Film review: Wonder Woman the movie

Synopsis: Raised on the island of Themyscira by the all female Amazon race whose sole purpose is to protect human kind from the corruption of Ares, young Diana is held back from learning to fight by her overprotective mother, Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen). Desperate to learn, Diana turns to her Aunt Antiope (Robin Wright) and under her tuition becomes a warrior able to defeat all others in the army. When Diana (Gal Gadot) rescues American spy, Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), from a plane crash and discovers that the world is at war (WWI), she believes that it is her duty to wield the god killer weapon in order to rid the world of Ares, currently in the form of the German army’s General Ludendorff (Danny Huston). The discoveries of the young and naïve Diana as she first enters the human world shape the girl that is destined to become Wonder Woman. Directed by Patty Jenkins.

I’ll be honest: I’m a Marvel girl through and through – the Guardians of the Galaxy films are essentially the two best things to ever happen to me. However, given the potential for a solid bit of girl power and the number of people on my twitter feed who had seen this film two, three or even four times by the time I went to see it, I tried to go into the cinema with an open mind.

It didn’t last long. I was immediately disappointed in the CGI of Themyscira that seemed to turn all blurry round the edges when any of the Amazonians moved too fast and the sense of disappointment just didn’t go away for the rest of the film. As the credits rolled I sat there feeling like this film could – and should – have been awesome. Instead, it was just okay.

I think it was let down by a few things:

The CGI really was terrible

With the amount of PR and advertising that has gone into this film, Warner Bros must have known that a fair few people were going to see it this summer. You would think, therefore, that they would want to give it their best, but no. Either that or someone messed up big time and blew the budget on beer and pizza during filming

The casting was off

  • I love Professor Lupin (David Thewlis) as much as the next person, but I just couldn’t find it in me to believe that he, moustached and unimposing as he is, could be Ares, God of War.
  • Wonder Woman is meant to be the ultimate warrior. Part-goddess and part-highly trained combatant, you would expect her to be toned, tough and muscly (as per the comics). Whilst Gal Gadot does a great job portraying Wonder Woman, she is not these things.  I feel like an opportunity has been missed to show the world that women can be beautiful even without a thigh gap

The peripheral characters’ back stories were completely overlooked

Allusions were made to the back story of both Charlie (a sniper that can’t shoot because of the things he’s seen) and The Chief (a red indian displaced by Americans but fighting with them anyway). Dr. Maru wears a mysterious partial face mask throughout the film (that is thrown off rather anti-climactically at the end to reveal…exactly the thing you imagined it would). What has Charlie seen that has damaged him so? Why is a displaced American Indian in France and how the hell did he get there? Where did Dr.Maru’s disfigurement come from? And why don’t any of the other characters ask these questions instead of just accepting things without even a mumble of mild interest?

The girl power was actually lacking:

For a film with a female director about a strong female superhero subverting gender stereotypes in the most masculine of worlds (an army at war), there was a real lack of any real sense of breaking boundaries. Any man that does listen to anything that Diana has to say essentially does so because she is beautiful, and is allowed to say so. An inordinate amount of airtime is given to Gal’s beauty: in barely there training gear, in a skin baring ball gown and, of course, in the iconic blue and red corset. I know the outfit couldn’t really have been changed, but do we really have to luxuriate in it so much? Could Diana have been just a little less ditzy? And did she really have to wear heels the whole time?

All in all, I just wish it could have been…better. BUT if there is even one little girl or boy out there (and if Wonder Woman toy sales are anything to go by, there is significantly more than one) that has learnt that women can be superheroes too because of this movie, I’ll happily list it as my Film of the Year.

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