A few quick thoughts on Wonder Woman

I ended up seeing this twice over the weekend. Once on Friday because I wanted to make sure I saw it opening weekend and I didn’t think my wife was able, and then again on Sunday, because she got a lot more done than originally planned. I liked it better the second time.  I’ve shared a few thoughts below the fold, but if you’re too lazy, I’d say go see it if you like superhero movies or if you want to support women directors.

I definitely enjoyed the origin story and Diana’s time on the island the best. As my wife put it, she could’ve watched a movie with just Robin Wright and Gal Gadot training. I didn’t recognize Wright, but she was totally believable as a warrior. In fact, the training and island beach battle scenes are spectacular for their acrobatics and inventive tactics. The Amazons come off as extremely hard-working, and super competent (especially when compared later to the rag-tag infiltration force put together to get Diana to the front).

There’s a quote from the director that’s been memed about believing in love, sincerity not being a bad thing, and working for the betterment of all people – maybe you’ve seen it already? I think the movie was absolutely successful in this regard. Wonder Woman, and the Amazons are moral in a way that the characters from our world – men in particular are not. I’m thinking here of the generals willing to let others die, or soldiers not wanting to help free civilians because it’s not on mission. The movie makes for a nice allegory on the effects of toxic masculinity.

Another aspect I enjoyed was the wrap-around segment that introduced us into the origin story. It was simple and effective.

The Lasso was handled well. I was happy to see it used both for lie-detecting/interrogation and combat.

Ewen Bremner singing is delightful. I had no idea.

The Nit-picks

I don’t have a ton of bad things to say here – this was a solid super-hero movie. Not my favourite, but good all-around.

The CGI movements I found a bit jarring, especially once Diana arrived in Europe. Her powered-jumps and movements (running, mostly) felt noticeably aided, as opposed to some movies, where it feels more natural (I wish I could think of examples to back this up, but none come to mind). It was less noticeable the second time around, but it still brought me out of the movie.

Some of the villains were cartoon-y in a way that the heroes weren’t. They weren’t particularly developed, and the acting was a bit hammy for my tastes.

The fish out of water scenes when first arriving in England were cute at first, but got a bit tiring. I don’t think there’s any way around this, though, as Diana DID spend her life sheltered, and was completely unfamiliar with the culture. They did help reinforce the sexism of the society she was introduced to.

How are the Amazons able to speak a language (English) that was created after they were cut-off from the rest of the world? Sure, magic is real in this universe, but it just feels weird – especially when you think the Amazons combat prowess is based on HARD WORK. They know languages through a gift from the gods?

There’s some power-creep from the version of Wonder Woman’s history that I was aware of growing up, and that creates a bit of a continuity issue with what I understand happened in Batman vs Superman (I haven’t seen it).

I feel like there’s a trope where super powerful women discover how awful people can be, and are faced with decisions. I can think of at least the Fifth Element, but I’m sure I’ve seen this situation talked about before. It makes sense in this story, but maybe the same effect could have been achieved a different way?

The movie is already massively successful with over 100 million earned this weekend. While I’m not sure that current studio heads are capable of changing their decision-making process (in fact, I really think there needs to be a house-cleaning), but maybe the success of this movie and Get Out will help with better, and more importantly, just plain different movies getting made.

What did any of you think?

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