Hi, my name’s Charlotte. A couple of weeks ago, like many people, I went to see Wonder Woman. And, also like a lot of people, I came out of that film with a lot of thoughts and feelings about it, which I then basically summarised into this tweet:
— Charlotte 🌻 (@luna_moonsilver) June 2, 2017
Why did I feel like that? Well, lemme break it down for you.
Like, genuinely good. As in, I watched it and enjoyed it—and then when I thought about it the next day, I didn’t decide it was actually a pile of crap riding on the backs of good actors and an outrageous costume department (here’s looking at you, Suicide Squad).
And that was a surprise. I’m not a massive DC fan—I watched The Dark Knight trilogy, obviously, and loved it, obviously—but generally their films kind of fall flat. I mean, this gem is the closest I’m ever gonna get to Batman vs. Superman any time soon.
But Wonder Woman was a solid piece of work. The characters were great (more on that later), the story was fun where it needed to be, and well-paced, everyone had good chemistry—and yes, maybe the bad guy needed a little more work, but that also could have just been me.
(NOTE: I accidentally spoiled myself about a week before going to see it, which meant I spent the whole film going ‘omg Diana it’s Lupin kill Lupin OMG’.)
That whole frame story was a little weird (seriously Bruce can you just stick to your own films) but mostly because I forgot about it before the end and then was surprised when we were back in Paris again.
WONDER WOMAN (2017, Action): Museum employee sends email
— Patrick Monahan (@pattymo) June 5, 2017
So I saw this tweet after seeing Wonder Woman and I don’t think I’ve ever related to anything more:
NO WONDER WHITE MEN ARE SO OBSCENELY CONFIDENT ALL THE TIME I SAW ONE WOMAN HERO MOVIE AND I’M READY TO FIGHT A THOUSAND DUDES BAREHANDED
— meg s.s. (@megsauce) June 4, 2017
I wanted to fight someone! Never mind the fact that I’d be instantly crushed in any kind of physical confrontation; I wanted to fight.
Incidentally, I think that’s why I was told to text the person I saw the film with once I got home to make sure I hadn’t been stabbed. That also might be part and parcel of living in London though, idk.
But yes! Look at those badass women! Hell, even the trailer had me excited about that—but seeing Robin Wright jump down and fire arrows at some WWI-era Germans on a beach was amazing. Just give me two hours of Amazons fighting literally anyone.
And then I saw a video of one of the stuntwomen in the film, Caitlin Dechelle…
— Lewis Tan (@TheLewisTan) June 4, 2017
And holy hell, I kind of want to be able to do all that. I immediately downloaded and started this workout program but basically I’ve only done one day of it so far. Still though. I hate working out. This film made me want to work out.
I expected it to be fun. I didn’t expect it to be funny. (Or, at least, not as funny as it was.)
There were some nice swipes at Steve Trevor’s character being confronted by a whole swathe of women who are wholly unimpressed by him. General hilarity with Diana ruining several outfits and then (gasp!) daring to walk into a room full of men like she’s supposed to be in there.
But easily, my favourite scene (i.e. the one that had me giggling all the way through it) was the one on the boat.
You know what I mean.
With the line about men not being necessary for pleasure?
Guardian review of WW: “Confusingly, Diana later explains ‘men are necessary for procreation but when it comes to pleasure, unnecessary'”
— kelly link (@haszombiesinit) June 2, 2017
Oh, it’s worth reading the whole thread on that one, by the way; it’s glorious.
That scene was fantastic. Funny, smart, and it did a nice job of building chemistry between Diana and Steve so that their relationship didn’t feel like it was coming out of nowhere later on (here’s looking at you, Captain America: Civil War; don’t think you’re getting away with everything, Marvel!).
And, question for the ladies—how many of you had to explain that joke afterwards? It’s like men just don’t have a good sense of humour or something.
It’s Got Heart…
Some scenes that were amazing/heartbreaking:
- Tiny Diana running away from her tutor to copy fighting drills.
- Antiope taking a bullet to save Diana’s life.
- Etta appearing at the end of that alleyway with Diana’s sword.
- Diana following Steve into a room full of men making war plans and yelling at all of them.
- Diana going over the trenches into No Man’s Land.
- I repeat: DIANA IN NO MAN’S LAND.
- Diana saving all the villagers—
- —And then later discovering they’d all been gassed.
- Diana losing her sense of purpose and Steve telling her, tough shit, it’s time to try and help everyone anyway.
- STEVE SHOOTING THAT GODDAMN GUN (that was a beautiful shot and Pine is in his acting prime; this bit almost broke me).
- Diana harnessing lightning and killing Ares.
…But It’s Not Perfect
Wonder Woman is a good film. A great film. It does a lot of good for a lot of people and there’s no taking away from that.
But it isn’t perfect. Honestly, as much as I loved it, it’s not even my absolute favourite superhero film of the year (Logan tipped it, helped by the fact that Dafne Keen is a stellar actress—as well as that ending), though it comes pretty damn close.
There are a lot of issues in it. Diversity is one—the film could use more PoC, and the WoC in it could have been used in larger roles. There’s an interesting article here on Wonder Woman and race that’s worth a read.
There are issues, too, in the time that it’s set. Yes, we’re all taught the narrative that the Germans were the ‘baddies’ in the World Wars, but pretending that the British and Americans were wholly ‘good’ is wrong, too. The Germans weren’t the only ones using gas—and there’s a reason the Geneva Conventions were agreed upon in 1949.
Plus, there are just general points in the film that are a bit—odd (like why would you leave your sword in a dead bad guy and then just cut away and have her retrieve the sword? Weird).
It’s a strong film. A great superhero origin story (and thank God we didn’t have to sit through either Uncle Ben or the Waynes being murdered again, right?) that packs a lot of punch and has a lot of heart.
So, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go attempt to work out again.