Sunday, June 04, 2017

Wonder Woman (2017)

There’s been talk of a Wonder Woman feature-length movie for some time now.  I remember back when Guardians of the Galaxy was in theaters, someone joked about the constant delaying on DC’s part.  DC was constantly putting it off, saying that it wasn’t the right time for a female superhero.  Meanwhile, Marvel gave us a talking raccoon.  In fact, the talking raccoon’s movie’s sequel opened a month before Wonder Woman did this past Friday.  But I digress.

It should be noted that while I saw Man of Steel, I regrettably have not had the chance to see Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice yet, which I hope to rectify soon.  While I’m assuming that there were a few references that I missed, I don’t think that I suffered much for having missed it.  The movie opens at the Louvre, where Diana is receiving a package courtesy Wayne Industries.  In it is a photograph of Diana and several other people.  The rest of the movie is told in flashback, starting with Diana’s origins on Themyscira.

She’s a defiant girl.  Her mother, Queen Hippolyta, would rather her daughter study.  Diana would rather watch the other Amazon women fight, as that’s what Diana wants to do one day.  She knows who and what she is.  She’s been told the legends and the myths.  She does eventually get what she wants, but her mother worries about what Diana really is and what she may become.

Enter Steve Trevor.  He’s a spy operating for the British Government, which he admits to only because the women of Themyscira compel him to.  He has a very important book he has to get back to the British.  He’s denied this out of security concerns.  Diana takes him back anyway, only because she believes Ares, the god of war, is responsible for The Great War.  It’s what she was meant for.  It’s what she believes her people were meant for, although they choose to sit by.  Thus begins the story.

When Diana arrives in London in 1914, she finds opposition.  She and Steve know what has to be done.  However, just as the women of Themyscira seem to have no need for men, London of 1914 seems to have no use for women.  Thus, we get the culture class.  As you might have seen in the coming attraction, she can’t believe that women’s clothing won’t allow for fighting.  She’s not even allowed to follow Steve into a room of men discussing armistice.

She’s insistent on being taken to the front lines of the war so that she might slay Ares.  Steve is somewhat reluctant, but begins to see her worth when he sees her fight.  Steve is able to get two men, Steve and Sameer, to come with them to Germany.  There, they meet Chief, who can get them where they want to be.  They do get there and Diana does have her moment to do what she needs to do, even if it means finding out some truth that she doesn’t want to hear.

There is a lot of anticipation and hype surrounding the movie, and rightfully so.  I’ll admit to having watched the coming attractions a few times whenever I had the chance.  The movie doesn’t disappoint.  There are a number of fight scenes that don‘t feel forced.  It didn’t seem like they were there to show off the CGI or the main character.  They seemed natural parts of the story, but in an epic way.

For instance, the protagonists are able to liberate a town on their way to see the main antagonists.  And when I say protagonists, I mean Diana with some assistance from Steve, Sameer, Charlie and Chief.  This is where the aspect of Diana being a woman is handled more subtly than I would have expected.  There are doubts from the men, but she doesn’t bother with putting them in their place.  She lets her ability speak for her.

This is where I felt the movie was able to walk the line very well.  It does present the sexism of a female superhero without making it seem like we’re being preached to.  She’s made to dress the part of a woman in 1918 London, which she does, for a while.  There does come a time in the movie where Diana can’t do that any more.  She’s the hero.  Dressing the part only gets you so far in life.

My only complaint was the run time.  141 minutes is a little intimidating.  I don’t know that I would have cut anything.  The movie didn’t drag at all, but it’s still a long movie.  It’s just something to consider if you have somewhere to be afterwards.

No comments :