Wonder Woman

It’s kind of expected, when reviewing a film that’s part of a cinematic universe, that you place it in that context, and review it as such. Fine. I’ll bow to convention.

Wonder Woman is the second best film in the DCEU. There. I said it. I like Man of Steel better. But only by a little. WW is excellent film-making. Way better than Batman vs Superman or Suicide Squad. The story of Diana of Themyscira, a princess who dreams of being a warrior, only to become, you know, a warrior, is lots of fun. The World War I setting is enjoyably different. (My experience with Wonder Woman pretty much began and ended with Lynda Carter’s portrayal, which put her in World War II.) I like Gal Gadot as the title character, and Chris Pine is perfect as Steve Trevor, her tour guide to the world outside her “paradise island”. My favorite aspect is how her quest to stop Ares (the god of war, natch) is treated as possibly a fantasy of her own making until the very end of the film.

But it’s not a perfect film. The ending was a little doofy. I don’t want to spoil it, but the way they handle the resolution of Diana and Steve’s romance didn’t feel earned.

However, my biggest problem with the film is that it was better when it was called Captain America: The First Avenger. Think I’m nuts? Let’s take a look… (Spoilers. You are warned.)

A young wannabe warrior is given a chance by a mentor figure (against the advice of their superior). The young warrior exceeds expectations, but still has to watch their mentor die. The warrior develops a flirtatious, but ultimately unrequited romance with another military figure who is much more experienced in war, and in the ways of love. (Our main character is probably a virgin, though the film is vague on that point.) The two central characters put together a ragtag group of mifits to go deep into enemy territory and stop a crazy German (who has been chemically enhanced to be super strong) and his scientist underling. These baddies have a plan that will turn the tide of the war. The only way to stop the madness is for the lead guy to sacrifice himself in a plane. Cut to present day, where the main character still pines for their lost love.

I’m convinced the only reason they set the film in the First World War was that the parallels would have been too obvious otherwise.

Anyway. all that said, I still think it’s a good movie.

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