A Not-A-Review Review of Wonder Woman

6 Jun

This is not a review. I have to start out with that because I am not a film critic, at least no more than the next Average Joe, nor am I qualified to review a film by talking about the elements that were done to create it. What this is is a collection of the thoughts I had while watching Wonder Woman and afterwards. The simplest way to describe my reaction is this- I loved it. Stop now if you haven’t seen the film as I cannot be held responsible for any spoilers found herein.

I have been a fan of “Wonder Woman” since I was a child, it’s one of the first comics I ever had. But to say that I’ve followed every story line or know everything ever written would be false. In fact, I am out of touch with the comics because I don’t collect anything regularly now (sorry!). But that doesn’t change the powerful spark WW had in my life. So my excitement over the character finally making it to the big screen was palpable. Even more so when Gal Gadot stole the show in last year’s Batman v Superman. (Let’s be honest, she’s the reason we didn’t collectively ask for our money back after that pile of poop).

I was so giddy when the previews ended and the film began that my mother couldn’t even understand me whispering my excitement to her.

And I was not disappointed.

I skipped reading anything until after I saw it and I remember thinking during that “this is DC trying to capture the magic that was Captain America: the First Avenger”. Turns out, I wasn’t the only one who thought that. There were several similarities but WW made them her own and honestly it doesn’t matter if it is similar as it worked and worked well enough that I am willing to almost forgive DC (well, WW and the fact the Justice League trailers almost look good).

Director Patty Jenkins did a wonderful job with the film and creating characters and a world that I was excited to get lost in. All I can say is, “thank you”.

Steve Trevor was a nice surprise. I love Chris Pine- there’s something really charming about him- but his casting threw me. I wasn’t sure if I liked it or not. And I was concerned about how the character would be written. It would be so easy to put Steve in the “damsel in distress” role as he is the counterbalance to Diana, and really making her the hero means that he has to always be the victim, right? Well, that’s the kind of bull crap thinking I don’t hold with! I remember that as a child, I interpreted Steve to be (as much as he is able) the equal to Diana. I really can’t remember if that’s how the books I read were written, but that is how I interpreted him. So it was really nice to see that interpretation on screen. Charming, witty, and a bit badass. All around nice guy who could teach Diana and guide her and follow behind as she charged ahead, while also being a type of equal to her.

And can I just have a movie that is Gal Gadot’s Diana and Pine’s Steve riffing in the boat traveling to England? Please? Because I kind of loved everything about that scene.

Speaking of things I loved- the amazing athletics of the Amazons. Holy shit. If DC wants to do a TV show about Themyscira and the lives of the Amazons on Paradise Island, I’d be OK with that.

Visually, I felt the film was stunning. The colors and their vibrancy (or lack thereof), the sets were stunning- I really enjoy how movies over the last 30 years have made things more real, as though the audience can really feel what the set is meant to depict. It’s wartime, it’s dirty, and that’s how I felt the world was. Even Themyscira had a realistic base to its appearance. (Though the lack of an invisible jet makes me sad)(Maybe I’ll get it in the next one!)

Sadly, I was spoiled on the character that is the villain due to careless article titles, but I did still have to figure out who was playing it. I wish it hadn’t been as obvious as I thought, since I guessed upon first meeting but… what can you do? It’s an origin story. There’s only so many ways to go with it. And the easy one was too obvious. I thought that the villain, overall, was textbook and didn’t really do much for me other than provide some excellent fireworks and fights. However, in under 2 and a half hours there is only so much you can do and I’m glad more time was spent on Diana and the other characters.

I’ve been beating around the bush because I don’t want to talk about her since that’ll mean I’m almost done with my thoughts but I’m going to take a minute here to talk about Gal Gadot and Diana/Wonder Woman. I knew her from the Fast & Furious series, of course, but really had no other knowledge of who Gadot was before her casting. She certainly, to me, looked the part. I saw in a video that she commented that one of the regular comments she’d initially received was that her boobs were too small. Obviously, from guys who can’t understand reality vs comic books. But I thought she looked the part, for sure. And she certainly proved she had the poise for the role in the previously mentioned performance in BvS. One thing I loved about her performance was that she always looked like she was learning and taking everything in. Each new step Diana takes into Man’s World was a chance for her to understand something new and that curiosity was always on her face, in her eyes, and how she held herself. I adored how no matter how many times someone told her she couldn’t do something, she never let that stop her. It could lead to trouble in the real world, but in a fictional story, presenting a hero, it’s a quality that can be picked up and modeled after. She just refused to accept the rules someone else set out for her. I can get behind that.

And then when she felt people needed help… she charged right in. It wasn’t bravado, it was just who she was. We could all learn something from Wonder Woman and go out and fight for those who can’t fight for themselves, as she said.

The film really struck a chord with me. I felt invigorated and inspired. I felt that I finally had a hero to look up to. And I cannot wait to see what Diana’s next adventure is.

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