WONDER WOMAN REVIEWED
“Wonder Woman” is the first real DC movie. Cue all of the incessant private messages asking WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY REAL? I mean real in the sense that Marvel had when it jumped from the 1990s to the beginning of what would come later in the 00s. This is the first film that doesn’t embarrass the work of the comics. That’s when the same messengers will bring up that the movie plays like a gender reverse riff on “Captain America: The First Avenger”. Well, kinda. But, isn’t that level of familiarity unavoidable?
Looking back to the source material, most Golden Age war-time comics shared similarities. Mainly that’s because the guys that started the books were shipped off and the second strong had to finish said books. This second string idolized their work buddies and Nationalism was at an all-time high. But, that’s where Wonder Woman becomes the X Factor. Throughout her history, Wonder Woman has always been the native foreigner looking in on Western Exceptionalism.
When she hears the call to War, when Diana meets Steve Trevor on the shore or when Diana engages in Man’s World…it’s as a battle-hardened tourist. The boundaries mean nothing, the enemies mean less. Wonder Woman adopt the Diana Prince guise as a means of reaching to the new people she meets. Whether it’s Steve Trevor’s spy crew or Etta or even the villains she fights; it’s a cadre of oddities that challenge her notion of society.
For the comic fans, you’re going to get a few tips of the hat. Fellow Amazons Niobe and Artemis make an appearance. You also get the Post Crisis and New 52 origins for Wonder Woman’s creation. The use of Doctor Poison makes sense for a Golden Age villain. However, the movie dabbles more in the Gail Simone Post Modern apologist version than the historical iteration. DC played it safe there, but it makes sense for World War I. Danny Huston is wasted, but David Thewlis continues to have a banner year.
I don’t know whether to credit the choice to veteran Wonder Woman comic writer/turned script writer Allan Heinberg, but it feels right. Director Patty Jenkins continues to put her distinct stamp on tales of women at their best. Honestly, it’s a wonderful summer movie. That is if you can forgive the misbalanced time spent on Paradise Island/Themyscira/future MRA Thinkpiece land. Add onto that the token and anachronistic representation on Trevor’s team. Yeah, I know. Historically, it would make more sense in World War II than in the Great War.
If you can swing past that and the fact that the movie could’ve been 20 minutes shorter, you’re going to have a good time. This is where I’d make some grandiose speech about this movie inspiring my daughter. Honestly, the kid is lucky to sit through two DC Superhero Girls episodes back-to-back. I’m not pressing my luck and having her sit through a period film for about 30 minutes of what she really wants to see. Good job, DC Films. You’re growing up and improving.
- 2 hrs and 21 mins
- Warner Brothers