I held my head high as I approached the ticket booth. Mostly so I could see over the large popcorn that I had bought before even deciding what movie I was going to see. Priorities, people. I found myself faced with a feminist dilemma: Do I see the movie about the strong female protagonist that is perhaps the very first female-led superhero movie that the world can take seriously
Both directed by men, just sayin.
Or do I see this:
They’re both husbands of mine, it says so on my dream board
Life just doesn’t prepare you for such touch choices. I decided on Wonder Woman for three reasons: One, I don’t feel that I necessarily have to choose between watching a strong woman kick ass and being shallow and ogling a tiny uniform. Two, people are actually starting to read this blog and I therefore received an actual honest-to-goodness request to review Wonder Woman. I can’t deny a fan! Even if that fan is related to me and probably only reading my posts of out familial duty and misplaced pride. Three, I wanted to contribute to what I assumed would be low box office numbers based on the lack of publicity this movie has been getting compared to other summer blockbusters and the godawful trailer the studio shat out. It turns out I needn’t have bothered factoring that one in though because the place was packed.
I went to the movies by myself on a Friday night because my husband was going golfing the next day and as everyone with young kids knows, life becomes one big scoreboard. I got up with her this morning so I get to be the one that showers today. I did the last poopy diaper so you’re the one who needs to investigate why she’s grunting red-faced in the corner. Of course, when 3am rolls around and the kid starts crying it becomes an overtime round in which you kick each other and grunt until one of you is bruised and awakened enough to admit defeat.
The girl sitting next to me was hugely pregnant, well into what is referred to as ‘the beach ball’ stage. She got up about twelve times to use the bathroom before the trailers and it brought back so many memories. From the minute I found out I was pregnant, I cut out pop, caffeine and tried to limit the amount of loud music my midriff was exposed to. I don’t know why, but I had it in my head that if I found something loud, it would be just as loud for her. I know that she was twelve leagues under the sea in there, but I couldn’t get rid of the irrational fear the loud noises would cause her to go deaf. I think every first-time pregnant woman has one thing that they are totally, irrationally afraid of and that was mine. I remember bringing a duvet to the movie theater and bunching it over my belly so it would muffle the sound. To this day I’m sure that I scarred her for life by seeing Krampus in my second trimester.
As the movie started, I realized I really didn’t know anything about it. I’m such a movie nerd that normally I know the plot and cast of everything I see before I see it, but I remember thinking the trailer for this movie was painfully dull and the poster even more so
She’s far enough away that all the threatened males can pretend they’re going to see another Captain America movie
I didn’t realize that Wonder Woman had anything to do with Greek Mythology so that was an awesome surprise. I minored in Greek myth at University and its always nice when that turns out to be useful. I knew about the Amazons, but the legend of Ares (God of War) killing all the other Gods of Olympus because of his hatred for humans was new to me. I feel like they made that up. Maybe that’s how it goes down in the comic book universe. I noticed some strong similarities between Diana (Wonder Woman) and Artemis, Greek Goddess of the Hunt. Why the name Diana alone…Sorry folks, I’m getting off topic here and only interesting myself. Back to the movie…
I’d say that this movie can be divided into three parts: Amazon island, arrival in London, and war. I loved the first two parts, and though I liked the last as well, I found it dark, tedious and slow with a lot of unnecessary destruction (this is known as The DC Universe effect). A solid amount of time is devoted to the island of the Amazons with their tight metal corsets that make me feel much less resentful of my bra and their horse parkour. Robin Wright was there and that’s always a treat. I’ve loved her ever since The Congress did to my brain what acid does to…well…your brain? It became clear once Wonder Woman went from childhood to young adulthood that I’d made the right choice seeing this movie. Gal Gadot is beyond gorgeous, she has crazy rock climbing skills and after about three wardrobe changes I was like
“Dwayne the who?”
“BayWatch this instead!”
The London component is great in that typical fish-out-of-water who makes humorous observations way. Chris Pine’s secretary is THE. BEST. She alone is worth the price of admission. There’s a cute little makeover scene as well that was fun. That’s something I really admired about this film. It wasn’t afraid to be fun. Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman made a brief appearance in Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Who Cares, but it was such a terrible, humourless movie that I don’t even remember what she was doing there. This movie was directed by a woman and it shows. There are many contrasts made about the sorry state of the world during The Great War, and the fact that women weren’t even being given the vote, let alone able to help run the country. There’s a scene when Diana walks into a war room filled with men and the reaction was just as if a Nazi had sauntered in and asked for someone to pour him an Erdinger. It’s the reaction I imagine the person at Marvel was met with who suggested they do a stand-alone Black Widow movie.
We know what these young whipper-snappers want from their moving picture shows
The movie was quite progressive in its views and casting. There is a Native American character literally named Chief who quietly points out the hypocrisy of the Allies’ suggestion that they are “the good guys” by informing Diana that they were the ones who wiped out his people. Actor Said Taghmaoui who plays “Sammy” longs to be an actor, but knows there are few parts for people with his coloring in Hollywood. These tongue in cheek moments are clearly targeting a present-day audience, reminding us of how little advancement we have made in some respects as a society. The idea that all men are inherently weak and prone to violence and that it would better for the world if a woman was in charge is repeatedly suggested. In the aftermath of the US election, that suggestion makes one feel a little sick and more than a little nervous for our future.
The romance that seems to be required in all these superhero movies is present, but it is not put at the forefront of the story, nor will it be at the forefront of this post. All I will say is that I was thrilled that there was no steamy sex scene between the two. It wasn’t necessary to make me root for them as a couple, or to see the chemistry. Having said that, I kind of wish the romance had been between her and the Chief instead. Chief was sexy. I read that Eugene Brave Rock who plays Chief had full creative control over his character and dude was working it.
I do wish he had gone with the original loincloth though
As I said before the theater was packed and I hope the same is true for all other theatres this opening weekend. We need more movies like this. Movies I can be proud to show my daughter someday. I was planning on taking her to it as a stars and strollers afternoon but she’s at this exasperating fussy stage. This Thursday instead of going to the umpteenth Pirates of the Caribbean movie I took her to the library where she pulled every book off the shelves, took a large bite out of the cover of something called The Spaniard’s Virgin Housekeeper and pushed her diaper to the side so she could pee on the floor right as the librarian was coming in to view. Talk about piss-poor timing! (you know I had to) Basically, right now nothing suits her and she feels like if she sits still for too long without destroying something the world will end. Kind of like Wonder Woman! She’s not the hero we deserve, but she’s the one with the cutest butt (you don’t know which one I’m talking about anymore, do you?)