Guy! Guys! Guyyyyyyyyyyyyys!
You probably haven't heard anywhere (everywhere), but Wonder Woman is amazing. AMAZING!
I mean, for a superhero movie. Let's not get ahead of ourselves, it's no [insert a film that is full of art and beauty here because of some reason all I can think of at the moment is Citizen Kane and that's actually pretty boring]. But it is a really good superhero movie.
Here's what I loved (no real spoilers but maybe a little, so if you're spoiler-sensitive, back off):
She is an uncomplicated hero. I know we're all in love with anti-heroes and dark heroes these days, but I kind of love a straightforward, do-the-right-thing hero. She is going to fight because she has a sacred duty to protect humanity. Compassion, hope, and truth are her fuel.
The fight was complicated. She wants to save everybody, but she can't. She has to make choices. She also realizes that humans are not pure beings who were corrupted by Ares, but beings capable of brilliant love and brutal hate who can be nudged in either direction. She almost loses her ideals, but then holds them even tighter.
The movie did not make a show of its feminism. There's nothing I hate more than a flashing arrow of "look at us, we're doing something feminist!" to undermine the value of something. Sure, the marketing was pretty #girlpower, but the movie itself did not make a big deal out of the fact that Wonder Woman is not a man. Her male counterparts didn't try to hold her back or protect her because of her delicate ovaries, but because they had never seen anyone stroll through a hail of bullets and reasonably assumed it would kill her.
Her commentary was golden. Raised in a utopia of enlightened women, her honest reactions to life in London and sexual mores were hilarious. Even more so because they were simple, genuine reactions. She wasn't trying to make a point or be mean, she simply reacted to this new world she found herself in.
The reasons why I cried - or rather, the reason I didn't cry. I often cry in superhero movies. The fight of good vs. evil and standing up together for what's right always gets me. That was here, as well. I also often cry a bit in action movies because of the brutality of the violence. Many directors seem to think that "exciting" and "horrifically graphic" are synonyms, and boy, is that hard to watch. None of my tears in the action scenes had anything to do with the horror of violence.
She discovered her powers on her own. In movies where women have phenomenal powers, it's typical to see them learn who they are and what they are capable of from a man - even if he does not share her powers. Here, she learned what humanity was all about from her male counterpart, but her power was hers alone.
It was just an awesome action movie. The fight scenes were awesome, the story was solid. The writing was middling, but the performances were pretty great and the whole thing kicked butt.
The worst part of the whole thing? They did that annoying thing where a child has special powers but the parent won't tell them "to protect them", and then they go out into the world WITHOUT KNOWING WHAT THEY ARE CAPABLE OF AND HOW DOES THAT PROTECT ANYONE????
Here is my number one piece of parenting advice: if you have a child with special powers, or skills, or a calling, or whatever, JUST. TELL. THEM. Keeping it a secret did not help Wonder Woman or Harry Potter or anyone else. Teach your super-powered child how to responsibly use their abilities from a young age! Just do it!
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