9 Jun 2017

Wonder Woman Review

Before leaving Estonia, I decided to spend my last evening in cinema, watching the latest movie from DC Comics - "Wonder Woman". With 8.2 rating on Imdb and powerful 92 points on Rotten Tomatoes, I was intrigued and ready to give DC another chance. And so to the cinema I went.


Picture from DC Comics


The plot. You rarely have search something deep in superhero movies. "Wonder woman" is no exception. The story revolves around young Amazon princess Diana (played by  Gal Gadot), who really wants to learn to fight and be cool like other inhabitants of divine Island of Themiskyra. Sadly, she has incredibly and unreasonably overprotective mother, queen Hippolyta (played by Connie Nielsen), who rejects her pleas for training. Of course Diana finds how to trespass queen's orders and starts training with general Antiope (Robin Wright). Needless to say that this whole little scheme gets found out but Hippolyta quickly changes her mind (and it happens quite often in this movie) and lets Diana to train. 
   As time goes by, a man lands near the shores of Themiskyra (this island is covered by special protection created by dying (!) Zeus - I am always astonished how freely modern directors and script writers interpret Greek mythology...) and with the appearance of pilot Steve Trevor (actor Chris Pine) we get the wider context. Apparently, it's the times of First World War and things are going not that well for everybody. Germans trying to figure out new weapons of mass destruction, there's lots of casualties, everything's muddy, bloody and dark. Diana suspects Ares, God of War, behind all of this, so she tries to convince her mother to let her go with Steve. Queen rejects her plea again and Diana trespasses her prohibitions for the second time. She tries to run away with Steve in little boat, but her mother chases her... only to tell that she made up her mind and she can go. 
  What happens next is a typical story of a hero in a quest to find and destroy the arch nemesis, while learning and observing the customs of an unknown world. There are some strong and emotional moments in the rest of the movie and we can see how Diana matures while fighting evil and her doubts, but this happens only superficially. Because, according to the movie, (this might be a spoiler, so watch out!) love is all we need. That's all! 2 hours and 21 minute on screen, just to tell you that! Love can be a strong cause for many plots, but c'mon, you're an Amazon! The slogan of this movie is "Power. Grace. Wisdom. Wonder"! When Diana uttered the sentence, I immediately remembered a scene from "Interstellar", where the character of  Anne Hathaway uses love as motivation for her irrational behavior. Somehow it seems that this cliché is stuck in the cinema particularly with women characters, no matter who directs the movie.

The hype. After I left the cinema I googled for reviews and they were very positive. But somehow I came to notice that this movie is usually praised for having Patty Jenkins as the director and a woman as the main hero. Yes, this movie is different from the other superhero movies in these aspects, but is it enough to be that praiseworthy? I like to think that I am a feminist and the fact that there's a strong female lead in the movie that inspires young girls to be confident, makes me say "at last!" and feel proud too. But if we put these facts aside, it's just a standard superhero movie, where good fights evil in the end. So I see this whole hype as a social phenomenon. And from this perspective, I would also say that it's a movie that we needed for quite a long time. And it would be very symbolic if DC would get back on it's feet with "Wonder Woman". 

The aftermath. This movie gives me a hope that we'll see more women as the main characters in the superhero movies (there already had been some attempts but the results were miserable). I also would like to hope that both directors and scriptwriters will understand that there can be more feelings that drive women forward, not just the stereotypical ones. The future will show. 




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