Having tossed the question about in my head whether or not I wanted to go see the the new comic book adaptation from Warner Brothers, I had to consider two things:
Did I want to risk paying good money to see another Batman v. Superman train-wreck?
Do I want to let the negativity of the internet war of words between third wave feminism types and the counterculture that opposes it, stopping me from watching some film.
In the end, I decided I was in the mood for a cinema trip. The film that presented itself to me was not worthy of either my distaste of previous D.C film efforts or indeed of the hype that has been given to this film by anti/pro third wave feminist movements.
Turns out that if you keep Zach Snyder in a corner far out of the way, you can achieve a 92% rated fresh on Rotten tomatoes. The notion that this is an overtly feminist film is also laughable, its a very womanly film E.G. Wonder Woman sees baby, gets exited. Wonder woman sees Chris Pine, gets exited.
This is the work of director Patty Jenkins of ‘Monster’ fame, Wonder Woman the character needed to be relate-able on some level as a woman for that female audience in the theater to enjoy her. The character in this film is just a woman, far from a man hating archetype. In fact I think all of the contraversy, if you could call it that, is just a hang over from ‘Ghostbusters 2016′ which arguably did have aura of contempt for men both under the surface of the film itself and in its marketing.
On to the film itself, the plot is a very standard power fantasy. Start off as a mere human and rise to become something more, nothing particularly female-centric to this power fantasy considering the fire and brimstone nature of the violence here within contained in Wonder Woman. The action itself is perhaps the weakest aspect to wonder woman, speedboarding as a visual technique sees a lot of use here, surprising due that particular technique is no longer even used by its most voracious advocate Zach Snyder.
If one were to level a petty complaint concerning the action, it is who it is acted against. WW1 Germans are not evil SS men from WW2, they are just honest to god men fighting for country and Kaiser. Although seeing a high production value campy interpretation of ‘World War 1’ which has real historical figures and events co-exist with laughable historical inaccuracy, is perhaps a side effect of those events and figures being from a time sadly not known or remembered by most of Wonder Woman‘s audience. World war one may as well be fantasy.
Although the script is slightly hackneyed in some ways, there are clear goals for our heroes and interesting scenes along the way to the climax. The characters and how they are handled is actually a real triumph, just like in say Kelly’s heroes they are a band of merry men to accompany Wonder Woman. They are strangely memorable due to their mannerisms and dress, even though they are rather thin in regards to backround. It was fantastic to see Ewan Bremner in such a big role and all the supporting cast was top notch including Chris pine who brought a great sense of levity to the whole ordeal. Gal Gadot, although an actress with limited acting range, does give a good fish out of water performance, to her credit.
The production design and costuming was notably above average with fantastic era appropriate clothing and uniforms really adding sex appeal for people interested in early 20th century aesthetics like myself, the renditions of no mans land and other famous culturally ingrained vistas were great, to the credit of the tradesmen, craftspeople and animators who worked on the project.
Those animators though were allowed to get carried away at the climax, leading to a rather muddled end altercation which gave me slight flashbacks to BVS and the Doomsday fight. Really as a power fantasy this sort of thing had to happen, I just wished the film had ended in a quieter and more cheerful way.
In conclusion to this review: I am glad that this film turned out well despite the clear worry that it would not break the low expectations set for it by moviegoers. I can say that I still have those low expectations for future D.C efforts, especially those helmed by Snyder.
Thanks for reading.