(Editor’s Note: I chose the title for two reasons. First, the obvious is that Germans are the bad guys in this movie. Second, it’s interesting how the 6 year old brain works. Quinn watched the movie, made the connection that the Germans were the bad guys, and came out with “I’m part evil”. When I asked him why, he said, “Well in Wonder Woman, the Germans were evil and I’m part German, so I’m part evil.” Can’t argue with that logic, I suppose. Also, see Der Eier von Satan.)
I’ve been looking forward to the stand alone Wonder Woman movie since I heard the announcements. Unlike many who saw Batman v. Superman, I didn’t think that she was the only good thing about the movie. Sure, she was absolutely the best thing about the movie, but I was much more forgiving of the rest of the movie than others. For instance, I didn’t think that Batfleck’s performance was the end of comic book movies as we know them. Secondly, Mark Zuckerberg’s take on Lex Luthor was refreshingly different. So, while not my favorite comic book movie by any stretch, it was a fun movie and a step in the right direction for the DC movie universe.
I will avoid my usual starting line that the best thing I can say about this movie is that it is “Wonder Woman”. First, I don’t want to become too much of a cliche. Secondly, the truth is that I don’t have that much of a history with Wonder Woman. Sure, I’ve seen the Linda Carter series as a kid, but I never read the comic until recently and in no way would call myself a fan of the character. Unlike Power Rangers and Guardians of the Galaxy, my interest in Wonder Woman as a character is a result of seeing a movie, not the other way around. Therefore, it would be intellectually dishonest of me to start off with that statement.
Dang, that means that I actually have to do some work to write this article. I have to research (read comics) the character (a kick butt woman who is quickly becoming a hero to women and little girls again) in order to flesh out an article (on a web page that I run for my own fun and entertainment). Well, it’s a tough job (it’s not a job at all), but someone’s gotta do it. In preparation for the article, I picked up the first two trades for the newest iteration of Wonder Woman from the DC Rebirth event (?) Honestly, I’m not sure what to call it. It’s technically just a reboot, but that doesn’t make sense because they’ve rebooted about a million times over the past few years. Oh well, whatever it is, the stories have been decent from what I’ve read.
Also, from what I’ve read, the Wonder Woman movie was faithful to the comic character as she is interpreted now. Even with my limited interaction with her, I do know that her origin (as far as becoming a character) is a little strange because her creator was into some weird stuff. Being a family friendly page, I’ll keep it at that. Lately, though, and over time, she’s been reclaimed and turned into the female icon that we know and love today. I think, especially, with the weird time we find ourselves living in, she represents much more than maybe she would under less stressful circumstances. Gal Gadot, the actress chosen to play the role, fits that perfectly. I know she’s an actress and she gets paid to play pretend and dress up, but it genuinely seems like she enjoys the character and has fun with it.
Luckily, DC has started to turn the corner when it comes to fun in their movies. They’ve pivoted from the “dark and gritty” hyperrealism of Christopher Nolan’s Batman and embraced that, at their heart, these are characters that spend most of their time as colorful drawings in what some consider to be kid’s entertainment. Now, you and I know that comics are not strictly for kids, but we’ll let everyone else think that and underestimate us. It’s worked for the last 40 years and we have been slowly taking over.
The movie is too long and the final battle drags on seemingly forever. The movie is yet another origin story. However, unlike Spidey and Bats, who have been origined to death in their cinematic history, this is the Amazonians first feature, so I don’t mind them taking the time to introduce her. Plus, the origin is handled well and respectful of the source material, as far as I can tell. Again, I only know the newest Wonder Woman, so take my opinion with that grain of salt. My main complaint lies with the second point. The final battle just feels like it takes forever to reach a conclusion and there’s a bit of an unnecessary M. Night Shamalyan twist before it even begins.
I said earlier that DC seems to have started to turn the corner with their movies. I enjoyed the Christopher Nolan Batman movies, as did many. I despised both of the stand alone Superman movies. I cringed, with my fellow nerds, as more and more information released for Batman vs. Superman and then just sort of fell into a state of numb acceptance and finally even nervous excitement. Zach Snyder is directing? *sigh* Okay, fine. Let’s see what he can do this time. Ben Affleck is staring as Batman? Who is playing Lex Luthor? Um, wait, what? They’re doing the Doomsday and “Death of Superman” story. Well, okay, hopefully they don’t screw it up.
Then, the movie came out and there was honestly no reason for the trepidation. It wasn’t a great movie, but it wasn’t terrible. It was watchable bordering on okay. I’ve watched it twice? Maybe three times? Once with a friend, once with Christine, and then once with the boys. With each successive viewing, I actually found myself enjoying it more. It just wasn’t as Zach Snyder heavy as the Superman movies. I know that some will look to this Wonder Woman movie as the one where DC turned the corner. While that might be true in the long run, Batman vs. Superman is where the movies started to take a turn for the better, in my opinion.
What does this have to do with Wonder Woman? Well, having been trained by Marvel, I sat through the credits for a potential Easter egg. None came, but I did notice that Zack Snyder got producer or story writer credit or something. His hands were all over that last scene. I could just feel it. He’s definitely less than during the Superman fiascos, but there is still a bit too much.
I already started to discuss this in “The Bad” section, but Zack Snyder. I don’t mean the man himself. I have no idea if he’s actually ugly. But, his storytelling needs quite a bit of work in my humble opinion. How much is that worth seeing that I am a self-published author and he’s writing DC comic book movies? Probably not much. However, I’m one who can usually forgive and forget. I’m also not generally very critical of creativity.
I just can’t get the taste of those Superman movies out of my mouth. Also, I feel like, while he did okay with Batman vs. Superman and is showing some growth, this movie could have been damn near perfect with a more deft handling of the story and especially the finale. Oh well, I’ll take the incremental improvements and hope for the best come the release for Justice League.