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03

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“wonder woman” movie review

Wonder Woman

Let me start this by saying I have never been into the whole Marvel/DC comics thing. The only comic books I read when I was younger starred Betty and Veronica, and the superheroes I admire are real-life human beings whose super power is kindness.

I have little interest in the testosterone-driven stories of good men fighting bad men to save the world. At some point, they all blend into each other, alienating female audiences who know that, really, the world could be saved if regular men just stood up for what’s right.

But then Gal Gadot came along as Wonder Woman, and the world has suddenly become a little bit brighter. Could there be a better superhero for our times? She’s an Israeli Jew and even her name screams female. She’s not a white guy!

Because I’m not a comics fan, I didn’t rush out to see the movie. But I watched, in awe, as friend after friend posted on Facebook about crying through the movie and walking away feeling empowered. I “liked” the photos of them — and their daughters — posing with the cardboard cutouts in the theater lobby and, days later, wearing the tiaras they picked up — for themselves! — at Target.

Wonder Woman quoteI watched, in awe, as my Twitter feed filled with hashtag #WonderWoman tweets about everyday women who were considered superheroes to the people in their lives. As moms, as nurturers, each one of us is Wonder Woman.

I watched, in awe, as women-only screenings sold out, causing disgruntled men to whine about discrimination. I watched, in awe, as Wonder Woman sailed past Iron Man to boast the fourth biggest opening weekend of all superhero origin stories and to become the best opening ever for a female-directed movie.

And, finally, I watched, in awe, the movie itself.

Your eyes will light up as soon as you see Themyscira, the stunning women-only Mediterranean island where young Diana lives with her mother, Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen), queen of the Amazons who have been tasked with the sacred duty of saving the world. You may even start fantasizing about creating a similar community of your own.

Wonder Woman

Much to Hippolyta’s dismay, Diana’s goal — just like all female viewers’ — is to be like her aunt, Antiope (Robin Wright), a fierce warrior who lovingly tutors her to be able to protect herself. It is impossible not to immediately develop a girl crush on Wright, and I would happily watch a movie that takes place entirely on this island.

As soon as Diana sights and saves Steve, a drowning German soldier (Chris Pine) who’s really a spy for the Allies, you know life is about to change. I was reminded of that devastating line in Little Bee about “When the men come …”

I, along with all the other mothers in the audience, got teary when Diana prepares to leave the island to fulfill her destiny and Hippolyta tells her, “You have been my greatest love. Today you are my greatest sorrow.”

There are so many important messages for little girls AND BOYS in this smart, funny and compassionate superhero saga. When Steve tries to mansplain to her and says, “I can’t let you do this,” she matter-of-factly replies, “What I do is not up to you.”

Wonder Woman

Of course, it would be better if Wonder Woman didn’t have to don that ridiculously skimpy little outfit — seriously, can you imagine having to save the world while wearing anything strapless, never mind that tight little number riding up your backside? And those boots? Next time, can we just cover her up a little and give her a pair of comfortable sneakers?

Other than her outfit and ability to defeat an army of men, Diana/Wonder Woman is surprisingly down to earth and relatable. She genuinely doesn’t understand how people can be so cruel to each other — something most of us struggle with every day.Although some of the dialogue is sappy, it’s hard to criticize a superhero who states, “I believe in love,” is convinced that “only love can truly save the world” and says, “I’m willing to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves.”

With this thinking, Wonder Woman is, ultimately, the superhero most likely to actually save the world. We need her. Most importantly, we need to be her.

 

Comments

  1. Okay. Now I definitely have to see this!

  2. Lois: I saw this with my 19 yo son the day before my 16 yo daughter went with a girl her age. We all loved it. My daughter found it empowering and described the intersection between beauty and power. My son said he didn’t feel as though the Amazons were critical of men and sexist against them. He thought the Amazons were mainly indifferent. He didn’t feel attacked. I agree about the outfit, but I do think the director tried to make commentary about the canonical attire. In the London setting, there is a very long scene where Diana is shopping for appropriate attire. She finds the corsets, ruffles, and such confining and/or frivolous. Diana comments overtly about the need to move and fight. She picks an outfit that covers her well and allows her mobility. And then she goes on to conduct a fabulous fight scene in an alley while wearing a long coat. The skimpy outfit did dominate the film, but at least we got some great direct commentary on the ridiculata of fashion and the female body.

    • Lois Alter Mark says:

      I loved the shopping scene! I do think there’s a lot of middle ground between high necks, corsets and ruffles, and basically a strapless bathing suit!

  3. I, too, have never been a big superhero movie fan – but Wonder Woman has gotten my attention. I love your review. Thanks, Lois.

  4. I got to see Wonder Woman with my daughter, and thought it was a fun romp. I’ll probably go again with hubby, as he hasn’t seen it yet. I love the fact that it is super hero movie directed by a woman. And that Israel is enjoying their moment of Gal Gadot fame. But I was a bit surprised that the movie became a rallying call for powerful women. As you pointed out, just look at that outfit! All that aside, I remain a fan.

  5. I have seen quite a few reviews but this is the one the propels me to see it.

  6. I’m a big comic book nerd and mythology fan. I found the movie okay. It was better than other DC movies sure, but the pacing was still slow. Something the DC universe needs to work on.

  7. WE are finally going to see it this weekend. I can’t wait! Everyone loves it!

  8. I originally scoffed at seeing this but as the release date got closer and closer, I realized it’s not just a movie but a movement. One I dont want to miss. Your review seals the deal for this mom of three young women.

  9. If it has lasers, aliens, space ships or super hero’s, I’m in! My daughter tells me that I must have been a boy in my previous life. She might be right. Loved the movie as it weaved an intricate story, all the while showing us good vs evil. What I found particularly wonderful was that there was violence that was NOT tempered with the usual gore, blood and guts. I appreciated that more than you can say. It was visual, exciting, fun, heartbreaking and adventurous. Not sure you could ask for anything more. Judging from the recipient of the email she is sending in the last moments of the film, the sequel should be every bit as wonderful.

  10. I have always been a big fan of Wonder Woman. I can’t wait to see this one! It looks awesome.

  11. Okay, I’ve never been huge into super hero movies, but I think I have GOT to see Wonder Woman…..like soon!

  12. I wanted to see this with my daughter but we haven’t had the chance yet and it just left our local theaters. I’m hoping to catch it at a second showing place though. It looks great

  13. Kristin says:

    I’m so sad we haven’t made it to see this movie yet! My girls can’t wait!

  14. Thanks for posting the trailer. I have wanted to see this movie, and know that I have peeked at the trailer, I am really interested.

  15. Jenn Borget says:

    I saw this recently with my mom for her birthday and loved it! Such a great message behind it empowering women!

  16. I’ve never been into the whole comic book heroes thing, either. The Wonder Woman movie does look good though. I may have to go and see it!

    Louise x

  17. Yes… “We need to be her!” Love that!

  18. I get a little choked up with the girl empowerment films. They get me every time. I still haven’t seen Wonder Woman, but I know I’m going to be a sobbing mess like your friend.

  19. We are planning on going to see this movie over the weekend.
    Without the kids the first time… I watched Wonder woman as a kid so I am a huge fan!

  20. Not impressed, although the special effects were impressive. I was yawning after the first hour…maybe we’re all wonderful women and don’t need special effects!

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