Imagine trying to talk about a film you’ve waited almost 40 years for.
It’s so difficult to convey what this movie means. Not just from a feminist standpoint but to me, the person. More specifically, me the four-year old obsessed with a high kicking female role model, the icon I wanted to be when I grew up.
And now here I sit on the other side, having devoured the movie and I can’t believe it. It feels amazing. It feels important. And I can’t stop bursting into sporadic tears. (Being reminded of what it felt like to be a kid, with all those simple dreams ahead always makes me feel very raw and emotional).
No traditional review here, just some thoughts and I’ll stay exceedingly light on the *spoilers* because I’m not a monster.
Please see this movie, even if you’ve been burned with the DCEU offerings so far. Even if you still can’t get the horrible aftertaste of Jared Leto’s cackling Joker out of your mouth. Hey, even if you’ve not seen a single superhero movie in your life.
Wonder Woman (2017)
Before she was Wonder Woman she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained warrior. When a pilot crashes and tells of conflict in the outside world, she leaves home to fight a war to end all wars, discovering her full powers and true destiny.
The first fifteen minutes of my viewing experience was sullied by an over zealous cinema goer who wasn’t going to stand for light chatter or non-designated seating arrangements during this showing, even if her mission to get people to zip it was ultimately more distracting. I get it though, I’m a “Shut the fuck up” truther but I had bigger fish to fry on Thursday night and was willing to let it slide.
Once she’d chilled the fuck out, I was able to fully immerse myself in the wonder of Themyscira and the Amazon philosophy, which is represented stunningly. An island with no men? Sign me up.
Of course this couldn’t remain the state of play forever, as the story has to move on somehow. How better to fuck shit up than to introduce the men? Before we get there though, rest assured that the land of warrior women is not only gorgeous to look at but also hench AF.
Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielson) worries for her only daughter, spinning Diana a yarn about having moulded her out of clay herself, begging Zeus to bring her to life. This explains why Diana (Gal Gadot) is the embodiment of physical perfection. There’s more to this story though which we’ll unravel as we go.
Aunty Antiope (the mighty Robin Wright) is the henchest of them all, training Diana to be better than anyone and challenging her when she doubts her own strength. But I’m not here to break this all down for you so let’s just say that fate has a plan for the unsullied Princess Diana and her future lays off-island.
Which takes Diana and her new friend, the freshly rescued American Spy Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) to London where our hero will learn all there is to know about humanity and the ugly face of war, all whilst motivated by her own mission.
Some of the best bits are Diana getting to grips with the role of women in the world outside the one she knows. Her constant questioning shines a light on the ridiculousness of almost every situation, and certainly gets her noticed.
Anyway, the action does not stay in London for long, as Diana and Trevor journey further into the heart of darkness, in search of war. Diana for her own reason, Steve because it’s his job. They team up with a rag-tag bunch, which includes the amazing Etta Candy, WW’s sidekick in the comics (played by the lovely Lucy Davis).
I loved the chemistry between Etta and Diana but I wanted much more for them. I guess I would have liked to have explored the concept of different kinds of strength, not just the physical in more depth. You can argue that Etta displays her own anyway, I think my desire for a more female interaction is betraying itself.
A bit about the baddies. Without giving too much away, our main villain is Doctor Maru AKA “Doctor Poison” (Elena Anaya), the half-masked scientist with a deadly objective, to build the perfect super weapon. She is backed by German bad boy Ludendorff (Danny Huston) who is chemically altered by the Doc’s own concoctions whenever the need arises.
Like Etta, I would have liked to learn more about Doctor Poison’s motivations and her history. But there’s a chance we may meet again so I can let that one go.
So Diana travels to the front line and is shocked by what she witnesses. Her innate desire to help everyone is admirable but it’s not always possible to save everyone. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t try and there’s a sequence set in No Man’s Land that is madness personified but also incredible.
This is Wonder Woman’s first chance to shine and boy does she knock this one out of the park. Interestingly, she is never referred to as WW within this movie. Perhaps it’s like describing yourself as pretty or funny, you’re not really supposed to say it about yourself but it’s okay for others to?
Anyway, there’s a lot of action, loads of arse-kicking, a little old-fashioned smooching and a massive final showdown (obvs). Along the way the people’s princess learns more than one valuable life lesson and it’s those truth nuggets that propel a gal (Gadot) forward.
I loved every minute, honestly. It’s so good to see this movie and know how many young girls there are out there completely beside themselves with excitement. The film is rated 12A and this was a conscious decision by the film’s director, Patty Jenkins to ensure the newest generation of fans could get to it.
It’s not a perfect movie (though it’s the best DC I’ve seen since the Christopher Nolan days) but that just doesn’t matter. It’s an important one and one that needs to be seen. I think every person should go to see this film; the female driven, female directed blockbuster.
You should give it your money so we get more, do it for your daughters, your sisters, your friends. Do it so the next generation have more female role models to look up to.
I can’t wait to see it again.