6 Thoughts on the Wonder Woman Movie
Like the lazy schmuck I am, I stopped doing full movie reviews awhile ago. There just wasn’t time between seeing the Thursday night early showings and having to go to work the next morning. Plus, considering all Marvel movies are generally good to great, how much more need be said? And it’s not like my reviews were making it to Rotten Tomatoes…
So now I’ll deliver my Wonder Woman review in List of Six form! It’s much more fun that way.
Movie Rating: 8/10 – Very Good
Overall, I enjoyed Wonder Woman quite a bit. It’s got solid superheroics with a lot of heart. It’s not a genre-game changer and it doesn’t redefine the superhero movie, but it’s still very good, and that counts for a lot. Is it the best movie in the DCEU? Of course! But that wasn’t a high bar to reach. I thought Man of Steel was a bad movie, and Batman V. Superman is not much better. And I actively forget that Suicide Squad was a thing.
But hey, Wonder Woman is a fine film! Join me after the jump for my thoughts! And FULL SPOILERS for the movie, so watch yourself.
6. I quite enjoyed it
Wonder Woman was a really good movie. The characters are great, the story moves along at a nice pace with some really cool scenes, and the superheroics are darn good. The villain isn’t so bad and the final fight isn’t too much like Batman v. Superman, meaning it’s not too much of a CGI mess against an uninteresting CGI monster. I enjoyed the World War I setting and I especially enjoyed Diana’s journey through the war, whether she’s not fitting in at Old Timey London to kicking butt, doing good and being a hero in the trenches.
Wonder Woman’s charge across No Man’s Land is the sort of scene that superhero movies are made for.
I don’t have any real complaints against Wonder Woman. I don’t think there’s anything I particularly disliked. I liked the ragtag band of heroes she and Steve Trevor put together, though I was a little disappointed that Charlie never made a clutch shot after failing to hit the guy in the tower. He was built up as some crack sniper, but ended up just using his rifle like binoculars.
I was also disappointed that the Lasso of Truth didn’t turn out to be the Godkiller weapon. When they first introduce the sword and Diana is the one to call it the “Godkiller” right away without her mother saying anything, I knew immediately that the sword wasn’t really the Godkiller. That would be pretty basic. So I was hoping that the Lasso was the Godkiller, and that “truth” was the weapon that could bring down Ares. Like, the movie was setting up a lesson that assuming the sword is the answer is the wrong way to fight, the sword being metaphorical. But nope, it was all just a twist that Diana herself was the Godkiller. That was fine, I suppose.
Also, totally guessed the twist as to Ares’ true identity. It never seemed to fit that Ludendorff was Ares, but the casually tossed in Remus Lupin seemed ripe for a twist reveal.
Those are just personal nitpicks and don’t detract from the movie as a whole. Again, Wonder Woman was a very good film. In fact…
5. Comparable to some Marvel movies
Marvel Studios movies are the benchmark of all comic book superhero movies. They can churn out films about Doctor Strange and Ant-Man and still make them enjoyable and fun. Yes, there’s a formula in play, but it’s a formula that works. I have never been let down by a Marvel Studios movie. And I think Wonder Woman is as good as some Marvel movies! Obviously not like a Guardians of the Galaxy or an Avengers or Iron Man 1. But Wonder Woman is easily the equivalent of the Thor movies or the first Captain America. Wonder Woman even has the underdeveloped villain!
Wonder Woman is more like a Marvel movie than it is like the other DCEU movies. Let that be a lesson for DC and Warner Bros. going forward.
4. Wonder Woman herself was amazing
Don’t you just love it when an adaptation gets the character just right? Wonder Woman is pretty much perfect in this film. Actor Gal Gadot is powerful, beautiful and awesome in equal measure. Her costume looks great and comics accurate. The Lasso of Truth is a really nifty special effect. I loved that attention was paid to making Wonder Woman inspiringly heroic. I don’t think I’ve ever been as confident in a movie version of Batman than I am with movie Wonder Woman. The character just works spectacularly. And wasn’t little kid Diana super adorable? That was some solid kid casting!
3. I still don’t have much hope for Justice League
The Justice League movie trailer played before my showing of Wonder Woman and I couldn’t work up any excitement. I also tried to focus on the idea that Wonder Woman was going to be a prominent figure in Justice League, but I still couldn’t work up any excitement. I’m not even particularly excited that Joss Whedon stepped in to help out. Justice League looks exactly like Man of Steel and exactly like Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. It looks like a dark, drab, ugly movie that’s more concerned with ‘kewl’ moments than a coherent story or characters or plotting or anything. I don’t even care that I think Jason Momoa is an inspired choice for Aquaman.
I will be the first person to eat crow if I’m wrong, but I think Justice League is going to be another stinker.
2. I want a sequel in contemporary times with the Cheetah
Have you been reading Greg Rucka’s Wonder Woman Rebirth? It’s a pretty great Wonder Woman comic, even if it’s undoing all the magic of Brian Azzarello’s Wonder Woman New 52. But my favorite part of Rucka’s Rebirth is the new origin he’s given the Cheetah and her stronger connection to Wonder Woman. Basically, Dr. Barbara Ann Minerva was an archeologist studying the Amazons who become a liaison of sorts between the government and the newly arrived Wonder Woman. She even helped teach Diana to speak English. They were the best of pals! Until Barbara was tricked into seeking out a powerful god to rival Diana and ended up cursed as the Cheetah. I like the idea that Diana and Barbara were very good friends, and that she took on the powers of the Cheetah god in a parallel to Diana’s own godly origins. It’s neat.
So for the sequel, I think they should bring in the Cheetah and give her a similar origin. Wonder Woman has been living in the real world for a century at this point in the DCEU, so surely she had all sorts of adventures and made all sorts of friends. The Cheetah could be an old adversary from the past come back to haunt her. Or maybe she’s a new, contemporary friend and villain. Either way, she’s a great choice for sequel villain.
1. Now let’s see a lot more female-led superhero movies
As a straight white male, I’m not really the best person to talk about the sort of impact a film like Wonder Woman should and could have on audiences. There’s a Buzzfeed list of Tweets that handles that nicely. But as a lifelong comic book and superhero movie fan, I definitely think this should throw off any doubt that Hollywood can’t make female-led superhero movies. There’s no doubt that some execs were worried about that very thing. It can’t be a coincidence that Marvel hasn’t made a female-led superhero flick in the past decade and still won’t have one for another two years. There had to be some kind of block against this stuff.
Well to Hell with that! Bring on those movies! Make a big push for Captain Marvel and make it an even better movie than Wonder Woman! Not gonna make another solo Hulk movie? Bring on She-Hulk! Do something with Black Widow or Scarlet Witch or the Wasp! Make a better Catwoman movie, or something with Black Canary, Harley Quinn, Hawkgirl or Poison Ivy! Make a Faith movie from Valiant! Make a Gamer Girl & Vixen movie! Do something with Kamala Khan already!
(Though Sony should immediately abandon plans for whatever insane Black Cat/Silver Sable nonsense they keep squawking about. Nobody wants you to make superhero movies anymore, Sony! Stop trying to make it happen!)
There is absolutely no reason why we can’t have more lady-hero movies anymore. Make it happen and make them good!