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Monday, September 4, 2017

Movie Write Ups: Wonder Woman

Cast: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Connie Nielsen, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Elena Anaya, Ewen Bremner, Said Taghmaoui, Eugene Brave Rock, Emily Carey, Lilly Aspell

Runtime: 2 hours and 21 minutes

Release Date: June 2, 2017

Plot:
Before she was Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on a sheltered island paradise, Diana meets an American pilot (Chris Pine) who tells her about the massive conflict that's raging in the outside world. Convinced that she can stop the threat, Diana leaves her home for the first time. Fighting alongside men in a war to end all wars, she finally discovers her full powers and true destiny.

Initial Thoughts: So I was apprehensive about this movie. DC hasn’t exactly been winning with me lately but I REALLY wanted this movie to succeed. For many reasons but the biggest one being, this is freaking WONDER WOMAN guys, she’s the very symbol of feminine strength and capability and that needed to come through.

So did it?

Yes it did.

Was it perfect?

No.





What I Loved: The Amazons. I loved how these women were portrayed. They weren’t just a group of women who happened to know how to fight, these were hardened warriors with years of training and experience. I loved the beginning scene where young Diana spies her hero Antiope training with the rest of the warriors. That whole scene showed how strong and beautiful these women were and how they had a true sisterhood. No cattiness, no jealousy, just a genuine love for one another and a desire to push each other to achieve their highest potential. It was a beautiful scene with great choreography.

The chemistry between the cast was also really great. I really liked how the men that fought with Diana never treated her as incapable of fighting, nor did Diana emasculate them. It was a partnership that accomplished great things.

Now I’ll be honest, I wasn’t convinced Gal Gadot was the right person to play such an iconic character, I mean, they’re BIG SHOES TO FILL. This is freaking Wonder Woman right? I just wasn’t convinced and I remained unconvinced because I didn’t watch the released clips or the press junket. I went into this movie without anyone else’s opinions because I wanted to see for myself if Gadot could convince me that she was Diana of Themyscira.

I didn’t want this long awaited film to take away Diana’s strength and replace it with outdated ideas of what a “female superhero” should be. I wanted her to match her male counterparts when it came to the fights, the struggles, and the sacrifices she would have to make to become a great hero. I didn’t want her to be over the top girly and silly but I also didn’t want her to lose that part of her that was like the rest of us. The writers, director, and Gadot herself did a lovely job of making Diana idealistically na├»ve without making you want to roll your eyes. You instead feel bad for her because you know she’s in for a harsh wakeup call but at the same time you can mourn for that loss of idealism because you just wish that the world worked the way she initially thought it did, that it was as simple as pinning all the world’s problems on one guy.

Gadot’s Diana could be vulnerable without losing her confidence, she could be emotionally torn up inside but still complete her mission and THAT’S what won me over. That’s what made Wonder Woman a winner to me. All I cared about was whether or not this character was going to live up to what I thought she should be: Strength, beauty, vulnerability, and perseverance. She didn’t need to be saved but she did need to learn how the world of man worked and it wasn’t easy for her.

Favorite Scene: The No Man’s Land scene was emotional for me. Diana showed what she was really made of and was determined to do the right thing even if she stood alone. That short scene really defined her for me as a character and Gal Gadot did a wonderful job of making Diana seem both godlike and human. The followup scene of Steve and the men in the trenches following Diana into battle was also well done. My fear was that Wonder Woman would end up being a battle of the sexes (and sexism) instead of a story of how Diana of Themyscira became one of the greatest heroes ever known. But it wasn't, it was always Diana's evolution.


What Left Me Wanting: Was anyone else disappointed with that showdown between Diana and Ares? I was expecting something more from Ares himself. Instead he came off as a petulant child who was angry that his daddy had a pet project and didn’t pay attention to him so in retaliation he wanted to stomp it to the ground. I wanted a larger than life god of war who fed off of hate and grew stronger because of it. I wanted him to really be a challenge for Diana but he fell flat to me. I think there was too much dialogue in this scene, too much explanation for his motives.

Overall though, I could see why Wonder Woman was such a hit in the theaters. It gave superhero fans something different to look forward to and in my opinion, gave the DC movie franchise a good movie for once since they started with Man of Steel which I just couldn’t get into.

Now there are TWO reasons for me to reconsider watching Justice League when it comes out, Wonder Woman and Aquaman. Bring it on.


Rent or Buy? Buy. You’ll want to watch it more than once.

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