Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman

Rated PG-13

Running Time: 141 Minutes

Director: Patty Jenkins

Starring: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Said Taghmaoui, Danny Huston, Elena Anaya, Ewen Bremner, Eugene Brave Rock, Connie Nielsen, Robin Wright, David Thewlis, Lucy Davis

Plot: After a WWI army pilot washes up on a mystical island populated by nothing but an impossibly attractive group of female warriors, he quickly seduces their princess, Diana (the titular Wonder Woman), and lures her to the front lines in Europe. Banding together with a group of war profiteers, she decides to use her superhuman strength (along with some enchanted accessories) to defeat the entirety of the German army, which she believes is acting under the orders of some pagan deity.

Review: I am well aware that with any movie, especially in the superhero genre, a certain degree of suspension of disbelief is required. That having been said, I found Wonder Woman to be a little absurd. No, I’m not talking about the idea of a woman fighting crime, or of a woman deflecting machine gun fire with her bangles, or of a woman toppling over buildings wearing nothing but a pair of bikini bottoms, a corset, and four inch platforms in the dead of winter. That would be sexist. I’m talking about the idea of a woman in such revealing clothing running around unescorted with an entourage of men in 1918 without anyone even attempting to slut shame her. Now, by no means do I condone that sort of thing, but I think there is something to be said of historical accuracy, and if my tea-total grandparents taught me anything, it was how fervently the generations of yesteryear held to the virtue of modesty.

Putting aside the fact that nobody so much as called Diana a tart under their breath (historical accuracy be damned); Wonder Woman was a goddamned delight. Gal Gadot punches her way through Europe with the unmitigated destruction of any of her testosterone driven peers. Moreover, she does so without the unnecessary brooding and joylessness found in the other installments of the DC Universe; nor with the many labored and distracting comedic moments found throughout some of the Marvel films. She also managed to make walking into heavy arms fire look like strutting down a fashion catwalk, which is one of many reasons I imagine this is going to be a very formative movie for a lot of young people.

Considering the myriad of problems with each of the other Justice League tie-ins; I have surprisingly few complaints about this feature. I can only really think of three, and in the interest of not spoiling anything I’m going to forego mentioning the least of them. The first one I will mention is Lucy Davis. Her character was a poor and pointless attempt at comic relief in a movie that didn’t need any. I don’t think anyone is going to be upset when a war drama doesn’t have a ham-fisted, one-off character making throwaway jokes. My other complaint was an obligatory montage of Gal Gadot trying on stuffy dresses from the early 1900s and looking uncomfortable. It was a bullshit waste of three minutes, and was subversive to what would otherwise seem to be a somewhat progressive film. Frankly, it was an affront to my feminist sensibilities. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe shoehorning in a shopping montage was important for character development. After all, “bitches be shopping,” right? At least it provides time for a quick bathroom break in what is a pretty long flick.

Overall, I consider Wonder Woman a pretty good movie; a great movie in comparison with the rest of the DC series. It shows a younger, more naive version of a character that I think will be portrayed as colder in the following movies. Even if you aren’t into superheroes or the DC movies you should see it anyway, because if you don’t you are directly responsible for the marginalization and oppression of women everywhere. 

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