Friday, June 16, 2017

Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman has been getting a lot of very positive reviews and I was fully aware of this before I saw it in the movie theater. It's not always good to have high expectations of a film before you watch it since you may end up being disappointed when the it ends up not living up to the hype, but thankfully Wonder Woman actually delivered.

Spoiler Alert: stop reading now if you don't want to read any spoilers about the film.

Audiences first got a glimpse of Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman when she appeared in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. In it, there is an intriguing scene that involves a century-old photo taken during World War I with Diana in it.  This Wonder Woman film helps answer the question of who she is and why she was in that picture. A large chunk of the movie is devoted to the backstory of Diana who leaves Themyscira, the island of amazons where she lives, once she about the ongoing World War I. She believes that Ares caused this war and she seeks him out to put an end to the global conflict.

To be honest, it actually sort of feels a bit like Captain America, which is set in World War II and in which Captain America helps save lives. That said, Iron Man also has a bit of a war setting, albeit a much more current one. I guess that historical and actual war settings sort of make sense for superhero movies because sometimes the brutality gets so intense that sometimes those of us who feel helpless wish we had superhero powers so that we could do something about them. Wonder Woman tries to emphasize the importance of, and urgent need for, peace. This is just as relevant today as there continues to be divisiveness, terrorism, and violence all over the world. That No Man's Land scene where Wonder Woman reveals herself as a superhero for the first time is emotional, inspiring, and triumphant. What I also love about the movie is how she slowly realizes her power as the story moves forward. This film made me understand why she had no qualms doing battle with the terrifying and tremendously intimidating Doomsday in Batman V Superman and why she said she had killed creatures from other worlds before.

Wonder Woman has gained tremendous respect from critics and audiences alike for its social significance. It's the first successful and well-received superhero film that features a female as the lead. Yes, we've had Catwoman, Elektra and even the 1984 Supergirl headlined by Helen Slater but those films came at a time when we weren't inundated with superhero movies (I figure we have had at least one a year over the last decade or so). Also, all of them have terribly low ratings on Rotten Tomatoes (and Metacritic for the first two). Wonder Woman has very good storytelling and character development. I've only seen three movies at the cinema this year but this is my favorite of the ones I've seen and I have to say it is up there when it comes to superhero movies. I highly recommend this film and I will surely get the DVD when it comes out.

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