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Wonder Woman Review

8 Jun

Wonder Woman is a worthy follow up to Logan in that it continues the trend of people overhyping slight variations on a worn-out formula, as well as blatantly disrespecting The Dark Knight by vomiting out hyperbolic quality comparisons to that masterpiece. For a film that’s been labeled as progressive and empowering and different, it does remarkably little to separate itself from the vapid storytelling that has plagued preceding works. In fact, the most praiseworthy aspect of this project is Patty Jenkins, who injects some life into the CGI’ed emptiness with her earnest, kinetic filmmaking and who honestly should’ve written the script as well. We should be past the point where it’s surprising that a woman is directing a blockbuster superhero film, but we’re not. Let’s keep it going.

It’s a shame that she has to direct such a dull film. One of the things that annoys me about criticism is the contention that “optimistic” or “light-hearted” automatically means “good”. It’s like people forgot about the Nolan films, then saw a few Zack Snyder ones before overgeneralizing in order to push their narratives about what superhero films “should be”. Yes, this film contains some more humor and optimism, but that means jack shit since the humor oftentimes doesn’t work–see exhibit A, the supporting characters–and the optimism is just overly simplistic lip service that doesn’t engage the audience in the slightest. World War 1 is a fascinating topic to explore, but the film’s themes become so muddled that all you end up getting out of it is “war is bad” and “some humans are alright” and “love conquers all”. Oh wait, let me revise those: “war is bad and love conquers all unless you’re talking about people on the other side, in which case kill them all”. Criticize me for expecting more complexity out of a superhero film if you want, but I can’t not see this entire premise as a plot device for poorly developed themes. I will say, though, that the No Man’s Land sequence is very well done as a piece of filmmaking.

The opening act is boring. So is the final act. The villains are mediocre. Gal Gadot is fine. Chris Pine is fine. The London parts are interesting at times but the central romance is meaningless, and if you all noticed “chemistry”, please inform me what drug you are taking. It’s honestly quite telling that the screenwriters clearly put more effort into Chris Pine’s character than others put into typical female love interests, and that adds a sour taste to whatever gender roles they’re trying to subvert. And do they even subvert those gender roles like they think they are? It’s obviously very valuable for kids to see Gal Gadot doing her thing and being a superhero, but why do we need to throw in another ham-fisted romance that becomes a primary driving force for the characters’ journeys? There’s nothing wrong with an empathetic, idealistic character, but oh boy let’s not try to “complicate” that empathy with a typical love story. These stories all end the same way anyway: with explosions, lazy villains, and a desire to churn out as many more films as possible. Exciting.

GRADE: C+

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6 Responses to “Wonder Woman Review”

  1. Hepburn3 June 16, 2017 at 1:39 pm #

    Hi PB.
    Sorry that you did not like this film. I loved it. Wonder Woman has been my favourite Super since I was 8 years old so this movie means a lot to me. Gal brought Diana to life for me.
    I think what you are forgetting is that it is a comic book character and film and I liked Dark Knight and I enjoyed Man of Steel and BvS as well, I do not go to these films expecting the world of art to bow down, and I am not of the fanboy fangirl ilk for I truly detest them as they tend to suck the fun out of everything ruin it.
    But that is okay that you did not like it, because all that matter is that I love it!
    In a world and genre awash with male focused stories, white male focus stories this for me was a great moment.
    Take care and have a stellar summer.
    Hepburn3
    Oh and I loved Gal and Chris and I am not on any drugs.

    • polarbears16 June 16, 2017 at 4:14 pm #

      Hey! Nice to see you again, it’s been a while. I’m really glad you enjoyed it, and I completely agree we need different representation in stories. So this was good for that.

      I loved Dark Knight and sorta liked BvS, but hated Man of Steel and thought this one was okay. So I guess I’m all over the place.

  2. Hepburn3 June 16, 2017 at 4:33 pm #

    🙂 I must say that I miss your tv show reviews.
    But I do read your various film reviews, especially if I am curious about the film.
    Thanks for your quick reply!
    Chat with you anon PB!
    🙂 🎬

    • polarbears16 June 16, 2017 at 11:57 pm #

      I wish I could review TV with the regularity I used to review at, but I’ll try to review some of Orphan Black! At the very least the finale.

  3. Hepburn3 June 16, 2017 at 4:37 pm #

    Oh and I am stoked for Justice League, Atomic Blonde, and the 3rd Despicable Me movie, there is something about the Minions acting like The Jets and Sharks just kills me! 😂

  4. Flemming Erik Carlson July 25, 2017 at 1:06 am #

    For me, it was the best superhero film in a long time. I think it had the perfect director for it, and I think Gal Gadot is the perfect choice for the part. I can’t wait to see the next one.

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