Living Up to the Hype

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As promised yesterday, today’s blog post will be my review of Wonder Woman.

I have to say, I went in expecting good things about this movie. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it exceeded my high expectations. The acting was solid and the script was superb, with just the right sprinkle of comedy to keep things from becoming the doom-and-gloom that’s been the hallmark of the DCEU up to this point. Gal Gadot proved that she can carry a movie, something that was a concern of many people prior to the release of the movie. There were some nods to other societal issues of the day, which I’m very happy they addressed. The costuming was fantastic. The fight scenes were very well choreographed and expertly executed by the cast and stunt crew.

The movie wasn’t perfect, though. As a friend of mine so eloquently pointed out, Diana was adequately badass enough, but there were moments that her character development was subject to multiple tropes of female heroes. This was not necessarily a bad thing, and the solution is not to remove the tropes from female characters but to make male leads subject to the same tropes to flesh them out more. There was one issue that I had with the direction the movie took, but that was mostly resolved by the end of the film. All of the Amazons wore wedge heels instead of flat sandals. My issues with the film were minor, however, and they did not get in the way of me enjoying the movie or appreciating what it meant for so many in attendance.

As a white cishet male, most of the heroes in most movies, comic book movies especially, look like me. I’m always represented on screen. But for so very many years, there hasn’t been adequate representation of women on an equal footing. Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor was a hero at the end of the movie, but a minor one, doing what ordinary men are capable of. He had help throughout the movie to do the things that he did, help that was well realized in the supporting cast. The true glory, however, was reserved for Gal Gadot, and she delivered. My wife admitted to crying tears of joy when first we see Diana as Wonder Woman, and I was fairly emotional during the same scene, knowing that this was what a large portion of the audience had been hungry to see for years. This movie did its job well, but there’s still a long way to go for women at the box office. Hopefully the success of this movie will help studio executives to realize that there absolutely is a market for female leads in action movies.

This is definitely a movie that I can happily and enthusiastically recommend, and certainly one we’ll be owning soon after it’s released for home viewing.