Wonder Woman. All the world's waiting for you, and the power you possess. In your satin tights, fighting for your rights, and the old Red, White and Blue!
So. Wonder Woman. The woman of wonder. The movie DC was praying wouldn't make them even more of a laughing stock in the superhero movie world... What of it?
It was pretty good. I liked it. Cupcake liked it. Hell, even my brother thought it was alright, and he doesn't have the most spectacular taste in movies. (He doesn't read my site, so he'll never see this.)
What did I like about it, you ask, like a petulant little rich boy who when questioning why it can't be his birthday every day gets told, "For you, Charles Wundergaul Sebastian Worcestershire IV, we will cut the servants' salaries in half so that you CAN celebrate your birthday everyday... And no, we don't NEED to cut their salaries in half to be able to afford it, but DAMN them for not thinking of buying you gifts every day in the first place!" Goddamn Chuck... Fuck him and his rich bastard parents... My aunt NEEDED that job! And Chuck needed a spanking... But I digress.
My point is this: all good things come to those who wait. And first I must dive into the story of this bad
boy girl so that my views on some of the plot points will be clearer upon their own presentation. Just a LITTLE bit of patience won't fucking kill you.
Okay, so we start off with a little girl (Princess Diana) being raised by a tribe of hottie Amazon females on the magical island of Themyscira, somewhere in the Mediterranean Sea. This island was made by the ancient Greek gods, and hidden from all forms of detection through powerful magic that we're told not to question. All we need to know about this place is it's magical and filled with wontubulous warrior women.
Diana grows up in this paradise wanting for nothing, except to learn how to fight — like all of the other chicks on this estrogen isle. For some reason, Diana's mother refuses to let her pick up a sword and spear, despite every other female in this shut-out-from-the-world Garden of Eden being a supreme fighting machine. But Diana's auntie sees this as an injustice, and secretly teaches her niece how to kick scrote, shoot arrows through cocks, and cut things (like male egos) in half with a sword to match the best of her she-devil sisters.
Soon the thousands of years of peace on this eternal island is destroyed when late during the runtime of World War 1 (known only as The Great War, or The War to End All Wars at the time......... Because they didn't know a sequel was on its way in just a couple of decades at the time), a group of the Kaiser's elite sailors tracks an Allied spy (the affable Steve Trevor) to
Trenzalor Themyscira, and the Amazons then go to war!... Well, they kill all the Germans that land on their beach, but take heavy casualties due to the modern weapons (guns, grenades, etc.) used against them.
Diana hears the hottie Steve talk about how war is destroying the entire planet, and she believes that Ares (aka the big bad deity of war and eye-gouging), the only surviving member of the Greek pantheon of gods, is behind the entire scuffle. She also believes that only an Amazonian — fighting with the legendary weapons given to them by Zeus himself — can defeat Ares and then instantly bring forth love and pacifism to the ravaged world. You know, turn a hawk into a dove.
Steve's okay with bringing her back to civilization with him because she's kind of hawt, and his original secretary is kind of a porker. But whatever, my point is that Diana goes to London with Steve as he first tries to convince the Allied higher-ups that his spy mission discovered some heinous shit that the Kaiser's men were about to unleash upon the front. He fails to make them realize the imminent threat, and so he and Diana then recruit some soldiers of fortune (no, unfortunately, not the A-Team, just a super-diverse group of soldiers with ultra specific abilities perfect for the mission) to help them infiltrate the enemy lines, find and eliminate the chemical weapons of mass destruction that the Central Powers plan to launch, and murder Ares (if he actually exists).
Lots of slow-down then speed-up fighting (Zack Snyder's specialty, apparently inherited by Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins) then occurs, along with some decent looks at the trauma of modern warfare and the effects of PTSD on soldiers (well, we're given some little glimpses at this, but I'm just surprised that they exist at all in this thing). Then Diana kind of fucks up Steve's plan to find and destroy the deadly chemicals due to her righteousness and naiveté, but then she of course saves the day in the end and everyone is happy... Except those who died.
Well, What of It?
Wonder Woman was good. It was fun. I was entertained. I found it to be easily the best movie of the new DC cinematic universe; but when you compare it to Man of Steel, Batman v. Superman, and Suicide Squad, you find that that doesn't take much to do.
Is it the best superhero movie ever made? No. Is it the best period war superhero movie ever made? Nope. Both Captain America and The Rocketeer are better than Wonder Woman.
Well... is it the best female-led superhero movie ever made? Yes. Yes it is. Even when you factor in 1984's Supergirl, or Elektra, or Halle Berry's Catwoman, Wonder Woman still comes out on top.
I liked many of the small things that made up this production more than the big things, but there were still a few bits that made me scratch my head in wonder (no pun intended.... But that is still a good pun. I stand by it).
What did I like? I liked the setting, Wonder Woman, Steve Trevor, the style, and for the most part the special effects. I liked Diana's learning and understanding of the world as she experienced it — from wide-eyed, optimistic child, to war-weary soldier. I liked how Diana thinks that just by taking out Ares everybody will stop fighting, and Steve has to break it to her that "humans like to fight. It doesn't take a war god to force us to." I liked how Gal Galdot seemed to put on a bit more muscle for this movie than she did for BvS, and she seemed to have taken some acting lessons between then and Wonder Woman's production too (she's still a bit too puny to play an Amazon goddess though in my humble opinion, but that's just small nitpicking). And most of all, I liked how FUN the movie was. No, it wasn't as silly or funny as say Guardians of the Galaxy, but it's enjoyable. And compared to Suicide Squad, it's a goddamn Picasso.
What didn't I like about it? Well, the final act is its weakest by far. After building such a great world for the first two-thirds of this thing it got kind of lazy with the big fight at the end. Everything was so wonderfully grounded up until Ares shows up. Now, Cupcake and I figured out who Ares really was early on in the flick, so this was no surprise, but the fact that (SPOILERS for RETARDS) the god of WAR was really some weak-chinned Britishy guy, and not some large burly motherfucker (like a Spartan, who were real-life mortal gods-of-war themselves) was a bit of a disappointment. Gods were known shapeshifters, so why not employ that element in your story? Still make him that pasty limey sonuvabitch, but then have him show his true colors once he braces for a fight. It just looked too silly the way it was filmed.
I also didn't like how it turned into your typical CGI-fest in the last 20 minutes. I thought that we were going to have something new and interesting here, what with the setting and the lessons we've learned along with Diana... But the big bad battle in the end just turned into two super-powered beings punching the living shit and throwing heavy objects at each other. It could have been a WHOLE lot worse, true, but it should have been better than what we got.
(Retarded Spoilers Over)
So there you go. I honestly don't care that this is "the first real female superhero movie." All I was hoping for was a GOOD superhero movie, and I think we got it. Now to hope that Joss Whedon can save Justice League from Zack Snyder (after he left the production due to his daughter dying). I won't kick the Z-man while he's down, but goddammit, all I want is a FUN JL motion picture! Come on, DC, it really shouldn't be this fucking hard to get you to give us entertaining superhero flick.
It was a pretty gosh darn awesome movie! I wasn't in the camp of all those Tumblrinas who were looking to either love the movie just because it has a woman in the lead superhero role, or hate it because that woman was too pretty and not a realistic interpretation of real world heroines like Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth I, or Princess Leia.
If you go into superhero movies to see people with super powers blowing stuff up, and punching things, and taking down the super villains in a giant showdown at the end, then I think you can do much worse than Wonder Woman.
If you go to see superhero movies just to bitch and moan about how unrealistic they are, or how they give little girls the wrong ideas of what being a proud woman are, then yeah, you'll probably want to skip it. Wonder Woman gets some pretty boy action in this flick, and that might cause your head to explode thinking that even an Amazonian warrior needs a man, which she doesn't... She just wanted some cock. Big difference.
I went into Wonder Woman with the lowest of low expectations because well... DC hasn't had the best track record if I were being completely honest with you. Batman v Superman was hands down the worst superhero movie I've ever seen that wasn't trying for campy/ridiculous/bad. There were some good elements to the film: Like Batfleck looking the part, Gal Gadot appearing just like you'd want WW to look in real life (sans a solid 15-20 pounds of muscle), and Henry Cavill having an undeniable "Man of Steel" look that's a throw back to Christopher Reeves (with a less spandex-is-fantastic suit look, and a slightly amazingly better build). Okay... So apparently all that I thought that was good with that movie was that people looked like they were supposed to. Mostly.
Now, I've seen Affleck and Cavill put out far more convincing performances that I genuinely enjoyed. That said, B v S was to Batman and Superman what the first Full Metal Alchemist anime was before Brotherhood came around to set things right. Like, if you didn't know any better, were under the age of six, or had perhaps been clubbed over the head with something heavy and were mildly concussed (and slightly delusional), and selected that theater to hide from "the wizards," you might have missed the same plot holes as the writers, and you may have enjoyed it. Maybe. And if you did I still get to mock you for not understanding what good cinema is.
At any rate, I totally digress. With Wonder Woman I was braced for the horrible impact of witnessing an awesome character getting trodden through cinematic turmoil and left on the heap of comic book-based flops.
I was also ready for everyone to say it was Gal Gadot's fault, or that female super hero movies are just not profitable if it failed. While, I understand that comics are largely (not completely, just largely) targeted to a male audience, I feel that movies aren't quite pigeonholed into that gender-exclusive marketing space. But, WW was actually satisfying and delightful. It had a genuine "hero vibe," and was a decent origin story with a very First Avenger vibe to it.
The reason that I wouldn't go as far as to call it good though... well, by the final act things got a little screwy. Spoilers. Why was Ares that posh-mustachioed Brit in his flash back? Like he was an ancient god of war who smited the gods in the light feather-weight division of Olympic Fisticuffs and nipped home afterward for a spot of tea, toast, and marmalade?
I was expecting Gerard Butler circa 300, and you give me a shorter version of Eric Idle? I get that he was trying to fit in with the Parliamentary-types, but it was a disguise, right? No. That guy wouldn't make an intimidating meter maid. Hell, he wasn't a very commanding general. Very meek... errr... I mean weak.
And the end got all CG-tastic. I can appreciate that Diana was a quick study picking up on her goddess roots but the electric/lighting thing? Lame. Ares shouldn't have been chucking that bull around like some the brother/sister game of catch he was playing. And then came his subsequent vanquishment via lighting. It felt lacking.
Also the very last scene and the "power of love" thing was hokey. A message of hope cool. The power of love thing... Lame. Almost always. But, I get it. They probably had the WW theme song from the old tv show playing in the writers room that day and couldn't help themselves. She does "Stop the world with love," or some-such thing. I'm too afraid to pull up that old song now for the correct lyrics. It might get stuck in my head again. No thanks!
Things I liked: it was a superhero movie where the hero seemed most interested in helping people; the costumes were good (the amazons were not the kind of troops that were looking to blend into a woodland surrounding, so I think more peacock effect with color pops would have been good, but hey, I'm happy with what we got); the look and feel of the movie was good; that theme song was very catchy (though not really on the sound track), and it was fun.