Friday, June 9, 2017

Wonder Woman Review

I have a confession to make. Before last week, I had never seen a DC movie. I've never seen a Superman film. I've never seen a Batman film. *holds out card* Here's my Nerd Cred. Take it away from me. I don't deserve it. Or, maybe you could be lenient because I did see Wonder Woman? You don't have to give it back right away... Why don't I tell you my thoughts and then you can decide whether or not I deserve my Nerd Cred back?

If you've seen the trailers for Wonder Woman, then this review won't be too spoilery. If you want to avoid all of the spoilers of ever, then I suggest you see the movie and come back here at a later date. 

Plot: Diana grows up among the Amazons—a society of women trained for war—on the secret island of Themyscira. In addition to being the daughter of the queen, she is also the only child on the island. Despite her mother's hesitation, Diana learns to fight, and she also learns that the gods created the Amazons to protect the world from Ares, the god of war.
One day, a plane flies through the barrier hiding Themyscira from the rest of the world. It contains Steve Trevor, a World War I spy. He explains the Great War to the Amazons and Diana is convinced that Ares has returned and that she must fight him. And So. Diana leaves the protection of Themyscira and travels to London and the trenches with Steve Trevor so that she may meet Ares in battle and destroy him once and for all so that the hearts of men will no longer be corrupted by his evil.

Wonder Woman spends a long time setting up the story. There is a lengthy introduction before the inciting incident (AKA Steve Trevor, if we're going to name names) happens. I felt that this threw off the pacing of the movie, as the audience spends a lot of time watching Diana grow up without having a reason to root for her yet. Also, throughout the movie, there is a lot of telling instead of showing. The Dump Truck of Exposition unloads several revelations on the audience instead of letting the Paver of DISS* smooth the information on the audience over a period of time.

*Disseminating Information Super Slowly.
Friend, Abby. Text message to author. 7 June 2017. (<---- This is my attempt to cite my source in MLA format. I think I deserve my Nerd Cred back now. Thank you.)

While I didn't enjoy the pacing of the movie, I thought that the plot and sub-plots were well done. I enjoyed the plot twists, too! They actually managed to surprise me.

Characters: Diana Prince (AKA Wonder Woman, if we're going to name names) is a lovely blend of innocence, femininity, and kick-butt deadliness.

She is innocent because she grew up in an ancient civilization while the rest of the world advanced for 2,000 years. She knows nothing about the world outside of Themyscira, which is humorous when she reaches London. Her innocence also shows itself in her mission. Her goal is to find Ares and she won't let herself get sidetracked, even if that means messing up the plans of others and looking like a fool. She doesn't know what constitutes acceptable behavior in WWI-era England, and so she does what she knows is right despite cultural standards. This turns her innocence into strength, for it allows her to stand up for her beliefs. I think we've all had times when we don't stand up for what we believe it because we are afraid to look foolish. Diana is a good example of standing strong in one's beliefs, even when everyone else is against you.
And she does it in a dress.
Despite being a warrior princess, Diana (and all of the Amazons) remain feminine. And their costumes aren't too revealing/distracting either (at least, I didn't think so)!
Diana is not only strong in conviction, but also in muscle. Countless times in the movie, she is the one to save her friends or march into battle first. She is no damsel in distress. While I have no doubt that she would have marched into battle just as quickly if she wasn't searching for Ares, her motivation is to find Ares. Her enemies stood in the way of her ultimate goal, so she fought them. Her determination and courage are just as inspiring as her strength of mind and confidence.
I think Wonder Woman is an excellent role model.
While it was hinted throughout the movie that she has more power than she thinks, it does not appear until the end. I wish that they had done a better job of building to this moment rather than giving her a Rey-like explosion of sudden power at the end.

Steve Trevor is a spy, soldier, and flying ace. Like Diana, he has a mission to accomplish.

Steve's mission is to destroy a new form of poison gas that can break through gas masks.

Are you my mummy? (I'm so sorry. I've been watching Doctor Who, and I couldn't resist.
While Diana is single-mindedly trying to find Ares, Steve is single-mindedly trying to find Dr. Poison and her concoction. He and Diana help each other, but they remain very focused on their own missions, which I liked. They understand that they will need to sacrifice even their friendship to save the world.
I loved the way they wrapped up Steve Trevor's storyline. It's not one that I've seen much before, and I highly approved.

There are many other characters in this movie. There are the Amazons (namely Hippolyta, who is Diana's mother, and Antiope, who is Diana's aunt/teacher), Steve Trevor's secretary Etta Candy, and Steve Trevor's friends Sameer, Charlie, and Chief. Because we spend so much time with the Amazons at the beginning of the movie, Steve Trevor's entourage aren't developed very well. They are more like caricatures than actual characters. I felt the same way about the villains.

Setting: As my dad's friend pointed out, Wonder Woman is set during World War I, which is odd for movies, since they usually focus on World War II. As someone who thinks World War I is more interesting than World War II, I loved the setting! I liked the historical touches, such as the fashions and the inclusion of chemical warfare. The characters even visit the trenches and No Man's Land (I loved that part). There were some jokes and slang that seemed a little too 21st century for the 20th century... but, mostly, I thought they did a good job representing the time period (especially since this is a superhero movie and not a historical film).

Themes: I was not expecting there to be such a deep theme in Wonder Woman. The main theme is that even though humans are evil, there is still good in the world and love conquers all.
According to the Amazons, humans were basically good until Ares came along and corrupted them. He is behind every war and every mean comment and every evil deed. Diana's worldview is shattered, and she realizes that humans are evil without Ares' help. She also realizes, however, that there are decent and kind human beings out there, too. And, ultimately, love conquers.
This is a message that needs to spread in today's day when terrorist attacks are normal, weekly occurrences; when homeschoolers are no longer the anti-social ones (I'M JOKING! DON'T LYNCH ME), but everyone feels lonely; and when the only way to win an important position is to attach your opponent's name to wild horses and have it dragged through the mud. In this kind of world, messages like Wonder Woman's are hopeful (and hopefully helpful).
While the moral of Wonder Woman is not an intentionally Biblical parallel, we can draw a parallel anyway. Humans are sinful, but there is still kindness in the world. Jesus' sacrificial love conquers evil and it conquers death.

Wonder Woman has its faults, but its titular character and its theme are strong. If you like superhero movies, or stories with strong female characters, then check out this movie!

Have YOU seen Wonder Woman? What did you think of it?


  1. I liked it. Your comments are "right on". I also thought it was light-hearted, hopeful and funny. This alone set it apart from many of the other DC movies, which tend to dark, vengeful and nihilistic.

    1. I'm glad this was my first DC movie because of that!

  2. Me and my friend are thinking about seeing this! I've never seen any DC movies either (I'm a total Marvel girl.) I think the reason being the DC movies always seem to be a bit dark and heavy. But this one looks pretty fun and light! :)

    1. Marvel is wonderful <3 This one is definitely lighter than the other DC movies (so I've heard)! It's worth seeing. It reminded me a lot of Marvel's movies.