Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Wonder Woman Review
It has taken me a while to get to this Wonder Woman review. I saw the movie the Friday that it opened over two weeks ago and honestly I think I am actually still processing if the movie was any good or not. I left the theater thinking, well that was pretty good. It was certainly better than all the offerings DCEU has put out thus far, but that does not mean the movie was good. It just means its not as bad as its predecessors.
** Be careful, spoilers ahead**
Wonder Woman starts on the island of Themyscira. We meet a very young Diana on the islands with Amazons galore. You see them training and fighting to be the fiercest warriors and Diane longs to be a part of that, but her mom is not having it. Many words, debates, and arguments have been made of the diversity on the island. I feel it was a missed opportunity for the film to highlight women of color on the island- especially Nubia who holds such a pivotal part of the Wonder Woman mythos. Alas, that passed and really, outside of her mom and Antiope, there is very little dialogue given to the inhabitants of the island.
Of course, Diana grows up, begins to train, and the island becomes sullied by men as Steve Trevor winds up leading the Germans from World War into .... through a slip in the time stream I guess. We get the battle on the island between the Amazonian's and the Germans with .... taking the death nap which leads to Diana having to go back with Steve to search for Ares, the God of War who they believe is behind all this.
The chemistry between Steve Trevor and Diana is one of the best parts of the movie, but I kept thinking as the movie continued on that Steve Trevor was in the movie way too much. yes, Diana needs/wants to learn the ways of this world and her compassion for the humans is essentially to her character development. But it also seemed forced. It felt like executives at Warner Brothers were really scared that if a white man was not prominent in this movie, white men would not see the movie which would hurt their bottom line. I reject this notion wholeheartedly. The movie needed to focus on Diana and Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor and his band of merry misfits were truly unnecessary to the movie.
Our story continues on in the search for Ares. The No Mans Land fight scene is one of the greatest things filmed and shot for comic book movies. It truly showed her strenght and compassion all in one and showed the character is a true bad ass. But much of the movie after that is really kind of a boring let down. There are several direct lifts of shots from Captain America: First Avenger throughout the movie. There is a subplot of the German scientist creating a deadly chemical weapon to strike against the allies, Steve is riding a motorcycle in the battlefield, his group of merry men is very similar to the Howling Commando's. Again, moments of placing men in the movie to show their fearlessness when the movie is about Wonder Woman.
As awesome as the No Man's Land Scene was, the final boss battle between Wonder Woman and Ares is equally awful. The fight scene is rushed and seemed to be put together at the last moment and it did nothing to elevate Wonder Woman or Ares as characters.
So the movie ends kinda on that downer, but leaves you as the viewer in a hopeful place moving forward. The movie has been crazy successful in making money and the sequel has already been green lighted with director Patty Jenkins back in the chair. I am totally behind more female heroes and female writers and directors working on these movies. Eve tho I have my concerns about the quality of this particular movie, it should not hinder the progress of more female heroes- especially female heroes of color from getting their own movie and chance to shine.
Overall, I give the movie 3/5 stars. Its good, not great. I think I put on Twitter that the movie was aiiiiiiight( Black folks know how to pronounce this and what it means). Hopefully some of this positive momentum carries over to Justice League but I'm not holding my breath on that one.
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