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Jun 03

Review: Wonder Woman

Well the day has come. The DC Extended Universe finally has a decent movie. Let us all slowclap. The first solo superhero movie as part of the DCEU other than Man of Steel is here. I’ll get to spoilers, but I’ll warn you first. Though, there’s not a whole lot to spoil.

Wonder Woman has a lot of pressure behind it. Not just because it’s the first female driven superhero movie since *gag* Halle Berry’s… interesting… take on Catwoman. No. It’s because DC has been repeatedly kicking themselves in the face with their movies of late. Suicide Squad was ok, but had a fuckton of issues. Batman VERSUS Superman was a bizarre mess. The standout performance of the latter was Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman. Well in this movie she got to take the spotlight.

Gal Gadot was perfect as Wonder Woman. Considering I had no idea who she was, I was surprised at her range of acting abilities. She could alternate from strong and defiant, to vulnerable and curious. Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor, on the other hand, well… let’s be honest. He basically played Kirk. I mean, he’s a moral character willing to do the right thing even if it’s hard, and his muted comedic timing and stuff like that. It was Gal Gadot who really sold this movie. You felt what she felt, just from looking at her.

As a straight white male… Oh. Be quiet. It’s not what you think. I think this movie finally tackled a gender problem that has plagued these movies. Finally. FINALLY, a white man can be a sidekick. For too long, have we been relegated to staring roles and top billing. Finally, those of us who don’t want to do the hard work, have someone we can aspire to imitate.

There were problems, to be sure. The CGI was bad. I mean really bad. Distractedly bad. I’ll get into more after the spoiler warning. Let’s just say that it was enough to take you out of the movie, and make you laugh. Think Scorpion King level bad.

Conversely, I like how they made the Amazon accent match Gal Gadot’s. Like, she’s a good actress, but her Israeli accent is her accent. She hasn’t perfected other accents, yet. And since it’s foreign enough for most of us ‘Muricans, they just went with it, and had the other warrior women speak like Gal Gadot. I mean, Israel and Greece are the same thing, right?

The movie was beautifully shot. The stark contrast between “worlds” so to speak, and the creative camera angles were breathtakingly absorptive and awe inspiring. Like seeing a tourism booklet.

This movie was a very emotional and human movie. Honestly, it didn’t feel like a superhero movie. It was a fish out of water story where Wonder Woman leaves her home, which I will be calling “The Mascara” from now on. There, she’s lived an isolated existence. Soon, she’s joined the world of man, and is obviously culture shocked. Through this process she (almost too quickly, I’ll admit) realizes who she truly is. That’s the movie.

Oh. And she can jump really high and is crazy strong.

This movie is inspiring. And no, it’s not just little girls growing up in a world full of male superheros, who will be inspired. I’m talking about autistic people. The scenes in the beginning of the movie, where she first gets to London and has to learn their ways and social rules. That really resonated with me. When she would point out that someone was acting one way and thinking another. Praise Zeus, I know that feeling of confusion and frustration. I’m glad women of all ages can rally around someone, and I’m not trying to steal that from them. I’m just saying, that I can rally around Wonder Woman, too.

Spoilers:

So the CGI. There were a few scenes where the fighting would slow down before resuming normal speed, in the Zack Snider style. That’s fine. He’s been mostly in charge of the DCEU tone. There were lots of characters creatively jumping off of things. Jumping off of horses, or whatever. In those scenes, CGI had to be added, and I don’t know if it was the speed of everything else in the scene or what, but the CGI was horrendous. Like the characters faces and bodies would warp to unnatural positions. Or maybe the Amazonians don’t have the same skeletal structure we humans have.

Don’t get me wrong. That first fight was really exciting. Badass women with swords and arrows on horses versus World War 1 Germans and guns? And the Amazonians win? Fuck yeah. Plus, every fight scene with Wonder Woman against a bunch of dudes. Awesome.

From Diana’s perspective, Ares, the God of War, is personally making people fight. If she kills him, then people will stop fighting. I just finished the Illiad, and am currently reading the Odyssey. So from the standpoint of Greek Mythology, there is precedence for this type of primitive thinking. Meanwhile, Steve is taking the rational position, that some people sometimes do bad things on their own. The solution? WHY NOT BOTH! Ares is real, and is influencing people, but not forcing them to do anything. He’s just manipulating their existing bad natures. What a cop out.

Actually, the final act is a shit show. It really is. Ares and Wonder Woman are fighting. Ares is going all Magneto and floating in the air while he makes some armor out of whatever metal wreckage he can find, kind of like Incubus from Suicide Squad. There’s a lightening battle, a la Harry Potter’s final battle with Vol… He Who Must Not Be Named. Then love conquers all, cliche. Actually, there were a lot of cliches in this movie. I can’t wait until Honest Trailers does this movie. There are more explosions and things moving in this final battle, than the actual war through which they had to travel.

In the end, this was a really good movie, and a win for DC. Gal Gadot was *clears throat* WONDERful. The director Patty Jenkins, gets top marks for the tone, style, and visuals of the movie. The CGI company should be ashamed of themselves, and go rewatch Toy Story, which looks more realistic. This was a really good movie, and good enough that I feel like I should modify the scores I gave other movies. I’ll give this 5 out of 5 stars. It would be 4 out of 5, for the shit CGI, but I gave Suicide Squad that score, and this is a far superior movie.


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