So I just saw Wonder Woman…
All right, let me start of by saying that I did not have high hopes for this movie…
Hear me out!
The initial reviews of this movie that I saw came from Salon and The Mary Sue…
You know… these yellow journalists:
The Ghostbusters Trailer Backlash Shows Men Believe in the Power of Representation (But Only When It Applies to Them)
Yeah… anything that they give a good review to usually has to be taken with a grain of salt, especially after the a for mentioned Ghostbusters reboot. Critics really can’t be taken all that seriously anymore.
Given all the controversy surrounding it, I was expecting this movie to be completely overrun with identity politics and social justice hypocrisy.
Then why did you go see it?
Well… because it’s Wonder Woman, she’s friggin’ boss! That’s why.
So what did I think of it? OH MY GOD, IT WAS AWESOME!!! The fighting was extremely well done, the history was very spot on, and the scenery was absolutely incredible.
The movie starts off in the mythical land of Themyscira, where Diana… is lives with the other Amazonian women in secret. She is trained to fight from a young age and becomes the best warrior in all of the land. Her mother seriously wants to keep a secret from her, which we don’t find out about. Apparently the amazons were created to help herald peace and love, but as usual, humanity messes it up.
A pilot in a WW1 plane… rather randomly happens upon the island, crashing into the nearby water. He’s chased by… I believe a German destroyer and several boats. The amazons fight off the troops…
(Jury is still out on what happened to the destroyer… it kind of just vanished… It was listing pretty badly but… I dunno)
… and take the pilot prisoner. He eventually reveals that Germany is creating a new weapon to win the war before the armistice is signed. Diana sets sail with him, against her mother’s wishes, to aid in the fight. She absolutely believes that if she kills Aries, the war will end.
That’s about as much as I’m going to tell you about the plot… So let’s look at the gritty details:
Setting: This movie takes place in WW1 Europe, this is not a modern story, though the entire movie is a flashback thanks to a picture that Batman has delivered to Diana Prince. Very happy about this! Everything appears very accurate surrounding the war. The uniforms aren’t perfect and in some aspects look closer to WW2, but everything is in the right place. So no issue.
However… There are critics who rightly say that the movie should have taken place during WW2 as this is where the original story takes place. However I consider this a re-telling and if they want to start off in WW1, I’ll let that slide.
Casting: I love Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. I know a lot of people didn’t like the idea of her having an accent, but if you think about it… Wonder Woman is amazonian, not American (at least not at first). Thus making her a little more exotic isn’t uncalled for.
Steve Trevor was also well-cast and the character is portrayed very well. It was nice to see that the people who wrote the movie really did their homework with many of the characters.
Story: What can I say, it’s awesome and there are definitely some twists and turns that are unexpected.
Like I said, it’s portrayed pretty well. I a couple of articles that talk about the accuracy of the women’s armor. The costumes for WW1 weren’t perfect, as I said, but they were close enough.
One other piece that I would like to mention… Dr. Maru’s face:
I’ve heard some people complain about this and frankly, I don’t understand why. It may look cheap and kind of dumb… but again, it’s historically accurate. People who had severely disfiguring facial injuries did actually have coverings made for them:
So again, bravo to the movie. They got that one right.
The Villain: Aries, the God of War is the primary villain here. Wonder Woman believes that if she kills him, it’ll end the war, all war. However in a very well-written twist, Aries reveals that he isn’t starting the wars. He is simply putting the tools into humanities hands, helping them create new weapons. He may put the gun in their hands, but in the end, they’re the one pulling the trigger. This draws up the ethical question of just how responsible is Aries for all of the war and suffering?
So anything wrong with the movie that you want to point out?
Yes… as I said, I was worried about the insertion of identity politics into the movie, and I will grant you that there is some of that. The line ‘I wanted to be an actor, but I’m the wrong color’ feels kind of forced. The second line came from ‘the chief’ when he said that Steve Trevor’s people took everything from him. This one was a little bit more underplayed, but I think a little bit more explaining might have been in order.
That being said, it was two lines. I can live with that.
But Jim, what about the line where Diana says that men are good for procreation, but not so much for pleasure?
Meh. There’s an old saying that goes ‘no one loves you as much as your left hand.’ Put that into context, and Diana’s statement could go either way. So I chalk that up as a non-issue.
My only other issue is with the movie’s portrayal of the armistice. It’s really played up as a positive thing and the best chance that everyone has for peace… this is horribly inaccurate.
The armistice led to the Treaty of Versailles, which when placed into the context of the Franco-Prussian War and WW2, was little more than payback for the embarrassment that France suffered at the hands of Germany during the Franco Prussian War, and would be a prelude to WW2. The armistice, nigh the very end of WW1, was little more than a prelude to the reckoning that was soon to come.
The movie was fantastic and I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone who has not yet seen it.
In addition to that, Wonder Woman has, by virtue of existence, shown just how cancerous the far right and left political ideologues really are.
On the right, people complained about Gal Gadot’s casting, why?
- Because she was Israeli, not American-born.
- Because she was of Jewish descent.
Pretty bad right? However, the left didn’t treat her any better. In addition to body-shaming Wonder Woman out of the UN, the left objected to Gal Gadot’s casting because…
- She was too thin…
- She was cleanly shaven.
In addition, they complained about her outfit… despite being more conservative than other incarnations.
Finally, some theaters set up women-only viewings of the movie and people on the left mocked those who took issue with it… despite the fact that it was a violation of Constitution Civil Rights, something the Social Justice Left claims to fight for.
So without even really doing anything, Wonder Woman patriotically showed us how cancerous the right wing extremists, the religious fundamentalists, the regressive left, and the Social Justice Warriors actually are.
That alone makes her a hero in my book.
So in summation… forget the idiocy, forget the politics, go see the movie and have a good time. Wonder Woman is a hero for the ages and is someone both men and women of all walks of life and enjoy… and it was a major thrill to introduce my son to her!
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