Wonder Woman (2017)

Me, Circa 2005:

Dear Diary,

When I grow up I wanna be a superhero like Batman and Spiderman.

Me, Circa 2017:

DEAR DIARY,

WHEN I GROW UP I WANT TO BE A SUPERHERO LIKE WONDER WOMAN.

Not much has changed except somehow I’ve learned to flagrantly disregard reality in ALL CAPS.

Wonder Woman (2017) is about Diana, the only child on the island of the Amazons. The Amazons are a tribe of warrior women who were created as a bridge between men and the gods. Legend says that someday a great warrior will kill Ares, the god of war, and free the world from his violent influence. When Steve Trevor, a spy, crash lands on their island, he brings with him ill tidings: a Great War has consumed the earth. Diana believes that finding Ares and defeating him will restore peace.

Wonder Woman (2017) is what women have spent their whole lives waiting for, it’s the movie that a generation of young girls will point to someday and say “this is what started it all”. It’s important and wonderful. Under the crushing weight of expectations and pressure, this film flourishes.

This movie makes it hard to be funny or glib because the best thing about Wonder Woman is its sincerity. Under the crushing weight of expectations and pressure, this film flourishes. Gal Gadot, as the titular character, delivers speeches about love, bravery, peace and the human condition with conviction. From the moment we meet her as a little girl pantomiming the warrior women around her, I am with her and she keeps me enthralled all the way through the third act.

Language and culture play an important part in the world. They determine everything, including who gets a voice. The best thing this movie does is make Diana, the eternal peacekeeper, speak in every language.

She’s surrounded by a supporting cast who reinforce this point. To Chief (played by Eugene Brave Rock), she speaks Blackfoot and from there a bridge of respect is built between them. His culture, customs and skills (like smoke signals) play an important plot relevant role.

With Sameer (played by Saïd Taghmaoui), she competes in many tongues, but the most important thing they discuss is the way that life and circumstances are sometimes outside of our control, and in many ways Sameer’s life is determined by the colour of his skin.

Robin Wright and Connie Nielsen as General Antiope and Queen Hippolyta, Middle Aged Warrior Women: unheard of. I want an entire spinoff movie about them.

Chris Pine is finally given a role that allows him to shine a light on all facets of himself. His charisma and charm draw the audience in, just as they do to Diana. He’s allowed to be vulnerable and earnest, despite his vocation as a spy. Steve Trevor is the person that represents humanity, though he would say that he’s “above average”.

Athletes were cast as the Amazons, allowing them to be believable warriors. Women of all shapes, sizes and colours did battle on the beaches of Themyscira, an incredible scene and staggering achievement in fight choreography. It makes amazing use of the small but talented and dedicated community of Hollywood stuntwomen. The Amazons fight with flair and grace, they fly through the air, whip around and twirl. The way they fight is otherworldly and brutal.

Patty Jenkins directed this masterpiece, and from the bottom of my heart: Thank you. We (and the DCEU) owe it all to you. I’ll be sending you a 20 page, single spaced thank you letter on personalized stationery. There may or may not be drawings enclosed.

 

9.5/10

 

Only because I need to leave room for whatever comes next.

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