The internet’s gone wild. A DC blockbuster with a strong, powerful female protagonist, made by a female director, with a score in the nineties on Rotten Tomatoes … it’s a shame, actually, that these are the things that are making Wonder Woman the talk of tinsel town.
Why can’t we just talk about how it’s a pretty good film? No, we have to talk about how it’s a pretty good film with a female lead and a female director. Don’t get me wrong, both of these are great things, but why do they have to be unusual?
I’m not a huge fan of DC. In my opinion, Marvel just always seems to have the edge. But Wonder Woman challenges that.
Diana (Gal Gadot) dreams of being a warrior, while her mother, the Amazon Queen, prefers her daughter to be safe and protected. When a pilot (Chris Pine) crash-lands nearby, Diana discovers the “real” world outside, engulfed in the fiery World War I, and vows to destroy Ares, the god of war, and save humankind.
It’s lengthy, but mostly pretty captivating to watch. Gadot has a dreamy, wide-eyed, ass-kicking screen presence, a paradox of equal parts naivety and strength. She stands out in an era where women were to be ushered quietly to the parlour, serving scones and keeping their mouths shut. She questions things that are still relevant today – why does the colonel sit in an office while his troops are on the frontline? But all in all, it is good. It does get tiring, however, when the conversation keeps coming back to how pretty she is, instead of how capable she is.
The CGI is outstanding; huge action-packed fight scenes sometimes slowed down (a la Marvel) and sometimes sped up. The juxtaposition of Diana’s idyllic Mediterranean island with the bleak trenches of the war is superb. The Amazonians represent strength, not stick insects, and Wonder Woman’s costume is understated rather than the shiny comic book version. This isn’t a film about patriotism; it’s about hope, peace and humanity.
Now that the origin story is complete, I am keen to see where Wonder Woman goes in a modern world…