I went into this film with my slim knowledge of Lynda Carter’s portrayal on the 70's TV show and Gal Gadot’s portrayal in Batman v Superman; she was the main reason I saw that film. (I’ve always leaned far more towards Batman than Superman; I lean nowhere near Superman.)
If you hear anyone argue that we haven’t seen this yet, you've heard people spit ignorance. We have seen plenty of heroines! Far less than our share, but still, are you telling me Princess Leia is not an OG heroine? Have you forgotten about Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Mulan, Beatrix Kiddo (The Bride), and so many more including Charlize Theron’s latest character in Atomic Blonde and Rey of the Star Wars series?
What we need is MORE heroines, more who kick some serious ass, make some life-altering choices and take world-changing action! Okay, coming off my soap box for a hot second.
The film quickly brings us to Diana's childhood with the Amazon women. There, my jaw dropped. I was thrilled to see an island of female warriors who not once spoke concern of their love lives. Granted, these aren’t humans, but I was still proud to see that their mission was clear: prepare for the return of the War of God and save the world… little did they realize how cut off they were from the world that they were created to save. It was heart breaking to see Diana’s teacher/auntie defeated by bullets, but it’s also what set Diana on her path to defending the human race!
Sidenote: Diana is similar to other alien characters such as Thor, Superman, and Doctor Who, whose purpose is to protect the human race, a race that each is constantly struggling to understand, and sometimes in doubt of, but never walking away from. But I digress…
Diana has no head for fitting in, other than tolerating a disguise so that Steve Trevor will bring her to the front. Her sole purpose is to find Ares and destroy him, obliterating the concept of war, saving the human race, and maybe hoping that destroying Ares would mean that her Amazon family would come out of “hiding.”
It’s important to notice that Diana isn’t concerned with anyone’s view of her which is a common theme in many “princess” films; she doesn't prove herself when others doubt her simply because she is a woman. Diana doesn't have any time for the haters. She has no radar for jealousy or doubt, and doesn't "prove" herself to gain permission, admiration, or trust from others.
In many classic stories, female characters feel pushed down by their peers for not fitting in, I.E., Belle is “different” for her ability to read.
I'll also point out that Belle is seen as a threat because she is so beautiful, something that she doesn't see or care to acknowledge!!! Can we just laugh about that for one minute?! Belle was thinking "I woke up like this," way before Beyonce!
Ahem. Okay, more reactions to Wonder Woman.
I never find the theme of love conquering all to be overused. It’s the human condition. While most villains are created out of a lack of love, heroes are often fueled by love.
When Charlie chokes up during his ONE JOB of sniping the man in the bell tower (you had ONE JOB, Charlie) Diana sees him as a weak link and doesn’t want him on her team. However, the actor-turned-soldier Sameer tells her that all humans have an internal struggle, and some are not always able to overcome that when they are most needed.
Not knowing that Diana is super human, he tells her that even she struggles. This is Diana’s first lesson of human love. Sure, it was a bullshit explanation, but Charlie’s fellow soldiers are also his friends; these guys have been through a lot together, they understand each other, and are not willing to cast anyone aside for their mistakes. Instead, they think of their next move, like Steve seeing the shield for Diana to take advantage of, finishing Charlie’s mission.
Earlier, when Diana traveled with Steve back to his portion of the world, she tells him that she knows about the “pleasures of the flesh,” and clarifies that women only need men for reproductive purposes, not for pleasure! Later in the film, when we’re to insinuate that Diana and Steve “sleep” together, I imagine that she taught this guy a thing or two! I think we can also assume that she glimpsed a different kind of love.
Did anyone else see Diana and Steve’s final moments to be similar to that of Steven Rogers and Penny Carter’s nosedive into oblivion?!
Diana loves her Amazon family, and one of those she loved most was taken from her because of the human’s war, influenced by Ares. When she sees that Steve has sacrificed himself to win the battle and save his friends, Diana shakes off her frustrations of saving the ENTIRE WORLD, and finally has the strength to look past Ares’ tempting invitation to join his side.
Every action that Diana took in the human world, from advancing “No Man’s Land” to walking straight into a gas infested campground in hopes of saving some of the residents, gained an internal “WHOOO!” from me!
This story was well-written with a clear focus on our title character while giving us just enough information about those around her to draw out empathy or distrust! As much as I would have loved to see this film written and executed years ago, it’s story evoked many thoughts pertaining to our current political standings. I could point out a lot instances where Diana’s views on man’s war were on point! Then again, she’s a child to the human world. She has no real concept of the human race, the day-to-day struggle for the average person, especially at that time in history, so when she questions a lot of choices, she sounds like a child who sees war as a bad thing, point-blank, before knowing what the options were, why those options were ruled out, the idea that you can’t satisfy everyone, and sometimes world politics get, well, political!
So before this gets too close to one “side” of the political fence…
I very much enjoyed Wonder Woman. I was thrilled to hear that the guys I watched it with, were just as blown away as I was! While I can’t imagine myself on a battleground wearing a bikini bottom with my hair down, I can look past that to give many hoots and several hollers for this film. The Justice League cannot unite fast enough!