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Wonder Woman

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“Did you just say, ‘Calm down, missy’?”

Synopsis: Wonder Woman leaves her island home for the first time and fights for the Allies in World War I.

Finally, a woman super hero gets her own movie. I mean, how many Superman movies had to be financed before Wonder Woman got her chance? With Patty Jenkins directing and newcomer Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, moviegoers can experience something fresh. And with the ubiquitous marketing, preschoolers everywhere can be inspired to have Wonder Woman themed parties and dash around pretending to be the brave Amazon. I’m too grown up for that stuff, but I did have a little bounce in my step, anticipating scenes showcasing womanly strength and righteousness. And the wisdom of wearing defensive bracelets.

The film begins on the island of Themyscira, where Amazons train in hand-to-hand combat. The women get along great on their manless isle, unlike other all-women groups like sororities. Little Diana (future Wonder Woman!) observes the workouts and imitates the moves. She wants to learn to fight, but her mom, the Queen, wants her to chill. Hard to do when the whole populace is training like a bunch of survivalists preparing for Doomsday. Nonetheless she listens patiently when her mom tells her bedtime stories of her origin. Some single moms might find it awkward to talk about absent dads, but not Queen Hippolyta. She informs Diana that she molded her out of clay and then Zeus made her real. Way to mess up your kid, mom.

Flash forward to adult woman Diana, played by beautiful Israeli actress Gal Gadot who is tall, lithe and strong. More importantly, she manages to soundly play her character’s innocence and determination.  On the island she trains tirelessly and seems to get along with everyone. I began to think that Diana was the sort of person I’d like to befriend: guileless, loyal and surely a good workout buddy.

One day, my potential friend’s life takes a dramatic turn… she’s gazing out to sea when a WWI plane breaks through a portal and plunges into the water. Diana does an Olympian dive and rescues the pilot. Before you know it German soldiers come ashore to pursue the man, Captain Steve Trevor (Chris Pine). Lucky Steve, he has Diana & the Amazons to fight off the soldiers and send them on their way. Afterwards, the women loop a Lasso of Truth around him and he reveals that he’s an American spy who needs to get the German Dr. Poison’s stolen poison recipe book to the English. When Steve’s interrogation is finished, he retires to a dreamy blue lagoon. Diana happens by and sees him in his naked Crossfit splendor. She’s unfazed though. Super powers, indeed. Diana tells Steve that she will go to London with him and the purloined book, where she will seek to destroy Ares the God of War, whom she believes, because of her weird upbringing, is responsible for WWI.

On the magic boat ride to England, they get to know each other while resting under the stars. Steve doesn’t bother to educate her about the real causes of the war because no one, even now, can explain it. Instead they mildly flirt. I’d like to snuggle between them, flicking my head from pretty face to pretty face as they talked. Steve is a bashful gentleman. Diana is a naive brat. Oh, sorry! Just a flash of jealousy at her preternatural self-assurance. Honestly, she’s quite the wonder woman.

Once in London, Diana gets some era-appropriate clothes, which she of course looks cute AF wearing. She accompanies Steve to British government meetings where his

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“Ok, my bad, Wonder Woman. I’ll remember to put the toilet seat down.”

warnings go unheeded. Diana doesn’t get that she’s in a patriarchy on war footing. So inspirational when she tells off the supercilious old men! But… I guess it’s easy for her, isn’t it? No worries about losing a job over it because she is a Princess. Sorry! I shouldn’t think like that, of course she’s a fantastic role model!Well, mild spoiler… Steve and Diana have to take matters into their own hands. They have to go to Belgium (which must be in enemy territory?), find the poison factory and blow it up. Or something like that. I can only watch so much fighting and bracelet bullet deflection. Fortunately, romance seems to be blooming between he-man Steve and Wonder Woman. It was clear from the beginning that Steve was attracted to Diana, but Diana, we become aware, is demisexual. That means that she has the super power of not having her hormones magnetically pull her to great looking, fit people. Only after she gets to know what a swell guy Steve is, does she become attracted to him. Sadly, ** spoiler** we don’t get to see much because the filmmakers used up their ratings chits on violence and have none left for a steamy love scene.

I would like to have seen Steve and Diana banter over coffee and croissants the next morning, but the script insists on a battle. Ho hum. Anyway, I was a little worried that Diana would be too tired for battle, but who am I kidding? She’s Wonder Woman! Isn’t it great how she’s good at everything and universally attractive?! She is PERFECT.

You know, after figuratively spending time with Diana, I’m afraid that I have to conclude that Wonder Woman would not make a super friend, even though she is a super hero. We just wouldn’t be able to relate to each other. I mean, in present day, she has a dream job at the Louvre and an invisible jet. Meanwhile, the rest of us are cubicle dwellers who fly coach. I do however have to give this too-perfect Amazon some credit… her best line comes when Steve tells her that he can’t let her do something that he considers too dangerous. She says: What I do is not up to you. And then she does what she has decided must be done. Yaas! She goes on to fight off a battalion. I’ll take fighting off the wage gap 😉

Movie Overview

Grade:  B

Cut to the Chase:  Gal Gadot carries the day as Wonder Woman. The character development is better than the bland plotting.

Comedy Highlight: Diana & Steve get to know each other on their cruise to England.

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