Wonder Woman Movie Review

Published on June 7th, 2017

Wonder Woman Movie Review

By Anji Cross

June 2, 2017

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Overall this year’s offering of Wonder Woman was a great one.  The drag in the beginning was a necessary one – laying the foundation in order to retro activate the Wonder Woman story from the beginning.   Most people, I would have to venture, are fans of Wonder Woman from the picture stills from across the ages or budding enthusiasts as a result of The Justice League movie. The rest of with rusty memories from a time long past also needed a reminder, even with the new take.

The Wonder Woman comic strip character has been kickin’ ass for over seven decades.  Back in post world war porcelain skinned ladies sacheted through the streets with bouffant dresses, parasol overhead and in the continual struggle of the women suffrage movement… they just weren’t running down the street, showing thighs, breasts and riding horses equestrian style. They had their place and that was generally “the distressing damsel” always in the need of a savior, a hero, until …. Creator of the lie detector and world renowned psychologist flipped the script creating in 1942 a woman warrior queen (princess) to draw comic strip fans favors from battles to boobs.  With the invent of this first and most famous feminine hero  readers were transformed from fellow soldier to savior… after all if a women is front and center there must either be a sexy frail victim or voluptuous vulnerable vixen in need of rescue OR just sexy (ness) or sex.  Either way boys benefit.

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Wonder Women fans have actually been waiting a long long time for a real portrayal of the woman champion since … forever.  Baby Boomers got to see Lynda Carter’s twirl her way into history in “The New Original Wonder Woman” television series and have been waiting to see her successor since 1979. Before Gal Gadot landed the coveted role there were several “almosts” throughout the years starting in   the late 1990’s with believe it or not Sandra Bullock.  Fans were gearing up for a Wonder Woman film in 2005 and Sarah Michelle Geller (Buffy the Vampire Killer), Charisma Carpenter and Christina Hendricks (Mad Men) competed for the film that fell through.  And then when Justice League of America  came along in 2007 Jessica Biel was being considered but then Australian actress Megan Gale stole it.  Adrianne Palicki was in there for a 2011 Wonder Woman television project in but for some reason the plot failed. Fan prospects include Elodie Yung (Dare Devil/Gods of Egypt) and Megan Fox whose now famous diss calling Wonder Woman a lame superhero ended a chance of a lifetime before it started.  And lastly “Bond Girl” Olga Kurylenko made a run for the coveted prize but ultimately couldn’t compete with Gadot. And the rest is history!

I loved how DC Comics provided a cliff hanger right up front by allowing a secret admirer to present Diana with a historical picture from her first exploits with a tease invite to know her better. Deliciously smart and worth a revisit.  Flash to paradise, pure waters and white sand… and a little girl running off to watch the warrior women training, with her nanny calling after her … Diana, Diana.  Turns out little girl Diana Prince is the only child on a male-free island.  As little Diana, the Princess, yearns to “dirty her hands” with the combat her people are known for.  She adamantly pursues training and with increasing curiosity presses her mother Hippolyta, the queen, to know the what, how and why of their history.  Shortly after busting Antiope (the general and sister to the queen) training a teenaged Diana, Hippolyta takes her to a sacred cavern and tells her “…You were given life by the Greek God Zeus.” In a sacred spot the Queen revealed “The God Killer” a King Arthur-like sword, which the Queen stated emphatically could not be wielded by just any ole body.  And Hippolyta commands Antiope to train Princess Diana harder than all others. 

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Because the race of men continuously and mercilessly ravaged the world with war, the handiwork of Aries the God of War, Zeus found it necessary to create a multi-ethnic race of warrior women which he tasked to protect “The God-killer” and save the world from the hands of Aries.  He created an Island, covered it with a force-field and hid it away in the South Pacific far from the attention of men.  The movie was a period piece sampling the war-filled times of the world in 1942. Back in the day though, chauvinism wasn’t wasted, you know men had an issue with Wonder Women because they really couldn’t stomach a thriving society without men – they shunned the very idea with its “Lesbian undertones” (Shade Room propaganda …)

So an hour and a half later the real action finally jumps off – enters Steve Trevor played by Chris Pine.  And shortly after the women VS men brawl ensues.  And Diana realizes the world is calling.  I totally love how the council ruled against Steve Trevor basically saying, “Don’t know where he’s going, but he can’t stay here…” (I’m paraphrasing).  Long story short Princess Diana takes the “God Killer” and heads off to save the ravaged world from the clutches of Aries. 

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Yeah, it’s not a stretch to guess why Steve Trevor thought Diana’s cheese had slid off the cracker, but after seeing her kick ass he really could not afford to lose Wonder Woman (and her particular strengths) as an ally. Clearly the original creator of Wonder Woman, Dr. Marston was a staunch supported of feminism because he crafted statement after aha-moment statement into her story and unique form of heroines.  We are served up a serious twist, placing audiences face to face with Wonder Woman’s enemy, Aries.  We quickly realize two very important things: First “The God Killer” is not the sword and second defeating Aries would not stop the wars.  The issue really is… The heart of man.   In the masterful crafting of the New and improved Wonder Woman story, I love how the writers smoothly ties the beginning to the end bringing the story into a tidy but full circle that leaves viewers panting for more.  Diana’s final words are not really an ending, but really a new beginning: “I used to want to save the world; but they have to choose.  Only love can save the world.  This is my mission forever. “To sum it all up this story is really the journey of Wonder Woman, a naive Greek-Godlike creature with a calling to leave her bubble and save the world and in the process she becomes a member of the human race. 

Gadot does not have the intimidating presence and build of the traditionally perceived “Amazon“ woman  (super tall, masculinity built, and lean like in the Scorpion King) but what she lacks in physical stature she absolutely makes up in virility and fervor.   With just the right mix in CGI action and grit, Wonder Woman pulls out a spectacular opening to what is sure to be a new classic.

 

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