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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Fishing in the Discount Bin - Wonder Woman

Here we go again on Fishing in the Discount Bin.  I watch a movie and blog about it, because everyone needs a hobby.  Time to roll out one of the big hits of 2017, Wonder Woman.  This is in my notes at October 22, 2017.

When Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, there was an interesting statistic about it.  The #1 thing that people were most excited to see in that film wasn't the brawl between the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel, it was Wonder Woman.  And why not?  Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman are the big 3 of DC.  The boys have had their turn on the silver screen, why not the girls?  We were craving a Wonder Woman movie. 

But then we had our naysayers.  "Catwoman bombed.  Elektra bombed.  People don't want female superheroes," they'd say.  I argue that Catwoman and Elektra didn't bomb because they had female leads, they bombed because they sucked.  Give us a good female-led superhero film, and the people would come. 

So, as you can see, there was actually quite a bit of pressure on Wonder Woman.  Not only was it the first film adaptation of one of the world's most beloved superheroes, but it also had to be good to prove that female-driven superhero films can be a thing.  And, with mixed-to-poor reaction to Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad, DC was in dire need of a hit.

And Wonder Woman delivered.  It was good.  It was fun.  It managed to avoid the bleakness of Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad, and bring a sense of joy back to DC movies. 

The film is a fairly straightforward retelling of Wonder Woman's origin.  Diana, daughter of Queen Hipolyta, ruler of the Amazons.  They have lived for centuries in seclusion on the hidden island of Thymescera.  But then, the outside world literally comes crashing down, as soldier Steve Trevor crashes his plane on the island, with a platoon of German soldiers hot on his tail.  World War I is currently raging, and Diana is convinced it's Ares, the God of War, up to his old tricks.  Against her mother's wishes, Diana escorts Trevor back to the outside world so she can help Trevor in his mission and take down Ares. 

In a way, this is Diana's coming-of-age story, as she's thrust into the real world for the first time and starts to learn that everything isn't as black-and-white as the stories her mother told her.  Plus, she's also wide-eyed at some of the wonders of the modern world.  I love the cute little scene where she tries ice cream for the first time.  And in the middle of it all, is Gal Gadot's amazing performance.  She's just perfect the way she captures Diana's enthusiasm and naivety and desire to do what's right. 

Also gotta love Chris Pine as Steve Trevor, Diana's guide in this new world.  He's a spy, he's seen some shit, so when he washes up on the island of the Amazons, he just rolls with it.  It's just a very calm, "Alright," and then he's on to the next crisis.  Great stuff. 

I was a little curious to see how the World War I setting would work, because it's an era that we haven't traditionally seen superheroes in.  But it works so well, especially in the standout No Man's Land sequence, where we're able to see Diana cut loose for the first time. 

Wonder Woman is a good movie, gang, and it's nice to see Diana finally get her due.

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