I can honestly say I’ve never seen a movie like Wonder Woman before. Ever. And It’s not just because it was a movie that was, for once, centered on a female superhero. Not only that, it’s the highest grossing film directed by a woman. Ever. In the history of ever.
Let’s talk for a second about the movie, we’ll get back to the director thing later.
First off, the story works. For a number of reasons. The movie takes time to introduce Diana as a child, and shows us her growth. It works so well, partially because the young actress playing Diana is fantastic. Her screen presence was spot on.
Side note, the diversity in this movie rocked. Not perfect, but definitely better than other movies. Are you listening, Hollywood?
The costuming in the movie was great. It encompassed the warrior aspect, while also acknowledging that the people wearing the costumes were women. Sexy, but not excessive. Showing a woman’s body, a warrior’s body, without exploiting it. It sounds like an easy thing to do, but clearly, as other superhero movies have shown, it isn’t. What I loved about this movie was it demonstrated a woman’s power, without taking off her clothes. The costumer and director were clearly focused on designing costumes that a woman would actually wear to fight. (Except maybe the scene where WW is fighting Nazis without a coat on. but in a separate scene, Chris Pine’s character gives her his coat. Do Amazons get cold?). There’s a moment where the camera pans up Wonder Woman as she’s looking across the battlefield. Instead of demeaning WW by showing off her hot bod (though she does have one, and filmed part of it while she was pregnant, dang girl), it instead depicts a warrior looking at her victory.
Diana semi-quickly falls for Chris Pine’s Steve. I mean, it’s Chris Pine. He’s an above-average specimen ;). There is a scene where it feels like their chemistry is a bit forced, but it turned out just fine. Every time Steve tells Diana no, she does it anyways. The director and writer(s) took the time to show how women were treated in that time period, and took the time to show Steve’s acceptance of Diana as a warrior. Even if he still had trouble getting past wanting to protect her all the time. Also, “No man can cross it”, I see what you did there. I was a little disappointed that it took *spoiler* for Diana’s powers to come full force. There’s the issue of getting the character to come to a realization, and come into their powers. And using *spoiler* to get them there, well, it’s a bit predictable. The more interesting story line, for me, would have been for WW to be all “Oh, I’m the *spoiler*? Well this changes everything”, and then boom.
Chris Pine’s portrayal of Steve Trevor is great. I have been just exhausted by all of these strong women all of a sudden being at the mercy of their so-called partners. Steve Trevor recognizes that Diana is more powerful than he will ever be. And though he tries to limit her, which I interpret as an accurate depiction of how women were treated in WW2, he doesn’t seem to do it to control her. More so, he worries that he’ll lose her. Wonder Woman’s portrayal of men, is equally as important as it’s portrayal of women. It says very clearly; You can be with a woman more powerful than you without losing your masculinity. If you’re man enough to not be concerned with your masculinity.
This movie told audiences, and showed them, that Wonder Woman is as powerful as Thor. Dare I say, even more powerful? She did what Thor has not. It’s time we stopped creating superhero movies just for boys. Sure Avengers did a good job with Scarlet Witch, and Black Widow, but, that’s it. Two female superheros? Just two? Wonder Woman has set the tone for the future of female superheros. She is poignantly powerful.
This movie was refreshing. And it made a butt-load of money at the box office. I hope that this signals a turning point in the way Hollywood continues to depict women in all genres. And to hire more female directors. Because clearly, they can make movies.
I will leave you with a quote from one of the best super hero movies of all time:
“Leave the saving of the world to the men? I don’t think so” -The Incredibles.
Peace, Love, Elastigirl