Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Wonder Woman

The Wonder Woman movie is out and everyone is losing their minds over it!

We finally checked it out over the weekend.
It was pretty good, not nearly as world shattering as some would have you believe.

Alright we start off with a little Diana on Themyscira/ Paradise Island as a little amazon kid. We get the whole little backstory here like every super hero origin movie. Here it is who the amazons are, the whole Zeus and Ares stuff, Diana was molded from clay the super-secret sword and a tiny training montage. Eventually Diana grows up and is an ass kicker.

Now the crux of the movie kicks into gear as elements of WWI stumble upon the island of amazons. One Steve Trevor crashes a plane into the ocean. Of course Diana saves him, just as a few rowboats full of Germans arrive. This leads to an Amazon vs. German battle on the beach. A bunch of ladies die and all the Germans die. Steve is captured and questioned by the first appearance of the magic lasso we all know and love.  He spills the beans about the giant world war outside the island that the girls are oblivious to. Of course Diana goes crazy blaming Ares for this giant war and wants to ride off to destroy him since that is sort of their raison d'etre. Queen Hippolyta/ mom say no. Diana enlist and Steve Trevor. She nabs some gear and off she goes to stop Ares and WWI.
Image result for wonder woman antiope
President on Netflix and ass-kicking Amazon in movies.
Robin Wright is killing in this year!

Now the story shifts to some fish-out-of- water with Diana in the human world. This is also where the comedy hits start as we get sex talks, awkward scenes with suppressed women in England, horrible fashion and all that stuff that was going on with the ladies in the early 1900’s.

Of course we have to get our heroine and her bans of miscreants to the front lines of the war. Why? Because a crazy German scientist, on Dr. Poison (ugh that is a beyond pulpy and terrible name) and German general Ludendorff are whipping up a weapon to prolong the war. The same war Germany is ready to end via an armistice. Of course this general must be Ares so it gives Diana more motivation to get to the front and find this guy.

Fun look.
Terrible name.

Jump ahead to the front lines where Steve, Diana and the merry band of many colors decide to join the war effort. Here is the second action sequence the trailers hyped up. Wonder Woman climbs from the trenches and assails the German lines after sprinting all badass through a hail of machinegun fire. Then it is off to clear a small village of Germans and this continues the Wonder Woman kicking ass sequence.
Take that you non-Nazi!

Then move forward to the climax where the German Generalissimo is faced down, there is a crisis of faith,  then a twist (that is not surprising and a bit disappointing)  and followed by another combat that resolves the film.

That is Wonder Woman.

Her climbing out of the trenches was badass. Wish they wouldn't have run that through the trailers.
That moment would have carried more weight in the film.

It is a good super heroine movie. Gal Gadot is great in the role of Diana/ Wonder Woman. It is the DC best comic book movie to date (but that isn’t say too much compared to what they have put out so far) based on this new universe they are building. However, when you take a step back, it really isn’t that different than the majority of comic book character first appearance films.

Yes, it definitely is THE best female comic book character movie to date. It blows away: Supergirl, Tank Girl, Barbwire, Catwoman, Elektra….oh yeah and Sheena. Granted I have only made it through Tank Girl from start to finish. The rest of these I didn’t last more than 30-45 minutes and that is saying something to how bad they are. I love bad cinema, but these films were too much even for me.

So yes, Wonder Woman is THE best super heroine film to date.

That being said, it is still paint by numbers origin story with two throw away villains. This is nothing new and with origin story hero films either. Even worse is that this movie mirror a lot Captain America: The First Avenger’s second reel. Swap the WWII for WWI when it comes to the war time action. Captain America has his not Howling, but totally Howling Commandos. Wonder Woman has Steve Trevor and his band of miscreants. Both films have giant planes full of a death weapon that need destroyed. It is kind of sad that there is this level of similarity for a film based on a character with  70+ years of comics to pull from.


The ending was a bit of a letdown for me as well. Sure the action leading up to it was great! The time on Paradise Island was damn enjoyable! Then we get to the climax.


General Luddendorff and Wonder Woman throwdown. Diana is convinced he is Ares because the film is beating you over the head that he is.  This is a surefire  misdirect because of how much they are cramming the “Ares is him!” plot down our throats. Luddendorf is killed by Diana and guess what. He is just a dude. He is not the god of war. Insert crisis of faith as Diana learns that men are jerks and this war was not being run by Ares. All she has known is that the god of war corrupts mankind and them boom! Mankind is inherently cotrrupt and cruel. There is no special god making them this way. I thought this was a great way to explain her absence from the world prior to Batman vs. Supes.
Garbage fight!

Instead we get Ares showing up and a giant dark (because well lit is dumb)  CGI monster fight for like twenty minutes ensues. By the gods we didn’t need that! This was the Doomsday BvS fight all over again. I didn’t need that again. Did anyone? They gave me that great moment of Diana having her foundation shattered and then shat all over it with a giant flying monster guy fight. Plus having her fight a god really pulled me out of the realism the film was going for. From the trenches and towns of WWI to flying around a base fighting a god and shooting lightning everywhere.  BLERG!

All this being said it is still a solid origin film for an iconic comic book and pop culture character.
It also gives the ladies out there their first officially good super heroine movie to cherish and share with their daughters.

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