Since my case of spontaneous lesbianism has gone into remission, I can now say with full confidence I have a clear enough mind to accurately review the Wonder Woman film. I apologize if I revert to a “primal mating rage” at any time during this review.
When I first bought my movie ticket to see Wonder Woman, I had originally prepared myself to sit in my theater seat fueled with tension as I waited for another DC film flop. Then the dawn of my internal struggle broke when the official reviews of the film were released, and I could see the Promised Land.
The DC fandom knows that land is named Themyscira.
The film opens to present day Diana Prince being delivered a case by Wayne Enterprises. We catch a glimpse of Diana in a state of nostalgia after opening the case. With the case came a note from the BatFleck beckoning the princess of the Amazons to one day share her story with him, and Diana is gifted back the original photo of her, Steve Trevor, and company. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Mr. Wayne’s interest in her story has both positive and negative intentions: the positive being genuine interest, and the negative being his need to know as much as possible about those around him, including their weaknesses, so he could take them down if necessary. Makes a girl wonder if JLA: Tower of Babel will ever be a film, or if the note simply hints at the eventual romantic relationship between Wonder Woman and Batman.
As Diana reflects on the past that includes the taking of said photograph, the adventure of a little girl growing up to be a great warrior unfolds. She begins to train with her aunt Antiope, the general of the Amazon army, against her mother’s wishes. Upon finding out Diana has been training, Queen Hippolyta has her sister increase Diana’s training ten-fold, as she finally comes to terms with all her little Diana is and will be one day.
The advancement of the story shows Diana coming into her own personal power with her aunt still challenging her to succumb to, and trust, her instincts. The Wild Woman Archetype is alive and well among the Amazons and is even surpassed as Diana raises the stakes and her naiveté is tested as she navigates the human world. Her struggle is never on the battlefield, but in understanding that good and evil isn’t a black and white concept, but shades of gray due to both being choices individual people make every day. Unsurprisingly, it is her conviction and fortitude that unites those that once thought hope was lost, allowing them to gain headway on the front lines on the ankles of her fearless leadership.
What was shocking about the story was that the identity of the villain seemed unquestionable for the first three-quarters of the film. However, the truth is revealed that the character I believed to be “the” villain was simply “a” villain. Insight regarding Diana’s lineage comes to light, along with a beginning showcase of her super powers. Steve Trevor’s death forces Diana into a crossroads to choose whether to help the humans or to help destroy them. Her aunt would have been proud to see her niece follow her instincts through the end of this part of her story.
Director Patty Jenkins did a fantastic job of setting up the film to be a well-structured origin story, and she left room for comic book fans to be surprised (i.e. not knowing the villain). Gal Gadot’s portrayal of Diana Prince was an excellent young Diana, whose demonstration of intelligence showed her capacity to learn quickly and adjust accordingly as she opened can after can of whoop ass all over the IMAX 3D screen. The stunning visual effects enhanced the might of the Amazons’ fighting style, allowing viewers to enjoy witnessing their Wonder Woman fight at her full capabilities. Connie Nielsen, who played a badass Hippolyta, embodied the strength of the Queen of the Amazons, and also showed the character’s capacity to love just as fiercely. My personal favorite was Robin Wright, who played Antiope, who showed her unfailing strength in her conviction to give all of herself in order to build up Diana to what she knew her niece would be one day. You ladies rock!
In the end, after Diana committed to fighting for what she believed in regardless of the personal cost, Diana’s gratefulness to Bruce for “bringing Steve back” to her showed her strength of heart to live with and learn from her choices.
This film has made me eager to see what is ahead for Diana when she joins the Justice League, given all of the life experience she has endured since she lost Steve Trevor. Hopefully, Patty Jenkin’s refreshing perspective of the DCU isn’t a one-time-only occurrence, and instead marks a turning point for all DCU films, setting a higher standard of filmmaking from his point forward.