So, last night I went to the movies to see Wonder Woman. I walked in with zero expectations, a norm for me nowadays as most blockbusters leave me cold and unimpressed. I was also a little concerned, I hate to admit this but I couldn’t help but wonder is the movie really and truly good or is everyone just being PC and praising a big blockbuster movie about a female superhero simply because it exists?
Let me tell you plain and simple, that is definitely not the case here. For once in what feels like a long time a movie is getting hype because it is genuinely 100% worth the hype. Wonder Woman is truly wonderful – see what I did there?
Gal Gadot carried the film effortlessly with bundles of charisma. I remember having my reservations about her casting when the news first broke but I am happy to say I was pleasantly surprised.
Gal’s portrayal of Diana possessed all the usual suspects we attribute with Wonder Woman: fierceness, determination, justice, confidence and intelligence. However, she also brought another softer side to her. There was a sense of innocence and a child-like curiosity that I feel really strengthened the character and added an interesting element to her interactions with her surroundings and the other characters in the film. The performance was natural yet complex and I had the sense that I was going on this journey with her. I really applaud her. It certainly cannot be easy to play such an iconic figure and make it your own but she pulled it off perfectly.
The film itself was entertaining and well balanced in that it brought full on action (trust me I left the cinema ready to sign up for martial arts lessons) but it also had many comedic moments as well as some very memorable more touching scenes where I admit I was holding back the tears. It is an action packed, thrilling blockbuster with a lot of laughs and a lot of heart. Just how we like them right?
The chemistry between Gal Gadot and Chris Pine was charming and probably one of my favourite parts of the film. I also loved the connection with Robin Wright’s character (who by the way is a complete badass in this film).
Another thing I enjoyed was way the film handled the age old theme of good vs evil. Without giving away too much to those that haven’t seen it, a prominent theme that featured throughout the movie was the struggle between light and dark that lives in all of humanity. A lot of blockbuster films make the mistake of having two clear sides: good and evil, black and white, good guys and bad guys. It is always either or, there is no in between. Not only is this unrealistic, but from a storytelling point of view it is simply not interesting in my opinion.
I mean, why are we so drawn to those iconic flawed anti-hero type characters? Because they have complexity that we relate to. There is an internal struggle happening that translates well on screen (if the acting is done right) and intrigues the audience.
Big props to the director Patty Jenkins. No doubt she was under tremendous pressure and had to work ten times harder than her male contemporaries to make a fantastic film as let’s be honest, she would have been ripped apart ten times worse if it had flopped.
Now, the movie is of course not perfect (few are). It has a few cheesy cliché moments and some stereotypical stock characters. The CGI was a little dodgy towards the end and there were also a few major plot points that I had already predicted would happen simply because I’m familiar with how movies these days work.
With regards to diversity in the casting, some people have argued that while it is a step in the right direction for feminism in Hollywood, we still need to go further. For example, this movie was still fairly white dominated. Not to mention it seemed (in my opinion anyway) that everyone was straight. I was standing behind a gay couple while waiting in line for the bathroom who were discussing the film and I overheard one of them say “I would have appreciated a few more gay characters”. I don’t really blame them, there is literally an entire island full of Amazonian women with no men to be seen.
While I’m on this mini critique, I want to put forward the question: will we ever see a big blockbuster movie with an average (or below average) looking female lead?
Wonder Woman is an epic female character don’t get me wrong, but she is still beautiful. Would the movie still be doing so well if Gal Gadot was not also stunning? Would wider audiences still be interested in watching it? I am nit picking here of course.
Anyway, rant over. Long story short, I definitely did not regret buying my ticket last night, not one little bit. It’s been a long time since I’ve walked out of the cinema so satisfied.
Go watch it if you haven’t already! Go go go!