I have mentioned a few times how excited I was for this film and how I truly hoped fans would give it a chance. For one thing, to prove that not all comic book fans are sexist jerks (although there seem to be plenty of those types) and second to prove that a superhero film can be different from the Marvel films and still be good. Well, Wonder Woman was successful on both fronts. I realize that it sucks that in 2017, we still have to talk about how this is the highest grossing opening for a film directed by a woman (or the first superhero movie directed by and starring women). As I heard someone put it, the true sign of things changing would be if the movie failed and they still made fifty more movies about female superheros. Enough about this stuff, I would much rather talk about the actual movie. There will be spoilers from here on out.
First of all, the story was fantastic. The origin was not ridiculously long and drawn out. A little girl on an island of women, who are training to be warriors. Her mother is the queen and she forbids Diana to train with them. The queen tells Diana the story of her people, which is over top of a montage of Diana training in secret, while growing up. Eventually her mother finds out and she is ordered to train harder than any Amazon before her. We get hints of Diana’s true power, especially at the end of the training during a battle with her aunt. Then Steve Trevor shows up and Wonder Woman is forced to leave the island and help the world of men. The opening is like twenty minutes. We got everything we needed.
The basic gist of the plot is that Ares (God of War) is influencing the world of men and that is Wonder Woman’s task. To use the God-Killer sword that Zeus gave the Amazonians to kill Ares. The movie takes place during World War I and Diana believes that Ares must be behind all of it. Steve Trevor witnessed the devastating effects of Dr. Poison’s gas that General Ludendorff is planning to use. So he and Wonder Woman (and a team of specialists) must stop General Ludendorff (who Diana believes is Ares). The story hinges on the problem of war. Do these soldiers on either side see the horrible things that are happening to the regular people? Do they care? Or are they all under Ares influence? Or is this what her mother meant about the hearts of men. These are all things that Diana must face.
Was anyone else excited that the ending of the movie did not involve our heroine stopping some portal from opening or some giant monster destroying a city? It was just a straight up battle with a god. I think that is one thing if you have read my reviews of comic book movies lately that I am absolutely tired of seeing. She defeats Ares because of Steve’s final words before running off to get himself killed while destroying the plane full of poison gas. Steve said that he loved her and that is what gives her the strength to take down the God of War. Yeah, it is probably a little hokey, but still a little inspiring. Whatever, I liked it. I may have had a little tear in my eye.
So what are some of my other thoughts? Time for bullet points!
-The cast was excellent. Gal Gadot continues to blow me away as Wonder Woman (she was the best thing in BvS:DOJ). She played the naive, fish out of water stuff so well (almost as good as Chris Hemsworth in the first Thor), but then showed a fierceness and strength that makes you know why they picked her as WW. Chris Pine is always awesome. The interplay between the two with some of the sex jokes was fantastic. Am I the only person who knew that David Thewlis was Ares from the moment we met him? When he was introduced as Sir Patrick and he was trying to discuss peace, but no one would listen…I knew right away that he was Ares. It was a little obvious, but it made sense.
-The team of specialists. I liked that they were a bit silly and practically useless. It was a nice bit of role reversal. They had their problems, a sniper who is shellshocked to the point that he can no longer pull the trigger. A Native American who is fighting for the people that wiped out his people. A spy, who well does not really have any issues, but is not really all that useful except with languages and maybe pretending to be a chauffeur. Instead of them being the ones who help Wonder Woman and provide a deus ex machina for her to escape some situation, she ends being the reason they can do their jobs.
-If I had one complaint, why was Ares able to summon lightning? That is Zeus’ power. Yeah, that was my only complaint in the film.
-I loved when she reveals herself during the no man’s land battle. She deflects the bullets with her shield and then we see just how powerful she truly is, by leaping through the sniper’s tower and completely destroying it.
-I loved the clothes shopping scene with Trevor’s secretary. When Etta says that she is fighting for women to get the right to vote, I immediately thought I found a timeline error. I knew that women had the right to vote in the UK much earlier than here, but as it turns out, they won that right after WWI (1918 for most of the women, it took a few years later for all women).
-The opening/closing scene of Diana in modern day Paris, receiving the photograph from Bruce Wayne, then at the end saying that she will continue her mission to protect life.
So what did I think of the movie? Well I loved it. I cannot wait to see it again. This movie gave me hope that Justice League can be great. This movie proved to me that superhero movies can be different Marvel and still be great. And it proved that it does not matter is the director, or which character is the star, but instead what matters is that you make a great movie with a fantastic story. I am excited for the sequel or to see more of her in JL!