Wonder Woman.

Do yourself a favour and go and see it. There are so many reasons this ticked so many boxes, starting with Wonder Woman herself. Gal Gadot does a fantastic job as the determined and headstrong Diana. The daughter of Hyppolyta, Queen of the Amazons, Diana has lived in a community of women on the island of Themyscira her whole life. She has no idea of her destiny as Wonder Woman.

The island, seemingly untouched by time, is protected from our world and hidden, seemingly, from Ares, the god of war. But that hasn’t stopped the Amazons from continuing to train as kickarse warriors.

Diana grows up there, initially training in secret under the guidance of her aunt, General Antiope:

Wonder Woman's aunt, General Antiope

Robin Wright as Antiope- a far cry from Princess Buttercup!

Unbeknownst to the Amazons, the “world of men” has been at war for the past 4 years. It’s 1918 and millions of people are dead. Spy Captain Steve Trevor inadvertently manages to crash through the protective barrier in a small aircraft and is promptly followed by a bunch of German soldiers. The ensuing battle horrifies Diana (who, up until this point, has never even seen a man) and she is drawn into the world of men. She believes that Ares, is behind the conflict. Putting an end to Ares should, in theory, end the war.

Into the world of men.

Diana strikes a bargain with Steve; he wants off the island to complete his mission, she wants to go to the front to find Ares and basically stick him with her sword to bring peace. They team up and leave Themyscira for London. Diana finds 1918 London to very much be the “world of men”. She’s hit on in the streets, made to dress in clothes no one could comfortably fight in and causes outrage by having the temerity to speak in an all-male war council.

Wonder Woman walks into a gala towards General Ludendorff. Steve Trevor looks up and sees her.

Even her new ally and side-kick, Steve, seems bent on sidelining her at first. Diana is clearly the smarter of the two but he takes some convincing. Her strength, skill in battle and courage take him some time to get used to as well. A product of his times, Steve tries to call the shots but Diana has little patience for that.

Wonder Woman has no time for your shit, Steve.

With a roll of her eyes, she gives no fucks and does and says what she wants to, anyway. Whether it’s speaking up in front of important army Generals or taking on the Germany army largely on her own, Diana gets on with business, never doubting her own capabilities.

Wonder Woman deflects bullets and a bomb on the battlefield

Gal Gadot makes for a badass Wonder Woman!

Unlike other brooding superheroes from the DC Universe (I’m looking at you, Batman and Spiderman!), Diana is entirely comfortable in who she is and what she wants to achieve.

The bit I didn’t love.

Yes, the storyline is implausible and the theme super-earnest, but it’s a superhero movie. Neither of those things were unexpected. I didn’t sit myself down expecting anything else; I just wanted to be entertained. The push against sexist stereotypes was a welcome addition, for sure.

Wonder Woman fighting soldiers and smashing the patriarchy

One aspect that left me scratching my head was this:

On their mission to the front, Diana and Steve pick up three companions to help them on the way. A Turk, a Scot and a Native American. Yes, there is a bar involved. No punchline, though. Each of these characters has their own moment of poignancy but honestly, I wasn’t sure why they were there. Perhaps it was to lay the groundwork to develop their story lines in future films?

Battle, banter and baddies.

The battle scenes are what you’d expect from a big budget action film. Improbable, explosive and impressive all at that same time. The female warriors (including Wonder Woman, Diana) have this amazing acrobatic fighting style and it’s showcased with brief slo-mo shots, often mid-air. It’s awesome fun to watch and makes you want to hit the gym and maybe get a sword or at least take up archery.

Wonder Woman fights her way across No Man's Lands

The villains include the evil General Ludendorff and his ruthless and mysterious chemist, Dr Maru. Together, they’re working on a shocking weapon. Captain Steve Trevor seems to be the only one who wants to stop the devastation in it’s tracks. Because, of course, we can’t have a superhero movie without a heroic story arc for a man, right?

That said, Chris Pine plays Captain Steve Trevor and for all his flaws, he’s quite likable. The banter between him and Diana is well placed and entertaining. They bounce off one another well and although there is an obvious undercurrent of attraction, this is often played with good humour. The small bit of romance is understated, sweet and doesn’t overshadow the story.

Feminism.

There seems to be a lot hinging on the success of Wonder Woman in terms of female-led superhero movies. There are some great feminist elements to the movie but at the same time, it could have been further explored. Diana seems to take the innate sexism she finds in the “world of man” in her stride. While she pays it little attention, she also doesn’t really question it, which is possibly a missed opportunity. As far as women, equality and this film go, this sums it up neatly:

 

All in all, I gave it 4 stars.

 

 

Gifs via Giphy.

Header image- original art by justjaymiartbydesign, edited by me.

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  • Jeremy

    The movie is a steaming pile of shit, but is feminist bullshit, so it gets praised.

  • Hurrah for crappy chick action flicks!

  • Gotta love a super hero movie. We need more super heroes in our world. Especially female ones!

  • Everyone who has seen this move has loved it. I can’t wait to see it for myself!

    • Some men (who probably haven’t seen it) are having a big cry over it which has been entertaining!

  • LydiaCLee

    I’m busting to see it. But I see all the Marvel universe.

    • This on is DC- hopefully they continue to produce at this calibre if not better!

  • Four stars.. wow maybe I will go and see it. I had very little interest as I don’t like these super hero type movies.

  • I’m so excited about this movie. I used to love wonder woman as a kid. I can’t wait to see it.

  • Something about the idea of this movie didn’t really pull me in but all these good reviews are making me change my mind…

  • I loved watching Wonder Woman when I was growing up. I’ll be taking my teenager daughter to see this movie.

    Ingrid
    http://www.fabulousandfunlife.blogspot.com.au

    • Representation matters- good to see a female hero for a change!

  • I’m not normally a fan of superhero movies, but this is one I’ll be taking our boys to see!

  • Gal Gadot shot many of the actions scenes while 6 months pregnant. Wonder woman indeed!!!

  • Can’t wait to see it!

  • It looks pretty awesome, and I’m not usually a fan of superhero movies, I think the Batman series with Christian Bale is the last lot I watched. But this, I could see myself watching this (if only while lying on my lounge when Dave is on night shift, he doesn’t really care for superhero movies either, but perhaps the WWI action might be a convincing lure?!)
    #teamIBOT

  • Karla Oleinikoff

    Saw this on Sunday with my sister, and we both loved it. Gal Gadot was amazing, she really was Wonder Woman

    • I just learned she was pregnant during the filming- what a legend!

  • Kirsty @ My Home Truths

    Great review Amy. My husband and eldest girl saw this on the weekend and can’t stop raving about it – I’m hoping to see it too, very soon.

  • Ha! Visiting but couldn’t read your post because I am taking my 17 year old daughter along to see this movie this weekend! No spoilers for me! Dang I loved Wonder Woman growing up and I hope it’s great. I will read after the weekend. x

  • Love that last point – I think it’s true that equality will be achieved when we don’t make such a big deal about these things. That said, I’d like to see this one. Still love Robin Wright.

  • Sounds like a good movie. I’m not one for superhero movies apart from X-Men {although I think Storm and Jean were the ones with awesome powers and that it should’ve been called X-People} but you’ve tempted me enough to consider watching this.