Okay. I'm not trying to stand on a soap box right now. I'm really not. In fact, when I started this blog so many months ago, I aimed to have it be an open forum on the task and art of writing. However, there comes a time when people must take a stand, and that time is now.
Wonder Woman is a girl movie.
I know, I know. I'm an outsider here. With a pitiful Rotten Tomato score of 93%, and a scant $100M domestic Box Office Gross for the weekend ($233M with international), I guess it's time we admit that female superheroes just can't sell tickets.
Gal Gadot, the (insert pointlessly sexist observation) female lead of the movie, trained tireless for months to achieve the kinetic energy of an Amazonian superhero. Thank the Lord she didn't put on too much of that unsexy muscle, though, or my male brain simply couldn't have enjoyed the visual aspects of the movie.
Patty Jenkins, the "politically correct" director (Quote from Armond White of the National Review) clearly failed to understand the nuance of the character and chose to include ZERO nude or implied nude scenes in the film. I believe this is what contributed the film being ONE OF THE MOST SUCCESSFUL FILM OPENINGS THIS YEAR AND LAST YEAR.
But, I'm glad to say, there is a silver lining. Chris Pine, the square-jawed and hairless chested hero of the story, stole the show in every scene he was in. Unfortunately, he wasn't in every scene in the movie. For some odd reason, he was relegated to, dare I say it, a SUPPORTING ROLE!
Okay, by now (I hope), you're getting the sarcasm. If not, allow me to rephrase.
Wonder Woman is freaking awesome.
Gal Gadot, a rising star and all-around incredible person, delivers a powerhouse performance as the hero we've been waiting for over two incredibly broody movies. She's all smiles and passion, seeking to bring justice and hope to a world at war. She doesn't spend her time questioning whether or not it is right to use her powers to save her dad from a tornado. She jumps out of the trenches and storms Kraut machineguns BECAUSE SHE IS WONDER WOMAN.
There is a line that echoes familiar from BvS, and it comes from her mother just before Diana heads to the mainland. "They don't deserve you." A cynical man (read: an unfortunate number of critics in this country) could take that as a pale reflection of Mama Kent's line, "You don't owe them anything." But here's the key difference.
Superman took his mother's message and decided, yup, F it. I'm going to be a sulking poopy pants for two movies.
Wonder Woman heard that, decided to file it under "moms are crazy," and proceeded to save lives and break faces for two hours.
Is Wonder Woman perfect? Hell no. It has all of the problems that major superhero movies seem to face these days. A weak villain? You bet. Unspecified limits on power? In spades. Difficulty raising the stakes so we just go with a destruction-porn ending? Sadly, yes. But the movie does one thing that makes up for pretty much everything else.
It devotes a full hour to the character. Before a single tank is thrown, before one tiny bullet is blocked, we are given a look at Diana the person. We let her explore our world and made poignant commentary. We get to know her and the cast of characters in depth before any real danger arrives.
The writing is, with rare exception, sharp and witty. The acting is fantastic, with Chris Pine playing the scenes for comedy against Gal Gadot's wide-eyed optimism and bluster. Throw in a HOLY CRAP ROBIN WRIGHT IS IN THIS MOVIE and you've got my vote for one of the best movies this summer.
And yes, I know Spider-Man is on the way.
So, okay, Wonder Woman is a movie about a lady. And yes, it was directed by a woman too. Holy crap, the world is ending. Step away from all that noise and focus on the fact that this is a strong, enjoyable, and passionate film about an incredible hero. I know it is important that Patty Jenkins is a woman, and we shouldn't need this movie to remind us that women can do anything (you morons, seriously, how is this still a topic of conversation. It's 2017. FOR FUCK'S SAKE), but more than that, she is a great director.
Go see this movie. Go see it again. It's not perfect, but it deserves your money far more than the rest of the DCU at this point.