I remember my first exposure to Wonder Woman. It was in a spare room mainly used by one of my older cousins at my Grandma’s house, she was just a sticker on the wall along with Batman and Robin, Superman, Aquaman, The Flash, and a completely random Captain America. Whenever I would stay in the room I would lay in bed staring at them for hours, imagining scenarios in my head where Her and I, I being me and me being Batgirl in these fantasies (because I didn’t want to be WW, I wanted to hang out with her), would be a team and Batman and Robin would call us up to help them out all the time! Essentially we were their backup and I’m neither confirming nor denying the fact that they may have also been the imaginary friends of a certain only child who had many “adventures” with her Super Friends. That same only child may have grown up into an adult who just left the theatre feeling completely empowered and hopeful after seeing an old friend get a chance to shine, and shine she did.
Let’s start with Gal Gadot. I don’t mind telling you I wasn’t sold on her in the beginning, I came around a bit when she stole the show in Batman v Superman, but after seeing the film, she won me over completely. Casting has not always been DC’s strong point when it comes to their big screen attempts but the role suited her. She pulled off the way that Diana exudes strength and power yet has a certain softness to her. She comes across genuine and that made everything from her comedic moments to her powerhouse action scenes feel organic. In classic Wonder Woman style, she takes on an army in well shot battle scenes that showcase her years of warrior training and director Patty Jenkins’ ability to deliver well timed and executed sequences that kept a nice pace to the movie.
We get to see the growth of Diana, Princess of Themyscira on the paradise island inhabited by a group of women that were diverse in size, shape, and shade. She’s clearly created with a love of battle and her running around all these radiant Amazons when she’s little is just the right note to start off on. As I said, the movie is well paced so they spend just the right amount of time showing her growth and training as well as giving you the rundown on what goes down between Zeus and Ares and why the Amazonians exist in a hidden place. They live there awaiting the moment they will need to defend themselves against the God of War, all the while keeping it hush that Diana technically IS a God.
Then comes Captain Kirk, my bad, I mean Steve Trevor. Chris Pine does a great job of playing the supporting lead in this flick, standing out but never trying to steal the thunder of some of the amazing women he was working with. In more good casting news, Robin Wright turned in an imposing performance as the head general of the Amazonian armies. She has to convince Diana’s mother, Hippolyta, played by Connie Nielsen, to allow her to be trained and when she refuses, they train in secret. With all these awesome female actresses it’s no wonder we have the adorable Lucy Davis playing Etta Kandy. While in the movie she plays Steve Trevor’s secretary, in the comics she was Wonder woman’s best friend and basically her sidekick which is essentially what she is for Steve and quickly becomes that for Diana as well. Every good superhero needs to have its villains and Wonder Woman is no different. This time she was after Ares, God of War, to put an end to the suffering of mankind after being told about the War to End All Wars. WWI calls and she replies to go after General Ludendorff, Danny Huston, and a woman with such a maniacal reputation she’s known as Dr. Poison. Poison is played by yet another great new actress, Elena Anaya, who does a fantastic job as a psychotic genius.
Watching her maneuver through the turn of the century was brilliant. All of her prowess and power surrounded by men who feel like she’s intruding upon their space by having the audacity to even just be. Those moments tickled my feminist little heart. It made me think of what the energy must have been like in those theaters down in Austin. There were a few scenes where I and others erupted in cheer or emotion and being at those all-female screenings I imagine it would’ve been even more exuberance for the moments when she shut sexism down by not even acknowledging its existence. This movie was important because it was about representation. I love the Marvel films but how many years have they been doing this now? Where are their female character stand-alone films? I hope this will inspire them to do them cause I will definitely come out to see them. I also hope it will inspire Hollywood to put a little more money into the marketing end of a strong female superhero movie. I mean, there were sex toys for Guardians of the Galaxy 2. Sex toys! Unofficial ones, but still! Drax skin vibrators and Rocket’s tail anal plug style, the whole nine yards. That movie was so well marketed that it even inspired the kink community! Which is really interesting considering that in her early years there were many bondage themes through Wonder Woman’s story. I mean no Slurpees, no Doritos, no Happy Meal toy, can I at least get a Lasso of Truth whip?
This movie was really well done. I am now actually excited for Justice League and hope this will not be the last stand alone Wonder Woman flick. I mean, between the casting and how well they treated her character, I’m even getting excited for Aquaman at this point. I may have even foolishly stayed in the theater wishing and hoping for an end credit scene with a nod to the Aquatic Ace despite knowing DC doesn’t do that, <sigh> a girl can dream! DC seems to finally be finding their groove when it comes to the big screen movies and I’m not alone in the DC universe of fandom when I say, it’s about time! But I can’t say I’m surprised, I knew from the first day I saw her on my Grandma’s wall, She Can Do It!