Wonderful Wonder Woman

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Hey It’s Maddy, back after a very long hiatus of almost sherlockian proportions, (did you miss me?).  Today I have a very special gift you all, a review of the new Wonder Woman movie that hit theatres just this last weekend.

Now I am sure like many of you, after DC’s rather lacklustre track record with movies I have been both anticipating and dreading the new Wonder Woman movie.  I have seen the old tv show with Lynda Carter but aside from the numerous animated tv series and movies, we haven’t seen much of the Amazonian Princess. 

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A Classic

There was a rather poor attempt at reviving Wonder Woman’s legacy in 2011 with a new television series, but it was cancelled before airing even one episode, which from what I have heard — was a good thing. 

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Otherwise, the only real ‘glimpse’ of Diana has been in the somewhat disastrous ‘Batman VS. Superman’ a ‘blockbuster’ where, despite  barely speaking three sentences, she stole the show and did what Wonder Woman does best: saved the day.

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Which is why this new movie is so important, as both the first big stand alone movie solely entered not only a female superhero, but on Wonder Woman, Diana Princess of Themyscira, it’s about time, and yet, would we really want it if it did not live up to expectations?

Despite all of my misgivings and not-so-small amount of trepidation, the new movie is in one word: Satisfying.

DC has just broken the curse, and it took Wonder Woman to do it.

This movie took any and all expectations and blew them out of the water, I almost cried watching it, it was that beautiful.

Wonder Woman is a very relaxing, watch and I felt content afterwards; probably not the best adjectives, but it is hard to explain what you feel after seeing a movie so completely diverge from the course of not just other superhero movies, but contemporary films in general.

These days it kind of goes without saying that the new trade-ins are crudity for wit and potty humour over actual stimulating ripostes; it is a journey more fraught with ups and downs than that of the One Ring.  Everywhere you go it is hard to find anything that doesn’t toe the line with the jokes “only adults will get, lol.” more than a bit; most movies (yes even children’s movies) practically do the conga over it.

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Wonder Woman, while there were several scenes that words were said that adults in particular would find funny (‘You’re saying there’s an island full of women, just like her, and no men? Where do I find it?!”) it does not even come close?  The makers of this film were able to clearly illustrate what was going on in a non-vulgar, clean, clear-cut way.  Seeing a film like that is more refreshing than a cold drink of water after a week in the desert.

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For a little bit of context: The Lego Batman Movie. Awesome movie, I have seen it more than once, I know that it will probably end up on the shelves in my home sooner rather than later and it was very well done.  But, having seen it once with just my 15 year-old brother, and then again with my Mom and other siblings, lets just say that certain scenes and dialog were more than a little discomfiting.

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Back to Wonder Woman, which has none of that, there is one scene with Chris pine where we see about as much skin as we normally would, would he have been wearing say, a speedo, otherwise, nothing, zipit, zilch, nada.

Like I said, Refreshing.

Wonder Woman is also very canonical, as opposed to the latest and ‘greatest’(???) Batman and Superman, both of whom break character pretty violently (pun intended); Superman does what Superman does not do: he kills another being (Zod), which is athenema to all that he stands for as a hero and goes completely against how he was raised.

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Superman Killing Zod (Man of Steel 2013)

Batman on the other hand, despite being the well prepared, masked billionaire we all know him to be, also goes against the grain of almost 80 years of famously using only his intellect and gadgets when rounding up criminals as opposed to firearms.

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Since when does Batman even need a gun? (Batman VS. Superman – 2016)

Wonder Woman stays true to herself, and the film stays pretty close to the origins and source material; at least as much as one can with all of the reiterations within the comic book world.

SPOILERS AHEAD – YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED

Another thing about Wonder Woman is that there are some definite biblical/Christian themes within the movie.  With the back story that Diana has been brought up on, one can pretty readily interchange Zeus for God, Ares for Satan, and Diana for Jesus.  Case in point:

  1. Zeus Created the Mankind, man was good.
  2. Ares corrupted mankind and man became seduced by war.
  3. Zeus and Ares fought over the humans, Ares only wanted their destruction, but Zeus loved them.
  4. Zeus Created one ‘weapon’ the “God-Killer’ to kill Ares should he come back.
  5. Ares actually is the mastermind behind the majority of WWI even if there are men who are sceptical of his existence.
  6. Diana is revealed to be a daughter of Zeus and a Goddess in her own right.
  7. Diana and Ares have a great final battle for mankind after which Ares attempts to sway he rot his side.
  8. Diana is triumphant in the end, and despite all of the losses, still believes in Humanity’s goodness, despite its great capacity for evil.

Diana Prince: It’s about what you believe. And I believe in love. Only love will truly save the world.

The new movie was very much more lighthearted compared to it’s predecessors in this theatre, and I appreciated it.  That’s not to say that it was all fun and games, but it wasn’t a depressing watch, like ‘Batman VS. Superman’.  It is World War I in the film and it is understood that there are unimaginable horrors in war, despite which, Wonder Woman is a superhero movie, and you can’t have a hero without something to fight, and it’s usually got to be something physical — because curing world hunger just doesn’t sell the same way, (which is understandable, it would be a completely different movie if that was the enemy being faced).

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People do die, and while the fact that they are dead is made clear, it is not explicit, gory, or stomach turning in the least; there is not blood spatter in this movie, despite the methods (fighting with a sword, where you are more likely to go slashy, slashy, is going to result in no small amount of blood being flung about).  The most graphic scene is when Diana kills the ‘main’ bad guy via stabbing him so thoroughly that the blade goes the thought the roof as well, but it is not ‘squicky’ as there is little to no blood, and while it is made clear what has been done, the camera does not dwell on that fact.

Wonder Woman also does and excellent job at making it clear that some people have to make tough calls in war, and that sometimes those calls aren’t always the right calls.

“Just because it is what is done doesn’t mean it’s what should be done.”-Cinderella (2015)

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Captain Steve Trevor and his compatriots certainly fit the bill of anti-heroes, in it mostly for the money, but who are at their core, good guys who are willing to lay down their lives for the greater good; despite circumstance and life choices having led them to when they are and to be the people we know them to be. Basically everyone’s favourite character trope: Gruff, hard done by, but really a sweetie that cares too much. (See Yondu in the new Guardians of the Galaxy movie.)

There are a few things that I could nitpick about this movie, some character seem either purposeless, purely for comic relief, or just in need of some good old-fashioned ‘fleshing out’; which, let’s face it, probably did not happen due to time constraints, or having footage cut and left on the editing room floor.

Beyond which, Wonder Woman receives full marks from me, and I will be going back to see it again soon.

5 star rating

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