Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Wonder Woman 2017 review

Here's a post that has little, if anything, to do with Japan. Sorry. Sometimes you have to follow your heart.

So, Wonder Woman, you guys.

There's this scene where she's in a WW1 trench, looking out across No Man's Land (get it? GET IT?), where a small village held by the enemy is slowly starving. She wants to cross, but her male partner is like, "But bro, you can't, because you will literally die." And then she's like "BUT I'M WONDER WOMAN" and she fucking SPRINTS across that shit, and suddenly her allies are backing her up, and angry Germans are shooting hundreds upon thousands of bullets at her and she just pulls out her shield and is all "I'M WONDER WOMAN THOUGH." It's pretty great.

I really liked this movie. Maybe more than it deserves, because I badly wanted to, but it's still a good movie. The pacing and editing could use some work, especially the interminable front-loaded exposition scenes, but things pick up once we hit the comic relief detour in London. The fight scenes don't have a lot of tension, but that's endemic to the genre, and at least they're brief enough to at least feel exciting. Characters' abilities are telegraphed fairly well, that is to say, they don't suddenly develop new powers as the plot demands. Wonder Woman gradually manifests her strongest abilities over the course of the story before finally getting a grip on them for the final confrontation, rather than having them come out of nowhere at the end. When Chris Pine has to fly a plane at one point, we don't blink, because we've already been shown that he knows how. The WW1 setting is cool, as well (opening up comparisons with Captain America: The First Avenger, but that's a topic for another blog and another blogger).

Viewing the movie as a man, it seems like the Chris Pine character was supposed to be our audience insert. I was prepared to be annoyed by this, because like, why can't I envision myself as Gal Gadot instead? I want to be Gal Gadot. Everyone wants to be Gal Gadot. But it actually ended up being really well-done. They could have played him as a boorish horndog who only finally comes to acknowledge Wonder Woman by the end, but no, they had him be respectful from the start, not to mention intelligent, funny, and moral. He treats her as an equal partner, if not more so, giving credit where it's due, and admonishing any card-carrying member of the Old Boys' Club who suggests she may be anything less than capable for being a woman. In other words, he's a fine role model for young MEN, which I wasn't rea;;y expecting from this movie.

UPDATE: Here's a column that says everything I just said, except articulately.

Also, Diana gets to have sex! And again, it's done really well! It comes off as a sudden but natural development in their growing relationship. She doesn't “give in” to his advances, and it doesn't devalue her as a woman or in any way whatsoever diminish her power as a feminist icon. She goes for it because she wants it, has fun, and doesn't regret it. Fucking perfect.

I don't know yet what the reaction has been from Japanese women, but women in the English-speaking world seem to be psyched about this movie, and it's awesome. Will Wonder Woman signal the beginning of a new era for women in action movies, or cinema in general? Will we FINALLY get a Black Widow solo film? Wait, does this mean Gal Gadot will get a larger role in future Fast and Furious movies?! Because that would be fucking sick.

By the time I was done, I felt like I'd glimpsed the future.

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