As I walked into the theater and grabbed a seat with my friend, I looked around the theater. It was a Friday night showing, and I already knew that the theater would be packed, but I didn’t think it would be full capacity. I watched fellow viewers hunt for rear estate (I know. Puns are terrible.) and give up on desirable spots secured by jackets flung tween the arm rests. It was much like a normal going for a nerdy movie on a debut day, but amongst the fans clad in superhero attire and DC paraphernalia, were faces of females more than I’ve ever seen, and for a moment I said, “Hey that’s diversity.”, because it was more than a BO ridden sausage fest. It was exciting to see. As trailers hit our faces, fear began to creep in that this movie would be as bad as previous DCEU features, but good reviews kept me calm overall. Watching the film I smiled and laughed. The crowd grew over eager to applaud any action that Wonder Woman had made, and for that I must suggest you watch it in a theater to understand the experience of people receiving a movie that they wanted. Something beyond Batman and Superman. Something that should have happened before an ill-fated Green Lantern movie. At the end of the film, I looked over at my friend and declared that this was the best DCEU movie we had ever seen, and hoped that the next few films would follow suit. This was happiness, but due to the criticisms and doubts people had, not due to it being a DCEU movie, but due to it being a movie about a female superhero, I must say that we didn’t deserve her. And to the journalists who said that it was a gamble to entrust a franchise superhero film to an Oscar winning director (it was simply indie director in the piece), I must say, “Get your head out of your fucking ass.”
But yeah…the movie was dope. Yes, it was an origin movie, and yes it was a movie where our fledgling (but very well trained) hero faces a big bad and learns about their own powers, but though it ran the regular beats of a superhero movie, it was still refreshing. Something that DC has been screwing up at when it comes to their films is dealing with tone and this movie knows what it wants to do and when it wants to do it. If it wants to be funny it hits you with humor, but in a natural way. If the film goes for a somber mood it stays somber and doesn’t put in a random quip to lighten it. When there’s action there’s action and the film isn’t trying to force jokes between the action to combat with Marvel (good on them).
When it comes to Wonder Woman, it feels as though it’s doing all of the things that Supes should have done. Because grit and grime and the forever boding feel of gloom and sad boi-ism is for the Bat and not for our regular beacons of hope: Supes and Wonder Woman. In this film Diana is given a fully fleshed out character. We’re hit with a woman who has a bit of naïveté when it comes to the outside world and the things she says when it comes to war is much the same as the innocent ideals we once held.
This movie when dealing with real life concepts never stray from certain injustices. War is war and it’s not glorified and people suffer while big suits dictate their chess pieces. There’s no good team or bad team just two teams hurting each other one way or another and though there’s a heroic side for the film, even they aren’t free of their own darkness. No one save for Diana probably gets off with innocence.
Wonder Woman also hits a topic that I enjoy in superhero movies: morality of humans and whether they deserve to be saved. I mean we have a bunch of super powered beings roaming the earth and saving people from themselves and you have to wonder if you should intervene at all. Do humans actually have the capacity to be purely good? Will they change? Do they deserve saving? And that kind of stays up in the air for a while till the last few moments of the movie.
One of the things I didn’t expect from this film is that I enjoyed Chris Pine’s portrayal of Steve Trevor, he’s very much a good part of this movie and you’ll probably enjoy him. You’ll also enjoy most of the other characters and though the film tries to do a lot with quite a few characters who aren’t given much backstory or motivation, it still does well. You can still get a grasp of their character because they come on strong as soon as they’re introduced.
Now though this is a good movie, I still have complaints, not many, but still some. Wonder Woman abuses the ever loving fuck out of slow-mo actions. And if you really don’t like slow-mo, you’ll probably not like it. The slow-mo made sense for a few scenes (the practicality of the action and your ability to see the intricate motions if it weren’t in slow-mo), but jeez it has a lot of slow-mo. Also, this was one of my complaints about BvS, some of the more super heroic action shots (i.e. long distance jumping, rapid motion, flurry rush punches, etc.) still look a bit wonky, though that isn’t the movie’s fault. I still feel as though we don’t know how to artistically capture it in live-action, though this complaint might just be the fault of my eyes.
The last complaint I have and really the only major flaw I see in this movie is that as refreshing as the movie might be, it still runs on an old Hollywood cliché that needs to go away. When you watch the movie you’ll know what it is and you might groan just as I did, but other than that this movie was great. You’ll have fun. And maybe at the end of the film, as the credits roll, you’ll say that you feel empowered just as the woman a row behind me did. It’s essentially become a tradition that I leave you with something at the end of these articles, so here’s Wonder Woman’s theme (it’ll be stuck in your head). Later days.