men, all of them of less average looks.
The film commences in the present, we are in London. We follow the steps of an attractive woman dressed in red, we learn she is Diana (Gal Gadot). She has received a photograph in a suitcase, a photograph that triggers a flashback: the film starts. We learn of Diana’s childhood as a brave girl in the midst of an all-female all-warriors society; we learn of the story of such, being rooted in ancient Greek mythology, as it is narrated by Diana’s mother: the Amazonians were the bridge between mankind and the Gods, they were created by Zeus. These Amazonians are virtuous, courageous, a collective. For years, they have lived in constant fear of the arrival of Ades and everybody knows that Diana was sent by the Gods to defeat him. Everybody except Diana. Her mother feels uncomfortable with training the “godkiller” for some reason. Perhaps that was just needed as a plot device. She is easily convinced later on as Diana reaches adolescence.
So Diana is trained to be the best warrior the island has ever seen. When she reaches adulthood, she saves Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) from dying in the ocean. He tells her of the horrors of World War II, and then she goes with him to stop it. Steve is constantly amused with her apparent naive attitude towards WWII, but we don’t see him man-explaining much throughout the film, thank the Gods.
Or thank Patty Jenkins, the director. I applaud the effort of giving a woman such a fierce and strong disposition, such a heroic representation of what a woman can achieve. I said a woman, I meant a god. We are seeing an increasing number of female superheroes in the districts of DC, Marvel, and beyond. We are finally getting to experience as spectators direct identification with the ones of our gender, the heroines. But unlike Batman, Ironman, Spiderman, Superman, and her many other (many many other) male counterparts from the superhero universes, Diana was a goddess and not human. She was not a Woman. The only two women we see on screen is Steve’s secretary Etta (Lucie Davies) and Dr. Maru (Elena Anaya), and they both, in a binary opposition like the many others you will encounter in this film, deliver a very limited representation of what a Woman can be: a secretary, a loyal servant to a male leader. The rest of the characters are male.
And then, jesus! We have to go through one and a half hours of Steve’s attempts to humanise Diana, to make her fit in in “proper English society,” to disguise her identity and individuality. He makes her change clothes, he teaches her how to dance, he even introduces her to the carnal pleasures of the human flesh (yikes.) He tries to stop any honorable attempt she makes to fight back against the Germans, it is later implied that it is justified because he just knows more about how the human war works: one must go through endless chains of bureaucracy. But it is explained that all men, even Steve, are under the influence of Ades, they are corrupted. Steve’s incompetence is the result of evil, he is actually a hero too, a human hero. He is the spark that incites the flame within Diana, the spark that unleashes her God powers. The spark that kills Ades. The “godkiller”. The film just seems to be saying that “human nature, a masculine nature, is perfectly peaceful; only the Gods seem to be the ones intruding in this seemingly perfect nature. And thank god Steve was around, even if he was around dying, otherwise Diana wouldn’t have done it on her own.”
And let us thank Jenkins for making Ades a man too. This way we have a binary opposite that reinforces the femenine heroic in Diana. The devil, temptation himself, the one who corrupts mankind, is male; because how dangerous it would have been if it was to be a woman. If you are going to make a female empowering film, make sure to have a male villain, make sure you give her an incompetent but hot and good-hearted helper, make sure she shines like a lighthouse in the middle of corruption. So her power is great, so there is no female to female confrontation, so the film runs safe. Because this film is not about femininity, no. This film is not about female power. This film is not about what women want to see on screen, nor how they want to be represented on in. This film is a wildcard, an effort on inclusivity, a reason to justify the 15 male-led superhero films that will precede it. Diana wears a (almost non existent) garment that resembles the one of the ancient greek soldiers, sculpting her figure with a hard armour in the same way men have always sculpted their gods: they immortalise them in stone, they create a distance between the human and divine, flesh and marble, between what can be achievable and the impossible. Me, a woman, could never wish to be the Wonder Woman of the future in the same way I could wish to be a Bruce Wayne. One day, we will go to the cinema to watch a film about a super Woman, a real Woman like me. With corrupted thoughts and carnal desires, a Woman that is both good and evil, that is human. A woman that will utilize her feminie power in its full capacity and she will be smart, funny, and Wonderful. Until then, Wonder Woman is just not enough.
That's all great and thanks but the real deets now!
Amazing movie. I laughed, I cried, I cried again. Would highly recommend and can't wait for the sequel to come out later this year.
Rhiannon viewed the film in 2D setting at home on Blu Ray on an LG Smart TV.