So, all DC needed was a woman’s touch? It seems that way because, after four tries, they finally made a good movie with Wonder Woman.
I was really worried that Wonder Woman was going to suck. Not because this was going to be the fifth time DC failed to give us a good superhero film, but because it is technically the first superhero film to feature a woman as the main character. Thankfully, all my fears were alleviated because, like me, the entire world have the consensus that Wonder Woman was a wonderful film.
Although the film was pretty great, there were some things about the movie that kind of irked me. Not to the point that it made Wonder Woman a terrible film but enough to make me take notice. Some of these bad points were even made me say “ugh” with out hokey they came off. So, let’s go look at the good, the bad and the ugly of Wonder Woman, shall we?
Oh, and I will be discussing details about the plot and whatnot. So, SPOILER ALERT!
1. Gal Gadot and Chris Pine’s performances
When it was announced that Gal Gadot, slender Israeli model turned actress, was cast as the Amazonian Princess, I just had to scratch my head. Sure, Gal Gadot is pretty and she does have an exotic quality that could pass off as… goddess-like. But her body type doesn’t scream badass warrior, does it? And her performance in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice didn’t make me a believer as well. However, she did make me believe that she was this awesome kickass Amazon warrior in Wonder Woman.
But it wasn’t only her ability to whup ass that made her look like Wonder Woman. It was also her general performance and the range of emotions she had to portray in the role. Gal Gadot did something that I think they tried to do in Man of Steel: make the superhero seem like a person. In Man of Steel, they had Superman go on this weird journey to discover himself and they did something akin to that with Diana going to man’s world. But it worked much better in Wonder Woman and that’s thanks to Gal Gadot performance as the character.
Her overall performance was only heightened by her on-screen chemistry with Chris Pine, who plays Steve Trevor in the film. It was just magical the way both Gal Gadot and Chris Pine bounced lines between each other. Some of the lines should’ve been groan worthy but the two made them work and sound natural. Essentially, the two made Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor feel less than comic book characters but more like real people.
2. The world is colorful when it needs to be, both figuratively and literally
One of the biggest complaints laid on the other DC superhero movies is how dark they were. Every scene seemed to be washed out and brackish for some reason. Even the rather colorful looking Suicide Squad had a ton of action scenes where it was hard to see what was going on because they just couldn’t light the area properly for some strange reason. This just made things look incredibly muddled.
But it wasn’t just the way the movies were shot. The story itself was also pretty dark and had hardly any levity. I can get behind a serious film but, at times, the films were a slog to get through because everyone was so serious! I actually had high hopes for Suicide Squad to punch up the humor but even they failed. And the film had both Harley Quinn and The Joker! Why did Suicide Squad not have many jokes with those two characters around?
Thankfully, Wonder Woman doesn’t follow the “traditional” DC template. There are scenes, particularly the ones set in Themiscirya, that are just shimmering with bright colors. Things did get kind of dark and drab once Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor return to the world of men and actually join the World War I. But that totally makes sense and actually works to the film’s favor as you can clearly see the distinction between a land that has not been despoiled by war versus one that has. They do hit a kind of middle ground when during the scenes that are set in the present time which, again, works really well as you can see that today’s world isn’t exactly a paradise but isn’t as bad as it would be like if there was a war.
Wonder Woman also has a lot of funny scenes, especially during Diana’s first few days in London. She basically is your “fish out of water” and is looking at a world she isn’t accustomed to and, for the most part, the jokes work. Things that come extremely naturally to someone who has been trained to fight to the death, like carrying a sword and shield, looks incredibly out of place in London, especially circa World War I London. Diana still carries her weaponry very nonchalantly and it just looks really funny but in a good way. It does emphasis that there is a general positive tone to the entire film. In fact, Wonder Woman in the film feels like a beacon of hope and positivity the time needed and, in turn, makes the film feel positive as well.
Now, even if the colors are rather washed out most of the time, most of the fight scenes are still easy to follow since they’re so well lit! Even the final battle, which is set in the dead of night, is still bright because, well, of all of the fire and stuff. But still, I can actually see who’s punching who in a DC movie! In other words, the film is a treat for the eyes!
3. Wonder Woman isn’t a “feminist” movie; it’s just a movie with a female superhero
Yes, Wonder Woman is the first major film to feature a female superhero in the lead role. Yes, Wonder Woman has become a symbol of female empowerment for the entire world. Yes, Wonder Woman is an inspiration to young females, showing that your gender doesn’t matter if you want to save the world or be what you want to be. Wonder Woman may be all of these things but the film isn’t a “feminist” film. Wonder Woman is just a superhero film which just so happens to feature a female superhero.
There are times when do so see the inequality of how women are treated, especially during the time period the film is set in. But Diana never sees the world as being unjust to women. Rather, she sees the world and the war as just being generally not fair to everyone. She doesn’t berate the women like Etta Candy for not trying to fight as it’s not really her place to do so. There’s one scene where Diana even feels sorry for the horses who have to drag the refugee’s belongings out of the mud! Now, that’s compassion for every being that was hurt in the war!
It would have been easy for the writers to hit us over the head with the message that a woman is just as good as a man but they chose to hold back and just focus on making a good movie. And Wonder Woman is definitely a better movie because they did so.
But enough about the good. Let’s go to what’s bad about Wonder Woman!
1. The villains are just *yawn*
The protagonists are great. Wonder Woman was awesome. Steve Trevor was a great as well. Unfortunately, the antagonists in the film are just plain boring. They feel so one-dimensional and unappealing as such. That’s not to say that Dr. Poison wouldn’t be scary in real life. I mean, that weird thing on her face that hides her scars looked really cool and rather terrifying.
I will also have to mention Ares, the God of War and the real main villain of the film. They try to pull a twist by making you think Ares is disguised as the homicidal German general but it doesn’t work. In fact, it felt so obvious that Ares was really the ambassador guy that was trying to broker armistice between the two sides. It just felt incredibly obvious and definitely not a shock when the “truth” was revealed.
Oh, and it turns out that Ares already knew that Diana was out to kill him but he didn’t because he wanted Wonder Woman to join him so they can rule the world together. Why? Why didn’t he just come out and say it immediately? Oh, I know it’s because the script calls for it but it does feel illogical that Ares, the God of War, would even think about it.
2. The supporting characters hardly do anything
Besides Steve Trevor, the rest of the cast don’t do all that much. In fact, they’re pretty much forgotten once Wonder Woman moves on to a different location. Take Antiope, the Amazon that trained Diana to fight. She gets killed during the battle when the Germans land on Themiscirya saving Diana from a bullet. You would expect her to get a big funeral scene or something to make her death feel more impactful, right? Or at least a scene where Diana grieves or feels guilty for her death. But, nope! She’s only mentioned once after her death as Hippolyta, Diana’s mother, gives her daughter her headgear. That’s gratitude for ya!
I will also have to talk about the sharpshooter that Steve Trevor recruits to help Diana get to the frontlines to face off against Ares because he literally didn’t have a use in the overall plot of the film! He’s given an opportunity to actually shoot down a sniper but he freezes. I guess it’s supposed to show the horrors of war and how it can affect people. But he never actually redeems himself! His job throughout most of the film is to look through his sniper scope like they were binoculars! Well, just give someone else a pair of binoculars then! Who needs him?
3. Wonder Woman’s “destiny”
Besides the entire “Ares is the peaceful guy” thing, Wonder Woman does have another twist and it involves Wonder Woman’s true nature. Throughout the film, it’s hinted that Diana is more than just the daughter of the Queen of the Amazons. At the end, it’s revealed she’s actually the daughter of Zeus who was entrusted to Hippolyta to care for just in case Ares comes back as only a god can kill one of their kind. This twist irked me because, one, it means that Diana’s “choice” was one she made because it was her destiny and not really of her own free will. And, two, they kept on hinting at it, making it terribly obvious!
I actually kind of wished that the “fake” Godkiller sword that Wonder Woman carried around and got destroyed was the only way to kill Ares. This would mean that Wonder Woman use her pure willpower to overcome the odds herself to kill a god, something that she shouldn’t be able to kill by herself! It would have made the fight more tense. But since I knew the Godkiller sword was just a farce and she was the real weapon, I already knew she was going to go all Goku at the end and kill off Ares without a fuss.
And now for the ugly!
1. Ares was the cause of World War I or not?
Throughout the entire run time of Wonder Woman, it was hinted that it wasn’t Ares that was keeping World War I going but it was the greedy hearts of man that was. In fact, when Ares tries to sway Diana to his side, he tells her that he only hints at the evils they can do but never forces them to actually do those horrific acts. Essentially, mankind’s hearts are filled with both good and evil intentions and, sometimes, they choose the dark side. Okay, I get that and that’s a fine point to make but here’s the thing: The instant Wonder Woman obliterates Ares, all of a sudden, everyone is at peace and all chummy with one another. Even the German soldiers that were trying to kill Wonder Woman and her squadmates just a few moments ago all of a sudden calm down. Heck, I think I even saw one German officer hug the Native American that was helping Wonder Woman?
If Ares wasn’t the reason why World War I continued, why did all of the fighting stop when he was killed? Did he actually cause the fighting to keep going or not? It’s never really explained in the film but I do think he wasn’t the cause because, well, World War II happened. Still, it’s really confusing and kind of contradicts the entire message that we have to pick the good side.
2. The final closing shot of the film
I actually laughed when I saw the closing moments of the film and I think I was the only one that did. I guess I was the only one who found it humorous and ridiculous! It looked so much like the ending sequence in Spider-Man!
Now, imagine this and, instead, just have Wonder Woman, climb to to the top of a building and then leap off the top while giving a speech about how love can save the world. I know she can safely make it to the bottom but it just looked so corny! It was supposed to look awesome but, man, did I give a really strong belly laugh when I saw it!
3. You can’t say the word “kill” can you, Ares?
Is it just me or does it seem to me like Ares doesn’t know what the word “kill” means? Whenever he threatened Wonder Woman with death, he never says he’ll “kill” her. Instead, Ares would yell that he was going to “destroy” Diana. I just find it silly that the all-powerful God of War censors himself and replaces the word “kill” with “destroy” instead.
With that being said, Wonder Woman is definitely a fantastic movie and definitely the best DC movie to have come out since Man of Steel. Here’s hoping that this is the first in a long line of good films from them.
What’s that? Zack Snyder, the same guy that directed Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman is directing Justice League?
What were some of the good and bad things you noticed from Wonder Woman? Let me know in the comments section below!