2017, Movies

Wonder Woman (2017, Patty Jenkins)

Wonder Woman is yet another super hero origin story. It is obviously different from most feature comic book super hero origin stories we’ve seen before for a very obvious reason – the character is a woman – but, otherwise, I found the movie reminiscent of a number of previous super hero films, one in particular.

SPOILERS near the end of this review.

Though I haven’t seen many of the more recent DC films, I will say that this film does appear to be significantly lighter in tone, until the end, than most DC films. It absolutely feels more like a Marvel movie than the other DC films I’ve seen. That’s to its strength. (I didn’t fine Pine as charming as I was supposed to, though.)

However, I also get a strong sense of deja vu with the film itself, as it kind of reminds me of Captain America: The First Avenger. That might be a weird thing to say but, if you put aside some more specific elements of the plot, the overall theme of the movie – a new super hero helping the allies stop a particularly insane German during a World War – feels very, very familiar.

On the positive side, this film does shy away from the world-threatening bull shit of so many of the Marvel movies. In this case, Wonder Woman is just trying to help end The War to End All Wars. The plot itself is a little odd to me – and, as I noted, too reminiscent of The First Avenger or even The Winter Soldier if I remember the latter at all – but at least it’s a different take than we’ve been getting recently.

The other thing that’s good is the fact that this film is made without the “male gaze,” as my girlfriend noted, which is something that basically every other comic book movie, and certainly every other movie featuring a half-naked female lead, has featured. Though I didn’t notice the difference enough myself – being male and all – this is certainly a step forward for the industry and the comic book movie genre in particular. Wonder Woman is far and away the most powerful and self-assured character in the film, and the men around her are often relatively impotent.

SPOILER ALERT

But I really didn’t like the final battle with the god, which felt to me like all final battles with all gods and god-like characters in every comic book movie, but particularly reeked of Thor having a fight with some human-hating god and failing to be convinced, yet again, that humanity must be destroyed. Haven’t wee seen one of these scenes enough?

6/10

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