Wonder Woman (2017)

Wonder Woman had the least collateral damage I’ve seen from a superhero movie in years, and it was about World War fucking One. This is less of a compliment for Wonder Woman and more of a complaint against all of the other recent city-leveling Marvel features, but I’ll give credit where credit is due! There were plenty of things I liked about this movie.

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*SPOILERS AHEAD*

First and foremost, Wonder Woman had a much more concise, well put together story than DC has managed in the recent past. One of the main reasons why BvS lost my interest is that they dove into a dark place they couldn’t manage to get out of. And although I haven’t pledged allegiance to either side in this battle of the fans, this has always been something that Marvel has done better.

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Diana Prince is a character that, for me, just wasn’t relatable. It feels like this movie tried so hard to present her as powerful that they forgot to make her human (I get that she’s literally not human, but you know what I mean). It’s not difficult to portray an Amazonian warrior princess with superhuman strength as powerful, either, so there were plenty of other parts of her character they could have shown us more of. On the flip side, I also enjoyed a lot of the side characters in this movie, and I wish they’d all been utilized to their full potential. By the time the exposition was over and the gang was together, it was too late in the movie to give each of them time enough in the spotlight to get their stories out. We got a taste here and there, and each character got his memorable moments. It was good, that’s why I wanted more! Also would have been nice to learn a little more about Steve Trevor’s history. Chris Pine gave a great performance, and his character was very important in that he kept the title character grounded, but I never felt like I’d gotten to know him. (maybe an extended backstory would have explained why he literally blew himself up for no reason at the end)

Another character I thought was interesting was Doctor Poison, a classic Wonder Woman villain with an updated (and super creepy) character design.

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She was really scary-looking, kind of gave me Phantom vibes; in short, I really did love the new design. But to be honest, I really thought she should have gotten that tank dropped on her at the end. If you’re going to teach a lesson about morality by sparing a villain, why do you have to choose the villain who is arguably the most despicable character in the movie? I mean, maybe if we’d ever gotten an inkling that DP was a redeemable villain. But as far as I know, WW just set that woman free to develop even more deplorable poisons. Why not spare one of those random German guys who stood around hugging each other after the carnage was over? I’ve never read the comics, but I can just see that decision coming back to bite her.

There were a couple of good messages it was trying to send out. The one about love conquering all was generic but expected; it could have been more subtle. This is such a basic concept, and DC has the audacity to spoon feed it to us like we can’t figure it out for ourselves. Aside from that, I particularly liked the way the movie’s title character had to reconsider her black-and-white moral compass, when it turned out she couldn’t pin a war on just one bad guy. (Oh, wait. She COULD.)

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All in all, it wasn’t my favorite thing. But I can’t drag Wonder Woman too much. It had some great fight sequences, homages to the source material (correct me if I’m wrong), and a band of characters who were easy to root for. All in all, it’s the best DC movie I’ve seen in recent years, so it gets major points for that. I wouldn’t say I’d see it again, but hey, the more badass female role models we can provide for the younger generation, the better. Keep trying.

GRADE: B-

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