Wonder Woman (Spoiler?) Review

Yes! I went to see Wonder Woman yesterday with my Mom and sisters, and it was fantastic! I had to revive my blog just to rave about it (my blog has been on hiatus and in private mode so that I can focus on work and fully “adjust” to the adult world—it’s a personal thing). I’ve officially become obsessed with the movie and character.

I’m not a comic books nor a superhero fan. It’s one of the movie “genres” that I ignore. It’s just not my taste. I used to think that it can be pretty formulaic most of the times with the dude-gets-superpowers-and-decides-to-start-fighting-crimes-with-final-boss-battle-at-the-end. I’m aware though of how passionate comic book fans can be when it comes to this. I believe as of right now, the Marvel versus DC war is still ongoing out there in the comments section of YouTube movie trailers, debating on which cinematic universe makes more sense or which superhero movie adaptation is still the best. I usually avoid them, but it can be pretty amusing.

Besides, I don’t know my comic book stuff. I didn’t even know that there’s a whole different bunch of superheroes besides Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, and that there’s in fact another team of meta-humans (or in this case, mutants?) called The Avengers. Spiderman is probably the only other superhero I knew. Even then he’s never been invited to avenge with them. Blame my parents for introducing me only to the DC superheroes as I grew up. It was only recently as the movies came out that I learned the existence of Thor, Captain America, and the others.

My Mom though is a big fan of Wonder Woman since Lynda Carter days. I watched some of the re-run episodes from childhood. I don’t remember much though. I would watch them with her sometimes but I never understood it nor enjoyed it. But I do know how Mom loves it so much. Wonder Woman is her all-time favorite superhero. So when I heard that the 2017 movie is coming out, I just knew I had to bring her and my sisters to the cinema.

At first, she was skeptical about the new Wonder Woman. She watched the series when she was still young. She had high expectations, set by her memories of the first adaptation. But she was still, of course, delighted and excited about finally having a live-action film about her beloved superhero after so many years. Spoiler Alert: She loved it! We all did. Now, here’s my honest thoughts about the movie, coming from a non-fan who fell in love all of a sudden with a superhero for the first time in her life. Just to be clear, I’m not an expert in comic books nor movies, but here’s just what I think.

Before you proceed, know that there might be spoilers, but I’ll try not to give away too much details. So if you’re planning to watch the movie and don’t want to ruin the story, best try not to continue reading.

The Good:

Story

It was well-written, very cohesive, and solid overall. As someone who doesn’t know about the origins of Wonder Woman or Diana, I didn’t know what to expect, but what I learned about her, I loved. The story started by introducing her mythical origins. I keep seeing parallels with the Christian theology–mostly the Fall of Lucifer–even though her story is very much based on the Greek mythology and features the Greek God of War, Ares. That made it easier for me to get into the story because I connected immediately (Catholic here).

The best thing about the story though is the seamless transition between the mythological exposition and the World War I setting. I love how the plot didn’t only show us how Wonder Woman came to be, but also how she grew as a person. It wasn’t just a story of someone finding out that she can be a superhero and fight the bad guys. Typical origin story. There were no “bad guys” here. Or at least, the real villains weren’t the expected bad guys. It was war itself. This is the story of a woman who learned that human morality isn’t as clear as black and white, and that the war will not stop by simply killing one boss villain. She learns that being a savior is more about fighting for what you believe in and less about defeating the bad guys and rid the world of all evil. ‘Cause no one really is purely evil nor good. It’s all a blur of in-between. But the movie was still hopeful about humanity.

Characters

Great casting, great chemistry! Gal Gadot was amazing, Chris Pine was perfect. I can’t imagine anyone else for the roles of Diana and Steve.

Two things this movie can boast are the character development, especially of the movie’s superhero, and the perfect balance between her and her love interest—who was just more than a love interest.

Diana started off as this naive girl who had absolute views of good and evil, war and justice. Coming from a hidden paradise of female warriors, of course she would be clueless about what’s happening in the real world. She soon realized the gray truths of humanity when Steve brought her to the war-torn areas.

Here’s where the balance comes in: Steve became her reality-check. But it wasn’t just Steve’s realist and almost cynical views that made him the perfect counterpart for Diana. Diana might be the “super,” but Steve was also just as strong-willed as her and it made him the perfect match. They were equals in character.

There was no power-play of the sexes. Yeah, most definitely this is a women-empowering film but it never forced feminist views nor dragged down any of the sexes to uplift another. Both the characters are learning from each other. Diana, the reality of human nature and the importance of holding on to your values from Steve, and Steve, the optimism to save the world and having hope for humanity from Diana. They were just two people, though with different views, fighting the same battle.

In the end, Diana matured as person and was able to determine what she really was fighting for. And Steve, well, you will always be in our hearts and your sacrifice will forever be remembered. *sobs*

Execution

The right mix of narrative and action. Before I could even get bored of the backstories (which would still be impossible for me because the backstories and the little down time moments were engaging, honest, and heartfelt at times), they give me stellar action sequences. There were three main action sequences in the movie–the beach battle, the Front battle, and the final boss battle–that were evenly distributed throughout the film. In between these parts, there was enough time for character development and story-telling. It was effective to give fans the hype and excitement of actions scenes that they expect from a superhero film, at the same time, show them the story without dragging on the plot. Slow-mo effects? I had no problem with that. Wonder Woman was still kickass!

There were also these funny and adorables little moments that added charm to the movie and the character of Wonder Woman, mostly. None of the humor felt forced or cheesy. When she saw a baby, when she tried to get out of the revolving door, when she ate ice cream, these little scenes showed how much Diana was out of place in the WWI London setting. These moments became opportunities for light breathers before the movie focused on the brutal effects of war, and I’m telling you. When the scenes of the soldiers from the war came on, showing their chopped leg and bloodied bandages, and Diana had to pass through them, mothers and children begging for help as explosions go off meters away from them, those really pierced me and stirred something in me. I’d say that the movie was successful to make us emotionally invest in the characters and the setting they were in. It was very timely.

The Bad:

The final boss. I just think that I was misled with the main villain. Just when you think she would have to fight either the general or the scientist, Spoiler Alert: Ares was real and he’s the old cabinet speaker. I read that Ares is an actual villain in the DC universe but I almost wanted him to be a misconception of Diana about the war, not an actual villain. At least not in this movie. I don’t know any other alternatives for Ares as the final villain but I thought it would have more impact if Ares was more of a representation of war, rather than a god to defeat. It’s just a little bit of a bait-and-switch for me with that plot twist. But it didn’t really ruin the movie for me, so it was still okay, and the overall movie is just too good that it didn’t matter at all. The rest of the story elements made up for it.

The Score: 9/10 Badass with a heart. (The deducted point is obviously for the villain.)

Why It’s Probably Not Cool To Be A Real-Life Superhero

When we look at the superheroes in the movies, we think that they’re very awesome. They are! We’ve dreamed at least once of becoming a superhero ourselves. Just imagine, YOU? A real-life superhero? Helping others, saving the day, getting all the fame? Wow. What a lovely life. But that’s probably not a good idea.

1) People will see you as a freak. Imagine if you suddenly became a fire-spitting man or a rock-turning guy. Do you think people will immediately think that you’re a superhero? “Oh, he spits fire! He must be a superhero!” No. Instead, they’ll say, “Oh, my gosh! He spits fire!” And they’ll run the hell away from you. You probably need a priest for some exorcising, dude. Or a hundred tons of missiles coming at you. Whichever people get first.

2) Even if they accept you, you’re still not superhero material. Where’s your suit? Armor? Where are the weapons? Do you even have the money to buy weapons? Do you even know karate? How are you gonna defend yourself? How are you gonna fight? How are you going to hide your identity? WHERE ARE THE ABS AND THE SUPERHERO GOOD LOOKS?! (Oh, that last question is very important, trust me. Have you seen any ugly superhero anywhere? Exactly.)

3) There’s no money in superhero crime-fighting. Superheroes are good people. They don’t fight evil people to get money in return. They fight evil people to fight evil people! I’m afraid to say this but being a superhero doesn’t pay the bills. It’s not their job. That is why they still have to work at some newspaper company in their secret identities. D’you know what? I think it’s better to be a supervillain instead. You can steal all the money you want! With your powers, it’s so easy to get rich! But, I know, I know. You’re a good person. Of course. But, oh, the temptation!

4) Superhero life is depressing. Look at what it did to Batman! He’s always sad and grumpy. But his dead parents might have something to do with it. BUT STILL! For a superhero, duty comes first. “With great power comes great responsibility,” remember? What? D’you think you can still have a normal life after becoming a superhero? The world needs saving! And, trust me, nowadays the world needs constant saving. There’s no time for dating, playing, and partying. Say goodbye to all things fun!

5) The government’s gonna take over your life. As if you need any more reason to be depressed. News flash, the government’s going to send you to Iraq or Afghanistan or wherever ISIS is so you can spit your super fire at them and save the world! They’ll take advantage of your superpowers! For the sake of democracy! You’re a superhero. That’s what superheroes do, dude. That’s what they do…

6) You’re probably gonna die early. Face it. Your powers might be superly super awesome but you’re not Wolverine. Only Hugh Jackman is Wolverine and I refuse to be convinced otherwise. You don’t have his healing power thingy. You’re not immortal and you’re most definitely not invincible. Even Superman has a weakness. But that’s okay because I know that you are a good person and you’re willing to die in the name of goodness, right?

There’s a lot about being a superhero that movies and comics don’t show. You might want to have second thoughts about becoming one, dude.

Why are there less female superheroes?

So, Rohan shared with me this article about an 11-year-old girl, Rowan (cool…Rowan and Rohan–they rhyme), who made a handwritten letter, expressing her sentiments about the lack of female superheroes featured in films, TV shows, and comics. DC comics responded by creating a superhero version of her. But, that doesn’t end there. She wants to campaign for more female superheroes featured in media.

Now, I wondered, too, but not about the reasons why there are only a handful of female superheroes. I wondered what would happen if the superhero world was dominated by women. I was hesitant to write about this because I know this discussion will just end up to that one movement that I really hate talking about: Feminism.

This is all about Feminism! They question everything! Even superheroes! Why do we have to fight for this? Why do we have to change everything? I’m sorry to all the “feminists” here (and, I’m sorry, Rowan), but I’m fine with the way things are. Oh, and I’ve got real good reasons.

1) If there are more female superheroes and less male ones, who am I gonna fantasize about? Come on, girls! Don’t tell me you don’t fantasize at least once about Superman, Batman, Flash, Arrow, Spiderman, Thor, and Captain America. Oh, my holy hotness, especially Captain America! Girls, if there are more female superheroes, we’ll all turn into lesbians! Like, duh, all that we’ll be watching are boobies jiggling while they are crime-frighting. Eww! Where are the abs?

2) If there are more female superheroes and less male ones, guys will all turn into perverts. There will be more duplicates of Scarlett Johansson! Every guy will just ignore us and drool over Scarlett clones. Is that what you want? It was bad when The Avengers movies were released. Imagine if instead of Superman, Batman, Spiderman, and Thor, there were Supergirl, Batgirl, Spiderwoman, and Thora. The world would have been flooded with male saliva!

3) If there are more female superheroes and less male ones, girls will complain about why it is always the girls who have to do the saving the day. Seriously?

4) If there are more female superheroes and less male ones, there’ll be another debate of why there are more girls being “objectified” in superhero films than men. Like, hello? Skimpy superhero costumes, unrealistic sexy bodies, and my reason #2? I mean, I thought you wanted to have more female superheroes and, now, that there are, why are you complaining? Make up your mind! And, FYI, they have bodies like that because they work-out. They need to be fit to fight crime. How would they kick their enemies to death if they have massive legs that they couldn’t even lift? And, why the skimpy clothes? Well, I would wear bikinis all day if I were as sexy as them! What? I thought we’re all about freedom of choice!

5) If there are more female superheroes and less male ones, there’ll still be a way for “feminists” to question everything. They are never satisfied!

What I want to say is that it doesn’t matter if there are less or more female superheroes. This is just about comics! There are more important issues that we should be talking about, more important things that the feminism movement should be involved with. To Rowan, I really feel happy and proud that you would want to fight for this. You’re one of a kind! You’re so brave and sensible for such a young age! But, don’t expect people to really dedicate themselves to your campaign because we have other issues to solve, too. We all have to choose our battles.

P.S.

Sorry!