Wonder Woman (2017)
June 2, 2017 6:38 AM - Subscribe

 
Quick thoughts: They didn't fuck it up, thank god.

The movie is good and Gal Gadot plays the character very well, I'm excited to see her playing the character in the future. The humor is well used, though cliched, but there's enough scenes and statements that articulate the idea of WW being a powerful and independent woman, which is the most important part, imo.

Still, it's an origin story, and falls into cliches with an uninspiring villain in the final third of the movie. It clings too much to comic book tropes, ones that were formed back in the 40S, 50s, and 60s and haven't aged well.

But those are minor points here. Most importantly, they didn't fuck it up, the movie is good, the character is very likable (if not overly deep and nuanced at this point) and I think it'll mean a helluva lot to a lot of women to see it.

Looking forward to WW2!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:43 AM on June 2 [2 favorites]


Saw this last night. Easily the best movie that Zack Snyder has touched.

Only a couple of minor quibbles:

* Warner still hasn't found a SFX/CGI unit that understands how things arc under Earth gravity. Yes, big heavy things are big heavy things but, if you can lift and throw it, it's going to decelerate and accelerate much the same way as something lighter.

* The fights are beautifully choreographed, and my companions and I spent a lot of time gasping at the pure joy of combat. But one fight has, like, six wide shots of WW getting hit/thrown/jumping across a room followed by a snap cut to her, head down, looking up and smiling into the camera. It's a cute, well-known shot - once in a fight. After that, it's repetitive.

We may have walked out referring to this as "Captain Wonder: The First Leaguer". Bring tissues.
posted by hanov3r at 7:57 AM on June 2 [9 favorites]


Also, I may have spent an inordinate amount of time looking at Charlie and wondering if he was Simon Pegg under a shit-ton of makeup. (Not really a spoiler: it's not Simon Pegg)
posted by hanov3r at 8:00 AM on June 2 [9 favorites]


Agree that the fight scenes are so great. The fighting styles of the Amazons are interesting and I thought slo mo was well used to highlight that. I also thought the costuming and filming of the Amazons generally and WW in particular was thankfully mostly devoid of overt sexiness or male gaze. Would it make more sense for them to wear leather leggings or something? Sure, but that's pretty out of step with what most people's idea of WW costume (acknowledging that she has worn leggings at different times in the comics). The costume is a good update of the classic costume that is attractive but more modest and practical than, for example, TV's WW.

Gadot brings a lot of presence to the role - a sense of total confidence especially when she's surrounded by male leaders in London.
posted by jeoc at 9:02 AM on June 2 [8 favorites]


I really liked it. I also like that Ares is consistently a dud villain across all realities. For a hot second there, I thought they really were gonna subvert the Last Boss trope of these movies. That felt a little weird to have that scene right after Steve gives her that speech about how there's never just the one bad guy to have it come down to just the one bad guy.

Great movie overall though. Cool fights, cool chases, cool yelling at the jerks in the warroom and touching, efficient origin sequence. Also, Robin Wright is ripped, geez louise I had no idea.

We may have walked out referring to this as "Captain Wonder: The First Leaguer". Bring tissues.

Felt the same way. DC finally figured out how to make a good Marvel movie.
posted by EatTheWeak at 12:55 PM on June 2 [8 favorites]


I also like that Ares is consistently a dud villain across all realities.

Pity, the actor had a certain gravitas before he was revealed and was shaping up to be the best kind of villain, one with a bit of truth in his views.

Then he had to put on supersuit and act like a stero typical bad guy and get trounced.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:24 PM on June 2 [21 favorites]


ANOTHER thing I really liked:

There's potential for Diana to fall into the "born sexy yesterday" trap when she leaves Themyscria. The movie not only avoids that, allowing her to be both naive and intelligent, it gender switches one of the typical characteristics of the trope by having Diana encounter Chris Pine's character naked in the baths after his capture. I love the detail of him playing in the shimmery water before she comes in.
posted by jeoc at 4:38 PM on June 2 [30 favorites]


Looking forward to WW2!

Me too, and if it's not set in 70s with a dope disco soundtrack, I'm gonna freak out.
posted by EatTheWeak at 5:15 PM on June 2 [1 favorite]


The replacement for Zach Snyder on JUSTICE LEAGUE is... Joss Whedon!

It's happening!!!
posted by Justinian at 5:24 PM on June 2


I thought it was pretty decent. I agree that I would have loved for the villain to be a super actual BAD guy instead of a cartoon villain (which, of course, he is.) I'd watch Thewlis in ANYTHING after the movie "Naked."

But to sit there next to a little girl and know I can take her to a truly badass female comic book movie after having taken her to the latest Star Wars movies where she can watch girls and women drive the plot and the action and kick boys butts all over the place makes it 10000x more thrilling. If anyone can sit there and see the look on a little girl's face and still freak out over a women-only screening of this movie, they are truly lost.

Also, there was no cut scene, right? As the credits started to roll I was furiously googling to see, and then one of the ushers, who was waiting for all of us to leave so he could clean up before the next movie yelled "THERE AIN'T NO LAST SCENE, IF THAT'S WHAT YOU'RE WAITING FOR." So, I still don't know.
posted by nevercalm at 6:55 PM on June 2 [5 favorites]


No scenes during or after the credits. Our usher was less time-pressed/surly than yours and we stayed all the way through.
posted by jeoc at 7:04 PM on June 2 [2 favorites]




I liked the movie. A lot actually. But my enjoyment was a little tempered by the fact that once she leaves her island she only speaks to two other female characters on screen: the secretary and the unnamed woman with the child (does she actually speak to that woman or does she just look at her?). It's like yay wonder woman gets her own movie! Finally! Oh but, except for the first 20 minutes, she just hangs out with dudes the whole time. Did someone use their monkey paw for the WW movie?
posted by LizBoBiz at 9:46 PM on June 2 [18 favorites]


The replacement for Zach Snyder on JUSTICE LEAGUE is... Joss Whedon!

It's happening!!!


JL finished shooting over 7 months before Joss took over, and it will be in theaters less than 6 months after. So unless the studio wants to push the release into 2019 or something, the end result prob won't be that different.
posted by sideshow at 12:50 AM on June 3


Don't ruin this for me.
posted by Justinian at 3:13 AM on June 3 [2 favorites]


Don't make a discussion about WW about someone who had nothing to do with the movie.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:33 AM on June 3 [12 favorites]


I thought the movie was good. I really didn't know what to expect, since I really never followed the wonder woman comic. It's not as witty as marvel, but It's my favorite DC movie to date.
posted by ZypDon54 at 9:26 AM on June 3 [1 favorite]


I also thought the costuming and filming of the Amazons generally and WW in particular was thankfully mostly devoid of overt sexiness or male gaze. Would it make more sense for them to wear leather leggings or something? Sure, but that's pretty out of step with what most people's idea of WW costume (acknowledging that she has worn leggings at different times in the comics).

I think they did a good job with WW/the Amazons having a sweaty, leather-strap-gladiator aesthetic. It works pretty well with the "Greek heroes don't wear lots of protection" ideal. It was an athletic-attractive not a "Hey boys, wink wink!" sexy, except for the goddamn heels on her boots, but I'm just going to ignore that. In her civilian clothes, she is pretty wrapped up and conservatively dressed.

I enjoyed Chris Pine as the damsel in distress so much, though he got to be very brave also, but he never threatened to take over the film from her.

The theater was packed for this, and we had to wait in line when we got there early. There's definitely going to be a sequel (besides Justice League, hopefully). I might even be able to sit through some Batfleck since she's going to be in it.

My only complaint: they brought in Etta Candy, but she's going to be dead by the time of JL and that's just not fair. We need much more of her and Diana having adventures, making snide commentary on sexism and generally being buds.
posted by emjaybee at 11:34 AM on June 3 [23 favorites]


I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. If I had to point out weaknesses, it'd be that the first part (getting to see various relationship dynamics in Thymescera) felt a bit rushed, Ares was super under developed and the bg score/ music felt lacking. For all it's faults I thought BvS had a much more gripping score at play.
posted by asra at 12:36 PM on June 3


Really really loved it for the most part. Felt the ending was slightly hamfisted, especially going from "it's not Ares, it's all of us" to defeating Ares and then everybody hugging. I really hope we get to see Themyscira again sometime.

Also, possibly my favorite ridiculous thing in the movie was Davis Thewlis still having his amazing moustache as ancient greek Ares.
posted by kmz at 1:35 PM on June 3 [18 favorites]


I thought it was terrible. Here it is, in very brief. SPOILERSSs

Entirely inconsistent with it's intended message.
Diana is hundreds (thousands?) of years old. She spent all that time with the same family, who she obviously cared deeply for and was loyal to. The "love" that led to her big breakthrough was from a man she knew for 5 days.
So. Many. Stupid. Sex. References.
Complete and entire Lesbian erasure.
Fucking up greek mythology.
Making an entire race of badass women, and then turning around and making their origin story pretty rapey.
The long, long battle of intimacizing violence against women. Chris pine dies off screen, with a peaceful look on his face. Wonder Woman is on screen for a prolonged period, tied up on the ground, writhing, with lots of closeup shots of her face.
WHY DID THEY MAKE HER SO CLUELESS? She'd hundreds of years old. She spent YEARS training in secret, hiding from the queen of the Amazons. They, canonically, have a library (or was that just for sex). they are the best warriors on the planet!! And she gets into the real world and suddenly she's lost all thought, traipsing into places basically going "HELLO I AM HERE TO KILL THAT MAN WHAT IS STEALTH?"
Aaaaalmost having a cool villain with reason and some truth to what he's saying, and then Diana just going "nah, son" and there not being any real reason for it.
Yeah, it was a story with a woman as a main character, but she was still used as a plot device to further a man's story.
War criminals aren't bad! Kill aries and everyone just hugs it out in the end.
Chris pine didn't even have to die that was just fucking stupid and put in there to give Hetero Feelings
posted by FirstMateKate at 3:21 PM on June 3 [18 favorites]


Also, the directing was bland. No special frames. >Shot of person 1 talking >shot of person 2 responding >shot of person 3 talking >group shot of everyone's reactions. >drone shot of a warfield
posted by FirstMateKate at 3:25 PM on June 3 [1 favorite]


I can not wait to see this movie. Everything I have seen and read so far has me insanely excited. Unfortunately I am traveling for work and may not be able to see it until next week. But I am so happy to support a superhero movie with a female lead & female director and a message that is positive, hopeful and anti-war. My heart and soul are in great need of this movie right now.
posted by pjsky at 3:45 PM on June 3


I enjoyed it. It has flaws and I'll probably complain about those later but damn that was the best D.C. movie of the 21st century.
posted by rmd1023 at 5:15 PM on June 3 [4 favorites]


In response to the comments above about the Amazon's look, here's what the director has said:
"[A]ccording to Jenkins, every design decision she made for Themyscira came down to the same question: 'How would I want to live that's badass?'"
Regarding the Amazons' armor, she said:
"It's total wish-fulfillment [...] I, as a woman, want Wonder Woman to be hot as hell, fight badass, and look great at the same time—the same way men want Superman to have huge pecs and an impractically big body. That makes them feel like the hero they want to be. And my hero, in my head, has really long legs."
(Source: EW - warning: autoplaying video!)

Inspirational while indulging in a fetish - that's the true spirit of Wonder Woman!

(BTW, the filmmakers also cast real world athletes to fill out the Amazons ranks, adding to the diversity and verisimilitude.]
posted by cheshyre at 6:06 PM on June 3 [10 favorites]


Making an entire race of badass women, and then turning around and making their origin story pretty rapey.
posted by FirstMateKate at 3:21 PM on June 3


I haven't seen the movie yet, so I can comment on the rest of your points, but in the comics, the rapey origin (at the hands of Hercules and/or his men) has been pretty much canon throughout the years. (I can't say it's always been canon because continuity doesn't work that way in comics.)
posted by sardonyx at 8:08 PM on June 3


I can confirm it's been canon since George Perez's post-Crisis reboot in 1986.
No clue about anything before that.
posted by cheshyre at 8:26 PM on June 3


The "love" that led to her big breakthrough was from a man she knew for 5 days.

What movie were you watching? 'Cause in the one i saw she left to end the war, not for Steve Trevor in any way.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:58 PM on June 3 [15 favorites]


Also in What Movie Were You Watching:

Complete and entire Lesbian erasure.

I'm fairly certain that when she said that men were necessary for procreation, not pleasure, she wasn't talking about masturbation.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:39 PM on June 3 [44 favorites]


I boggled at the film's depiction of actual historical person General Ludendorff. It was like having Captain America team up with werewolf Eisenhower.

In general, this film comes from the better Hollywood of a parallel universe.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 11:23 PM on June 3 [6 favorites]


Yeah, it was a story with a woman as a main character, but she was still used as a plot device to further a man's story.

What man? Steve Trevor? Steve didn't get a character arc, Steve did what he would have done with or without Diana. He's on his own parallel and separate journey. Take Diana out of his story post her saving him, and nothing much other than the logistics of him getting back to Belgium and saving the town of Veld changes. If anything, he's a plot device to further Diana's story.

Honestly, if you still focused on Steve Trevor's story to the exclusion of Diana's, I have difficulty seeing that as anything other than a willful failure to see Diana's arc, and a willful failure to accord her her own centrality in her own narrative. Steve's there to enable her heroism and give her a couple teary-eyed speeches, not the other way around. It's Diana who's learning about war and humanity, it's Diana who comes to know herself and her power, it's Diana who learns what it takes to defeat Ares. It's Diana whose eyes we are encouraged to see the world through. Steve Trevor is a static character, Diana's the one on the hero's journey. Steve's the guy who's at the end of his hero's journey, who did all his learning and growing off screen before he knew Diana. Like any number of lady love interests, Steve Trevor is just the symbol of All That Is Good in Humanity, the exemplar person who brings it all back to the personal for Our Hero.
posted by yasaman at 11:44 PM on June 3 [52 favorites]


I saw it this arvo, the wife loved it, I thought it was good-with-some-buts, though easily the best movie DC have made in years.

Things I liked: characters and cast were great. Gadot and Pine in particular were terrific and had great chemistry.

Jenkins' direction was fine.

The first half was much better than the second half.

What I didn't like:

The story. It was simplistic to a fault (heard of subplots, guys? you should try one. Literally even just one). It was so flat and sequential. The characters are so great, let's spend some more time with them talking, not just advancing the plot. Was a total dude ranch once they left the island.

I found the film (once they left the island) very monotone on multiple levels. I wanted to see more of Diana kicking ass, proper action scenes. Diana hiding, Diana stealing etc. I thought a lot of the action lacked creativity and were too short.

Visually it was so dark, most of the time. The visual palette was this desaturated blue-grey, aka DC house colours.

Terrible stock villain and ending. I mean I get it, with such a great hero you can take a mulligan with the villain, but he was so sub par.

Too emo. Why are DC films so emo? My favourite parts of the movie were the parts with some levity to them like the first half or so.

Some of the cgi, especially at the end, was dreadful and way overused. Reminded me of batman vs superman with fire and play dough figures duking it out.

I think the rave reviews put my expectations too high. I'd probably put this slightly above age of Ultron,like Ant man territory, but i think it could have been so much better with just a little more work. I think a sequel holds great potential.
posted by smoke at 12:06 AM on June 4 [7 favorites]


Hmm, now I've didn't the afternoon digesting, my appreciation of what the movie got right has increased. I think my main quibble could be boiled down to, I wanted more of the great stuff.
posted by smoke at 2:16 AM on June 4 [5 favorites]


Okay, first off, I'm torn between facepalming at having a Native American character who is named "Chief" vs the idea that, well, in the 19teens, he probably would've been nicknamed "Chief".

Second, there was a shift late in the movie in the ... scale of Diana's powers, for lack of a better term, that sort of chafed for me. It was like she changed from being on par with Captain America to Superman. I'm mostly okay with Diana having nigh-godlike powers when fighting with a god at our movie climax because okay whatever rising to the occasion or something, but somewhere around the Belgian town it started seeming oddly mismatched for me with her fighting mortals. I think it was the jump into the clocktower - I'd expect her to smash through, maybe taking some wall with her, and then pummel the sniper or throw him out of the tower or something. But instead there was a total explosion. The former is more in line with her crossing No Man's Land (which sort of seemed in spec for her abilities). It was a big shift in ability without any prompting or character change driving it.

I was initially sort of expecting the fake-out with Ares would be that it was the weapons developer, but at a meta level I figured if you've got David Thewlis, he's probably not in a bit part. (It's like seeing a big-name person in the credits of a Law & Order episode - you *know* they're victim or perp or otherwise deeply involved.)

Not much in the way of subplot in the movie, but it's already almost 2.5 hours long - I suspect there's a bunch of stuff that was cut out or unexplored just so we could shoehorn everything that's actually in the movie into the movie.
posted by rmd1023 at 6:48 AM on June 4 [2 favorites]


I boggled at the film's depiction of actual historical person General Ludendorff. It was like having Captain America team up with werewolf Eisenhower.

The real-life Ludendorff was, if anything, possibly worse than the movie version; he is more responsible than anyone for the Dolchstoßlegende, and participated in Hitler's Beer Hall Putsch. (He later split from Hitler, and predicted the misery that Hitler would bring to the country, but far too late for it to do any good.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:02 AM on June 4 [5 favorites]


...there was a shift late in the movie in the ... scale of Diana's powers, for lack of a better term, that sort of chafed for me.

I liked it and took it to mean Diana was coming into her own, learning that she's the godkiller.

There are a ton of small things I don't think worked in the film. Her shield seemed ridiculously small especially for use in the No Man's land scene. It calls into question whether she's bullet proof or not and if she isn't, then she becomes like Batman: silly, 'cause you wonder why a single person can't manage to shoot her. Yeah, yeah, fast reflexes, but surely the Germans had more than 2 or three machine guns in No Man's land, right?

But she's a demi-goddess or something similar, so she's nigh invincible, so bullets shouldn't bother, same as they don't bother Supes.

Yet it looked damn good to see her kickin' ass left and right, so only a few people care about that stuff.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:31 AM on June 4 [3 favorites]


Not only was the First Nations character called "Chief", he also communicated via smoke signals. I had high hopes heading into the film and left mostly disappointed. As not much of a comic book fan what I hear is that origin stories/universe are more or less set and can't be fiddled with too much. But four sidekicks, all of whom are male? I'm glad comic book fans liked it and hope it makes a ton of money so we see more women as leads and directors and maybe there will be more changes over time.

I did like like a lot of the humorous bits - young Ares with moustache, Diana trying out the clothes, Diana sizing up the the wealthy woman In the woods and the watch banter when Steve was in the pool. Less naive earnestness and slo-mo CGI and more funny please. And let's get Some Brienne of Tarth sized Amazons to go with the Robin Wright sized ones too.
posted by Cuke at 8:13 AM on June 4 [8 favorites]


The "love" that led to her big breakthrough was from a man she knew for 5 days.

What movie were you watching? 'Cause in the one i saw she left to end the war, not for Steve Trevor in any way.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:58 PM on June 3 [1 favorite +] [!]


Leaving the Island wasn't her big breakthrough, that was just her fulfilling her childhood dreams and fantasy. I'm talking about the burst of energy and the will to fight when she finally understood what Steve was telling her, which was, idiotically, "I have to do this and you cant", and also "I love you". Thats what drove her to being able to defeat the Power Rangers enemy.
posted by FirstMateKate at 9:59 AM on June 4 [12 favorites]


that was just her fulfilling her childhood dreams and fantasy.

And I want to reiterate that, yes, they way the movie was set up, that's all this amounted to. She leaves on this naive notion that all men are actually good, Aries is the source of all evil, despite her mother, all the other warriors, and the man who just came from the outside telling her different. She's got tons of people here who have actually interacted with man telling her the truth, and she decides to act on a story her mom told her as a child. And, through the movie, they only prove everyone else right.

It infuriates me that the first movie they make with a female lead, she's just some naive, head-strong child who isn't in charge of her own story.
posted by FirstMateKate at 10:08 AM on June 4 [3 favorites]


It infuriates me that the first movie they make with a female lead, she's just some naive, head-strong child who isn't in charge of her own story.

Maybe I'm missing some aspect of this critique, but I feel like you are sketching out pretty basic here's journey stuff. It's pretty hard to have a character grow if they start off having it all figured out. Tony Stark is a completely selfish, money-grubbing war-monger until he learns the devastation his weapons are causing. Peter Parker is happy to let a robber slide by without lifting a finger, but then his uncle gets killed and he realizes he has to use his abilities to make the world a better place. Since Chris Pine is standing right there, think about what a completely immature jerk Captain Kirk was in the 2009 Star Trek reboot until he needed to grow up when responsibility fell on him. I don't get how "Diana was naive about the nature of humanity until she saw it for herself" is any more insulting than the other character arcs. And it's hard for me to square "head-strong child who isn't in charge of her own story" with the character I saw who defied her mother to get combat training, insisted on leaving home to help with the war, insisted on saving the village when everyone told her it was pointless, and kept a focus on bringing down Ares when her companions didn't believe he existed. That seems pretty "in charge of her own story" to me. She's constantly driving the action.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 10:46 AM on June 4 [42 favorites]


Did anyone else's audience get the giggles at David Thewlis' head glued onto a beefy naked Ares body in a late backstory flashback? It threw my crowd out of the movie hard.

I had a good time, overall. I did find it a little stark the way that everyone was either Hollywood Beautiful or Hollywood Ugly; that David Thewlis was literally the only actor done up to be Hollywood Average, and the fact that he was a big name in a seemingly minor role, both hung a lampshade on him being more important to the plot. I wouldn't have minded more women in the mortal world, I don't care if it's anachronistic. I would have watched a whole extra hour of Amazons and their friendly intense training.
posted by tchemgrrl at 10:52 AM on June 4 [8 favorites]


Not only was the First Nations character called "Chief", he also communicated via smoke signals.

That did make me narrow my eyes and go "hmmmmm." He is, however, also named as something other than Chief!
His first words to her were in Blackfoot. Even better, he introduced himself as Napi, the Blackfoot demi-god who is known as a trickster and a storyteller.
According to the article, actor Eugene Brave Rock also chose what he wore in the movie himself.
posted by yasaman at 10:57 AM on June 4 [55 favorites]


actor Eugene Brave Rock also chose what he wore in the movie himself.

This comes as a significant relief. That character's depiction felt to me as though the film had come down on the wrong side of representation/exploitation, and it left a very bad taste in my mouth. I'm glad to hear some reason to think that that portrayal wasn't as ostentatiously racist as it had seemed.

Did anyone else's audience get the giggles at David Thewlis' head glued onto a beefy naked Ares body in a late backstory flashback?

I thought Remus Lupin made a surprisingly effective Sauron.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 11:25 AM on June 4 [12 favorites]


Diana's powers leveling up didn't bother me. It made perfect sense given how her aunt tried to hint at what she was "you don't believe in yourself", etc.

Her finding herself and her godlike powers finally at the realization that Steve is dead isn't, to me, about her love for Steve exactly. He gave his life to save thousands of people. He told her why he does what he does. She's been isolated in a literally insular society given limited information about how things really are. She hasn't had to experience real conflict or hard choices ever. He loves her and yet gives his life to save others. It's not her specific love (only) she's fighting for: it's so everyone has a chance for love.

Or maybe I need to make more of what might have been intended to be a simplistic trope because I cried. But it's my head canon and you can't take it.
posted by R343L at 12:33 PM on June 4 [21 favorites]


Don't make a discussion about WW about someone who had nothing to do with the movie.

Snyder? He cast Gadot. Jenkins is on record that she didn't think that far; had it been up to her, she'd cast an American actress. Haven't seen the film yet, so no idea if casting an actress from eastern mediterranean to play a character from eastern mediterranean worked out, but it makes a certain sense...

(if you meant Whedon, he was attached to the project as writer/director in 2005. It's been in the works long enough that everyone was involved at some point...)
posted by effbot at 12:47 PM on June 4 [3 favorites]


If Gadot doesn't get an academy award for this, the whole thing is rigged.

DC finally figured out how to make a Marvel movie, yeah. Not only that, they made the best Marvel movie yet. And really, one of the best movies I've ever seen.

There were no missed notes, no off tropes. It was a bit rushed at the beginning, but that's because they didn't want it to be five hours long. Nothing is omitted. Every character, even the bit players, has a believable arc, and Diana's arc is both awesome and completely believable despite the fact that her arc is to find out she is a demigod. We've seen battles between godlike characters before, in Marvel and DC and other unrelated venues. This is the best one ever, as Diana is figuring out what she is capable of in the midst of battle. Steve's sacrifice is a perfect fulcrum on which she pivots from being Diana, naive daughter of the Amazons, to being Wonder Woman.

This is a movie to see in a theatre. Not necessarily in 3D; I saw it in 3D and I'm not sure it added that much. But yes, let yourself be overwhelmed by this movie. See it big and loud and with other people. See a movie about a demigod done without a milligram of snark, and with all the grand themes rolled out, and see it work like we've never seen it before.

I'm sure this is a fantastic movie to see if you're a woman, but it's also a fantastic movie if you are a man. Because it it's about how in the end we aren't German or American or male or female, or even human or half-god. It's about how we discover ourselves and our place in the world, and every character in the movie faces that in a challenging and believable way. It's something we've seen tried before, maybe half a dozen times, but it's never worked as well as it does this time.

Tiny spoiler, if you are battling the daughter of Zeus calling down lightning from the heavens to use as a weapon against her might not be the best idea LOL.
posted by Bringer Tom at 3:03 PM on June 4 [8 favorites]


It was an athletic-attractive not a "Hey boys, wink wink!" sexy, except for the goddamn heels on her boots, but I'm just going to ignore that.

Gal Gadot wore flats to the opening actually. When some some entertainment reporter asked her about it "Why flats, not heels?", she looked at the reporter like they were an idiot and said, "Because they're more comfortable."
posted by leotrotsky at 3:11 PM on June 4 [28 favorites]


Also, do you have any idea what super great encouragement it is for my 9 year old to practice her Hebrew now that she knows it's Wonder Woman's native language?!
posted by leotrotsky at 3:15 PM on June 4 [41 favorites]


Oh also it's a great "Fuck You" to the anti-semites that have sprung up recently.
posted by leotrotsky at 3:16 PM on June 4 [9 favorites]


Because they're more comfortable.

Gal Gadot is going to be a powerful figure for the rest of her life, and like the iconic character she plays she knows it. I am really looking forward to seeing where else she goes with it. Not wearing heels because fuck you, flats are more comfortable, is perfectly in character.
posted by Bringer Tom at 3:16 PM on June 4 [3 favorites]


leotrotsky, if you want to you can tell your 9yo that an old white male atheist on the internets said "you go girl." It was a bit thing but I loved how important Diana's language skills were in the plot and how much fun they were at a couple others, just for establishing relationships.
posted by Bringer Tom at 3:20 PM on June 4


Also of note: Autostraddle's review (site has some NSFW content, although it's usually clearly labeled).
posted by Halloween Jack at 3:38 PM on June 4 [2 favorites]


insisted on leaving home to help with the war, insisted on saving the village when everyone told her it was pointless, and kept a focus on bringing down Ares when her companions didn't believe he existed

Everything she accomplished was undermined. She wanted to help with the war because she believed in doing so would restore Man's natural goodness. This was not the case.

It was pointless in saving the village, everyone died anyway.

She was focused on bringing down Ares because she was naive and thought he was the root of all evil. I mean, yeah, he's bad. But her motives were undermined.

A Lot of y'all are getting uppity like Diana is a real person that I'm critiquing, and therefore somehow bringing down women everywhere. Where in reality, I'm frustrated about a system that routinely gives women the short end of the stick, frustrated about a fictional woman who has no agency and therefore can be used to paint a weak picture of a female character. I want to have a good female hero. Wonder Woman is not it.

I mean, sorry y'all. I'm a bit...more radical in my feminism than a lot of feminists, a lot of left feminists, even a lot of people on metafilter. I don't like the movie. I think they did a shit job, and even outside of my feminist critique I thought it was boringly shot, trite, and inconsistent story telling.
posted by FirstMateKate at 3:57 PM on June 4 [8 favorites]


Yes FirstMateKate you're right about all of that. Except for the part where Diana grows up in the course of it all. Steve sacrifices himself, a thing Diana has never seen before, and it hardens her. Not because she was in romantic love with him, but because she understood immediately what he did, he sacrificed his own life to save others. Saving others is what Diana was told from her birth was her mission in life. How could she do less than this man? In the course of not doing less, she discovers that she is actually the daughter of Zeus, a goddess. It's clear that in the DC movie universe Diana will be able to hold her own against Superman, which is no small thing.

Diana doesn't obey a single directive directed to her by a man in the course of the entire film. Not once.

And if you're looking for male whatever influence, you might want to notice the director's gender.
posted by Bringer Tom at 4:15 PM on June 4 [12 favorites]


Can you maybe not use the word uppity when you disagree with people's media opinions, or uh, anywhere else? It's a pretty loaded word.

Obviously we're going to have to agree to disagree, but I just literally don't see where you're getting that Diana has no agency in the movie. She takes actions based on her own knowledge and her own motivations. At every turn, she's motivated by her ideals. The plot moves forward based on her actions. Some of her actions had consequences she didn't foresee, because she had incomplete knowledge. This is all pretty standard hero's journey stuff. She was wrong about what would happen, yes, but that's called character development. She thought one thing, she learned new things, she achieved a better understanding at the end. This doesn't undermine her motivations. The whole point is that she recommits herself to her motivations based on the new knowledge and understanding she's gained.
posted by yasaman at 4:19 PM on June 4 [29 favorites]


"Beautiful as Aphrodite, wise as Athena. Swifter than Hermes, and stronger than Hercules." I think Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot nailed it! I loved every minute and every frame of this movie. I can't wait to go see it again with my nieces and nephews!
posted by pjsky at 4:27 PM on June 4 [3 favorites]


Just got back from seeing the movie, and I didn't care for the framing device. WW's the 8-minute highlight of SuperHero FacePunch, and her thanks is having Bruce Wayne all up in her business?
posted by Iris Gambol at 4:30 PM on June 4 [7 favorites]


I'm seriously going to just bow out here. I said my opinion, y'all tried to fight me on it, I read your reasoning, and....yeah I still thing the movie was lacking. There's no point in everyone trying to change my mind. Sometimes people just disagree with you. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by FirstMateKate at 4:38 PM on June 4 [2 favorites]


Fair enough, FirstMateKate. Hopefully the next movie will be more agreeable.
posted by Bringer Tom at 4:47 PM on June 4


The framing device is terrible, because it makes you, um, wonder where WW was through all the terrible things that were happening in the rest of the 20th century.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:53 PM on June 4 [15 favorites]


BTW, I noticed the credits included:
"In memory of Captain William... Somebody"
Anybody catch the name and/or know who he was?
posted by cheshyre at 4:56 PM on June 4


A quick note: the first of the credits reads "in memory of Captain William T. Jenkins." That's not a comic book or historial figure, but something more visceral and obvious: Jenkins is the father of Patty Jenkins, the director of Wonder Woman.
posted by Iris Gambol at 5:00 PM on June 4 [5 favorites]


I seen this last night. I thought it was good, but I wanted it to be better. I think I just figured out who was Ares far too early (when he popped up at the pub) and that kind of ruined it for me.

I will say that the minor characters: Etta Candy, Sameer, Charlie, Chief, and Doctor Poison were all great. They added much needed life to the movie.

I didn't like Chris Pine as Steve Trevor, and I didn't like Trevor at all. His hair drove me bonkers. That bit that kept getting in his eyes really bothered me for some reason. Otherwise I just seen and heard Kirk.

I didn't feel like Gal Gadot was expressive enough in the second half of the film. Even in battle her face had a stillness/blankness to it that made her come off.. passionless. Wonder Woman didn't seem to feel anything about these fights she was in. Not even in the fight with Ares.

Remus Lupin a the God of War also didn't work for me at all. (I am going to blame Xena and Kevin Newnham for that though)

I am eager to see a second WW though, now that we've gotten origin out of the way.
posted by INFJ at 5:00 PM on June 4 [2 favorites]


...wonder where WW was through all the terrible things that were happening in the rest of the 20th century. Brandon Blatcher, that was a discussion point in the car today. The gap in the '70s TV series was explained away by Diana's decades-long retreat to Paradise Island, but in this movie she's explicitly told she can never return. Is the movie following a specific comic book storyline?
posted by Iris Gambol at 5:06 PM on June 4 [1 favorite]


I have a feeling there will be another WW story around WWII, culminating in her reaction to the atomic bomb.
posted by Bringer Tom at 5:11 PM on June 4 [1 favorite]


Maybe witnessing the horrors of WWII is what makes her forsake violence and become a fashion designer for a while.
posted by tobascodagama at 5:13 PM on June 4 [2 favorites]


I thought her mom didn't say she couldn't return just that she may not return. I took it to mean she might be killed or not be able to find her way back, not that she was banned.

But trying to make sense of comic book timelines is not really worth worrying about. You can easily say she WAS around for all the awful of the 20th century but it would have been worse if she hadn't been. (Or did the Batman vs Superman movie imply she just showed up? Still easily retconned to just Batman not knowing about her.)
posted by R343L at 5:49 PM on June 4


Just got back from seeing it and thought it was terrific. The directing, especially the action scenes, are so much better than either of the Snyder DC films and the dialog was great for the most part. Gadot really carries the film and outshines Pine by quite a bit.
posted by octothorpe at 6:09 PM on June 4


Minor quibble: the film photography geek in me was screaming when she pulled out that glass plate, "why aren't you wearing gloves when you're handling that?"
posted by octothorpe at 6:13 PM on June 4 [6 favorites]


...in this movie she's explicitly told she can never return.

I mean in the movie she's also told the sword is the godkiller, isn't she?

Speaking of the sword, I kinda want an extended cut that's her climbing up to the roof of that tower to get it while Ares just stands there and waits, looking exasperated.

Saw this last night and thought it was fine, but not great. Certainly miles better than Batman vs. Superman and Suicide Squad though. A little joy and hope in your superhero film isn't a bad thing! The things I didn't like about it were already covered upthread, so I won't really get into it. Did really enjoy Gadot as Diana which was probably the main positive. I hope they make another one in two years and it's great.
posted by ODiV at 6:23 PM on June 4 [2 favorites]


I didn't care for the framing device.

Batman spent the last DC movie torturing and murdering lots of people, and was in general deranged and unreasonable. Here, the framing device was that he found Diana a thoughtful gift, and that she sent him a sincere thank you card. Super Friends! Not necessary for this movie, but Doyalist important for salvaging Batman as a character from the trainwreck of SvB.

One gets the sense that Diana thinks of Bruce as a solid B+ grade hero. He's no Sameer, but he'll do.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 7:46 PM on June 4 [10 favorites]


The framing device is terrible, because it makes you, um, wonder where WW was through all the terrible things that were happening in the rest of the 20th century.

I hope we get some period piece sequels. I have very little interest in Justice League, but I'd love to see a WW2 set during WWII. How can you pass that up?
posted by Pater Aletheias at 8:25 PM on June 4 [5 favorites]


I totally agree, although I'd hope that at least part of the focus of such a sequel would be Diana's realization that she's not aging along with the surviving members of her Not the Howling Commandos group. (There's a comic called Glory that started out as a standard-issue Rob Liefeld grimdark version of WW, but was significantly revised by Joe Keatinge and Sophie Campbell; one of the features of the latter version was showing what happened to the Etta Candy stand-in over the years.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:39 PM on June 4 [1 favorite]


Random observations:
Gadot seems so much younger with her hair down. Like ten years younger.
I liked Chris Pine as Steve. The part wasn't written great but he give is a bit of warmth. So many other actor may have made a better hero but they would also have sunk like a stone.
Also, yay, Matera.
posted by thegirlwiththehat at 11:36 PM on June 4 [1 favorite]


It infuriates me that the first movie they make with a female lead, she's just some naive, head-strong child who isn't in charge of her own story.

This is literally an age-old plot about the journey from novice to hero. Her confrontation with the realities of war during the No Man's Land scenes were evocative of Siddhārtha Gautama on the road of realizing the existence of mortality and becoming the Buddha.
posted by Apocryphon at 12:49 AM on June 5 [8 favorites]


The framing device is terrible, because it makes you, um, wonder where WW was through all the terrible things that were happening in the rest of the 20th century.

That's actually genius because that's giving the studio a license to make more movies.

Every character, even the bit players, has a believable arc

Charlie didn't get one! I kept on expecting him to overcome his aversion- maybe he was going to shoot at Ares during the big battle as a distraction that helps out Diana. But maybe the arc that ended up happening is somewhat better. Instead of reverting back to being a killer, he makes progress with his PTSD and is able to sing and laugh again.

I liked Chris Pine as Steve. The part wasn't written great but he give is a bit of warmth. So many other actor may have made a better hero but they would also have sunk like a stone.

It was thoughtful of them to give him a scene at the gala as a genuine spy being ingratiating and a male seducer. Showed that he was more than a stereotypical movie commando.

Other thoughts:

* Earlier MeFi discussion about the trailer had people speculating WWI was chosen because it was a war with no clear good or evil sides (despite multiple references to "bad guys" in the movie). My friends felt like it sort of undermined things to have Ares show up at the end. I think one way they could have done it was have it turn out the Brits were in cahoots to extend the war somehow, maybe they wanted the gas for themselves, and show that human nature was the true villain the entire time. I thought the reason why Wonder Woman disappeared until Superman showed up was because she gave up on humanity after her experience in WWI. But, that's a little too gritty and Snyder.

The CGI fight was sort of mediocre and tacked on, but I think the movie does a good enough job of pacing and creating an immersive enough experience that you don't really realize that flaw until later on

* The movie did a better job than Thor in presenting the mythological being out of water scenario (mostly because Thor didn't have enough of those darn scenes), and better job than Captain America in having compelling wartime diverse side characters (mostly because they actually had characterization). Also I totally thought it was going to go Rogue One at the end, and I was sort of right, but I'm glad they didn't kill off the entire team.
posted by Apocryphon at 1:13 AM on June 5 [6 favorites]


I liked this a lot. I think many people have already done a good job describing why, so I won't repeat it all.

I do want to say, though, that the one bit that was odd (not bad, but odd) to me is the intensity of the violence versus the PG-13 rating. I know basically every superhero movie (minus Deadpool and Logan) avoids the R rating for market reasons. I also know that Patty Jenkins has said she didn't want the R rating because she wanted girls to be able to see an awesome, kickass superhero woman. Nonetheless, the movie does a shocking amount of "imply horrific results of violence but then stop just short of showing them" that, if it happened once or twice in a movie, OK, PG-13, but with how many times it happens feels like it is gaming the ratings system right up to the edge of R.

I guess what I'm saying is, I am torn on whether this is really one of those superhero movies you can show to a younger kid so long as you skip them past one part, because there's a lot of those one parts, over and over.
posted by tocts at 5:12 AM on June 5 [7 favorites]


I mean in the movie she's also told the sword is the godkiller, isn't she?

I *think* they do the 'only technically lying' thing and carefully talk around it and only heavily imply that the sword is the Godkiller. I mean, they are in the room with the Godkiller while the conversation is going on...
posted by rmd1023 at 5:36 AM on June 5 [1 favorite]


I guess what I'm saying is, I am torn on whether this is really one of those superhero movies you can show to a younger kid so long as you skip them past one part, because there's a lot of those one parts, over and over.

Yes, it showed the horrors of war, without being especially graphic about it. That's a good thing, in my opinion and fits with what the movie was trying to achieve for WW. She had to see just how ugly the world can be, in order to grow, learn and refine what her goals are.

To me, this is one of the highlights of the film, that it showed how devastating war can be.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:06 AM on June 5 [4 favorites]


I thought this was awesome! The No Man's Land scene and the subsequent scenes in the village were the clear high point of the movie, I thought.

It does seem to me that super hero movies have gotten themselves into an untenable arms race where the ending of every film needs to be more over-the-top apocalyptic than the last one, and this is no exception. But while all that shock-and-awe is going on, there's less opportunity for the charming character interplay that suffused the movie up until that point. I can't really fault this particular movie for it...the same thing happens in a lot of the Marvel movies, too. It seems like nobody can risk making the first movie to de-escalate, to go with a less catastrophic climax.

But that's a structural problem for the genre, and for as long as this movie avoids succumbing to it, it's a total blast. Gadot is just perfect for the part, and the movie finds the perfect take on the character as a fearsome warrior who genuinely does fight to end war. I love this aspect of the story, because "warring to end war" is a lie that people and nations have told themselves several times, ever since war has become an industrialized line of business. I think there's a rich vein of superhero narratives to be mined in considering what it would actually look like to be the warrior who seeks to put an end to war as such, and making Wonder Woman that character is inspired.

That's another reason I agree that it would be great to keep the sequels as historical pieces, gradually working through the 20th century. I've less than no interest in the Justice League movie or the sequels that I'm sure will follow, but I'll happily follow this Wonder Woman on a tour of the intervening decades.
posted by Ipsifendus at 6:25 AM on June 5 [5 favorites]


So, humans are created by Zeus in the DC Verse? Is that now official? I suppose Zeus could have been created by an evenmore powerful being but this framing of (human) creation seems a bit iffy.
posted by asra at 7:50 AM on June 5


I like that it is a film about a brilliant, extremely competent woman who wants to solve problems on the world stage and that men respect her for it and help her do it.
posted by maxsparber at 8:54 AM on June 5 [27 favorites]


It does seem to me that super hero movies have gotten themselves into an untenable arms race where the ending of every film needs to be more over-the-top apocalyptic than the last one, and this is no exception. But while all that shock-and-awe is going on, there's less opportunity for the charming character interplay that suffused the movie up until that point. I can't really fault this particular movie for it...the same thing happens in a lot of the Marvel movies, too. It seems like nobody can risk making the first movie to de-escalate, to go with a less catastrophic climax.

How great would it be if there were a superhero movie that just skipped the big CGI fight? That's the least interesting part of the movie. Heck, the best fight I've ever seen in a superhero movie took place in the Triskelion's elevator.

Just give me dialogue and character development, and if you're going to do a fight, at least make it interesting and novel. Have a fight where the room is running out of air, or one where they can't rise out of a crouch because there are automatic guns on sensors, or one in a public place where they can't draw attention to themselves.
posted by leotrotsky at 9:16 AM on June 5 [16 favorites]


I agree that the ending was wonky and felt super rushed to the point of being re-written. Ares could have got whatever he wanted had he left Diana and her team alone at the weapons factory. It felt like they realized that they did not want to make more WW sequels that would come between WWI and BvS, so they just sort of cauterized the whole thing in CGI lightning.

How I would have done it:
Diana and her team defeat the General in a big fight - he huffs a bunch and becomes Blockbuster, but Diana doesn't really understand the difference. He dies, they capture Dr Poison, and the Super Gas gets destroyed.
The team returns to London with their prisoner, just as Still-Secret-Ares announces the signing of the Armistice. There is a big celebration, but Trevor finds out that Secret-Aries is just thinking about the next war when he learns that Dr Poison is getting Operation Paperclipped into service to build even better weapons. ("But if she builds better bombs, deadlier gas... then how long until we use them?" "That's the point, boy. " *BANG*) Secret-Ares kills/fridges Steve, but some clue (Ares pipe? Calling card? with Steve's watch wrapped around it) is left behind for Diana to discover, because Steve is a spy and that sounds spyish.
That's when Diana confronts Secret-Ares and he does his whole "kill all the humans" pitch that turns into the fight. They can do the CGI thing if they want here. It's Fine. Not great, but Fine. Ares is defeated, but is sort of Voldemorted into a ghost version, physically banished from the mortal realm, but still whispering to bad people to build bad things, as seen in a post-credits scene with Dr Poison ("You work need not stop, even though you too shall die. Share your findings that all might stand on the shoulders of giants.").
Oh, and the final scene would be Wonder Woman suiting up in the modern age and jumping off to fight Evil, except rather than a sweeping shot of modern London, it's her being grabbed by a giant hand and thrown to the ground.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:25 AM on June 5 [9 favorites]


How great would it be if there were a superhero movie that just skipped the big CGI fight?

Kill Bill.
posted by happyroach at 9:26 AM on June 5 [11 favorites]


The problem with CGI fights is that that they're just CGI fights. Fights should be about and enhance or showcase character, along with being visually interesting. The best I can recall is the two sides fighting in Civil War, which was full of character, besides being pretty amazing to look.

The really interesting thing about the WW fight is that she kills the bad guy. That's drawn virtually no criticism or thought that I've seen.

The problem with the WW was that Aries seems to be boring villain, but a very good actor played him more interestingly, yet nothing really changed. There was virtually no reason for Aries to fight WW, he would have been far more effective walking away and operating behind the scenes.

But the movie spent all its time developing WW as a powerhouse fighter, not as a really smart person. So by those stupid confines, Aries had to suddenly want to Hulk and get in a fight.

I like that Steve died, just not the way it happened. Hell, I'm not quite sure why he had to? He was the only Alliance pilot around and the bombs on the plane were on a timer? That's pretty convenient. Would have preferred to see Dr. Poison transformed by Ares into a super being, have her fight WW and then see Steven and the team die in that fight due to some plan of Aries that doesn't involve him lifting a finger. Then Diana would realize she needs to be smart and strong, not just smart. That explains why she retreats back to a persona, to educate herself.

Plus, make it clear that Diana is bullet proof. She just *likes* deflecting bullets because it shows how quick she is and unnerves her opponents.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:43 AM on June 5 [2 favorites]


I'm 100% sure where I first got this concept, though Chris Sims (the comic reviewer guy) is as likely a place as any, but it goes like this:

Superman is physically unbeatable, with super-strength, flight, invulnerability, so his ultimate nemeses have to be extremely clever threats that force him to out-smart them. So we get Luthor, Braniac, Mxyzptlk, etc.

Batman is the World's Greatest Detective, i.e. he's extremely clever, so his ultimate nemeses either have to defy logic or be strong enough to overpower him. Which is how we get the Joker and Scarecrow on one hand and Bane, Killer Croc, etc. on the other.

Wonder Woman is... incredibly strong but not quite physically unbeatable at Superman's level. She's also smart, wisdom of Athena and all that, but she's not the World's Greatest Detective. So it's harder to come up with a perfect foil for her, unless you go whole-hog and throw villains at her who are all manifestations of Patriarchy Itself. Which, listen, I am 1000% on board with that, but I'm also well aware that the WW film franchise is a product of a patriarchal, capitalist society, so I'm not really holding my breath either.
posted by tobascodagama at 10:37 AM on June 5 [11 favorites]


Knowing very little about the character of WW, i.e. never read her comics, I'd she's very optimistic, so the perfect foil seems obvious.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:58 AM on June 5 [2 favorites]


I'd she's very optimistic, so the perfect foil seems obvious

If you mean Zack Snyder and the established tone of the DC movie universe, I'd say you're right, but it's awfully PoMo to have a movie character warring against her creators.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 12:35 PM on June 5 [23 favorites]


I liked this film a bunch; definitely my fave of the DC comic book movies (that I am aware of). Like most Hollywood films, I could have done with a half hour less, overall.

Questions:

Was it just me... or did it seem like the director chose to have all the Amazons attempt to emulate Gal Gadot's real life (english) accent?

Did they ever explain how (if they knew) that Trevor & co happened to stumble upon Themyscira? Maybe I missed it.

No mention of the bulletproofness of Amazonian shieldmaking.

Finally: mildly related, I think in the most recent Dark Knight III: The Master Race comic - for reasons - we learn that the Amazons as a whole are far mightier than previously thought. I don't know if they're supposed to be quite as mighty there as Wonder Woman (and DK III isn't exactly WW canon at this time that I am aware), but basically they are supposed to be on par of, or nearly so, of Superman. ;) While that's clearly not the case here in the DCU, I am certainly confused now as to exactly how powerful Wonder Woman is supposed to be - berzerker grief rage or no.
posted by bitterkitten at 2:20 PM on June 5


I don't think it's a big deal that Ares was "killed" in this movie. He's a mythological cosmic god-entity, he'll probably come back somehow, as opposed to Zod, who's "merely" a superhuman Kryptonian. Based on the trailers for Justice League, aren't the villains possibly Ares followers or other evil Olympians? You see some funny looking helmets.
posted by Apocryphon at 3:12 PM on June 5 [1 favorite]


Gods, sure, but New Gods.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:13 PM on June 5 [3 favorites]


I really, really liked this. I'm biased, it's about the power of diplomacy and love with a guy named Steve played by an actor named Chris with floppy blonde hair, period uniforms, and good comic timing but it was really great overall! It felt like it earned the length, I love the huge, sprawling London scenes with all the Indian serviceman and families and nuns (so much of this is about the mundane horror of war! And like how awful London is/was! I'd give this movie a gold star just for the Diana Doesn't Understand London comic routine leading se amlesslyniti the mangled returning vets parade)

And the details! Making Steve a spy, Etta Candy, the cocaine potion, having superheroes actually do heroic things, the horrors of chemical warfare, the old fashioned direction, the visual callback to Donner's Superman, even having all of the members of the infiltration team part of an ethnic minority within an empire (okay Scotland is a bit of stretch there but only cause it's been a while)

also, has my favorite line in any movie THE GALA WOULD BE THE PERFECT DISTRACTION

Very good, top job, more of the same please.
posted by The Whelk at 3:54 PM on June 5 [14 favorites]


Was it just me... or did it seem like the director chose to have all the Amazons attempt to emulate Gal Gadot's real life (english) accent

English? I'm hoping you don't work as a voice coach.
posted by leotrotsky at 4:15 PM on June 5 [1 favorite]


Then he had to put on supersuit and act like a stero typical bad guy and get trounced.


With a Demi skirt to rival Wonder Woman
posted by tilde at 4:30 PM on June 5


Tweet: "I've lived to see my childhood princesses become generals." (Robin Wright, who plays General Antiope, was in The Princess Bride)
posted by larrybob at 4:44 PM on June 5 [20 favorites]


-- Was it just me... or did it seem like the director chose to have all the Amazons attempt to emulate Gal Gadot's real life (english) accent

-- English? I'm hoping you don't work as a voice coach.


I took that to mean Gadot's natural Israeli accent while speaking English, as she speaks several languages in the movie? And yes, I think it was a deliberate choice to make that pattern the default "Themysciran" accent.
posted by Iris Gambol at 4:49 PM on June 5 [2 favorites]


What I found astonishing in this movie is the realization that it is extremely rare to have an untraumatized female protagonist. Diana's grown up as the only, cherished child on an island of peace-loving warriors and so her indignation has none of the "first I must realize my own power to speak" moments, her discovery of a love-interest has no lover-back-home angst, she doesn't have a best friend's perspective to change her mind, she doesn't agonize over interfering in human history. She doesn't worry about fitting in. She is actually grappling with the darkness without, not the darkness within.

Her discovery of her goddess powers is progressive and although Steve's death is a seminal moment, she isn't transformed per se, she's just - honed. She gets a bit more skin in the human game, but her anger is just a feeling that passes. It's so rare to see a film where the agonizing about What Does It Mean is done by the male sidekick.

And personally, I thought her understanding of love was much more agape, will you, goddess, love us humans despite our shit, than eros. P.S. I love you btw. It's closer to the usual male hero's dilemma -- lone wolf, or fight for something of value. And although a part of me wanted a much more complex, twisty take...i actually think it's kind of genius that Wonder Woman was permitted to be just...heroic in a very straight up way that boy superheroes get by default.

I think she's a general and that her nemesis is absent (thank you for the insight!) is a failure of past superhero writers to give her a nemesis-leader. Because patriarchy.

I was however pretty bothered at the crap Greek mythology. Oh well.
posted by warriorqueen at 5:21 PM on June 5 [41 favorites]


Warriorqueen, I thought patriarchy was her nemesis, but they couldn't say that outright for obvious reasons.
posted by peppermind at 6:29 PM on June 5 [2 favorites]


I thought patriarchy was her nemesis, but they couldn't say that outright for obvious reasons.

I could be down with that and suddenly I have this incredible desire for that to be the theme of all future Justice League movies where she dismantles Superman and Batman's assumptions around leadership but...you know.
posted by warriorqueen at 7:15 PM on June 5 [10 favorites]


How great would it be if there were a superhero movie that just skipped the big CGI fight? That's the least interesting part of the movie. Heck, the best fight I've ever seen in a superhero movie took place in the Triskelion's elevator.

I'm so thoroughly ready for a superhero movie with no fights. They're fine and all, but real superheroes are all about rescues. The barrel of monkeys scene in Iron Man 3. The Flash evacuating that whole train while Captain Cold is in the middle of crashing it. Superman catching the plane. The Avengers evacuating Sokovians. Rescues.

Superheroes will live forever because you can bolt them on to any other sort of story. With that in mind, I'm ready for a superhero disaster movie. Blue Beetle vs. a hurricane. Captain Marvel vs. a megaquake. No fights, just two hours of a superhero protecting people and saving lives with their fantastic powers. Look For the Helpers the motion picture. Don't even have a villain, maybe. And if you do, make it one of those guys who think they're noble like Doom or Magneto or Black Adam and have them prove it by setting aside violence to do the right thing by the people they claim they should rule.

Look at the carnage rewind climax of Dr. Strange - they know the violence is getting stale. Good thing that's not the only sort of movie you can make about a superhero. Make one that's all about rescues and make a babillion dollars please, someone.
posted by EatTheWeak at 7:44 PM on June 5 [34 favorites]


I mean the worst parts of this movie, as with ANY superhero movies, are the big showdowns cause they have no stakes, we KNOW the title character is going to win. At best make it clever and quick or memorable (the takedown of the head of Sheild in Winter Solider is a good example, fast, good two twists in it before over, boom)

We need more literal daring dos and refuses things at stake superheroes BEING HEROIC. Suoerman Returns is pretty forgettable except for when Suoer,an saves an entire plane because that's what we want to see superheroes do,

(And yeah Dr. Strange got a lot of points with me for having the colution be s diplomatic sense and cleverness and not throwing a tank at someone, more of that please

Also Diana is literally a diplomat from a culture of diplomats. "A bridge to a greater understanding" and all that. )
posted by The Whelk at 7:58 PM on June 5 [6 favorites]


Good movie. One note:

Costumers and props professionals: 3d-printed (or cast or whatever technique you are using) plastic does not look like metal, no matter how artfully painted. I gave you guys a pass for several movies because, hey, it's kind of a new technology, you want to try it out, it's fun and cool and whatever. Please re-employ metalsmiths, leatherworkers, and artisans of whatever real materials you are trying to replicate ASAP so that the fields do not die out. The 3D printer thing does not, I repeat, does not work that well. It looks bad. Yes, even for alien clothing/carapaces.

I'm talking about WW's whole costume. The headgear. The breastplate. I like the designs fine, but the execution's lacking.

I get it, it's less expensive, you are on a budget -- whatever. Use this comment when you ask for the budget you need.
posted by amtho at 8:23 PM on June 5 [10 favorites]


The worst CGI that I noticed was the snow in the village scene.

I loved the movie. Gal Gadot owned that role as if she had been sculpted from clay to fill it. I think it's fantastic that they didn't try to make her erase her accent.

I really thought they did a great job of showing the horror and misery of WWI. In comparison, WWII always seems trivialized by movies like Captain America and Hellboy.

I think there is plenty of possibility for the other gods to come back and play a part in future films. The story Diana was told isn't necessarily the whole truth.

Finally, since it's Pride month I'll say how much I was tickled by the scene on the boat where she points out that men aren't needed for pleasure. It was a funny line, but I really liked that they didn't shy away from it after putting it out there.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 9:20 PM on June 5 [2 favorites]


Just remembered that the scene in the alley in London was a filmic callback to this scene from the first Chris Reeves Superman.
posted by octothorpe at 5:04 AM on June 6 [3 favorites]


Oh and just found an article about how much Patty Jenkins loves Donner's Superman.
posted by octothorpe at 5:10 AM on June 6 [2 favorites]


Thanks Iris, yes, that was what I meant by 'English' accent. : )

"I'm so thoroughly ready for a superhero movie with no fights. They're fine and all, but real superheroes are all about rescues. "

Similarly I dare say I would also like to see a new Trek movie without another Enterprise disaster and space battle as well.
posted by bitterkitten at 7:19 AM on June 6 [12 favorites]


Just saw it last night and really loved it. Like others have mentioned, the No Man's Land and village rescue scenes really packed a gut-punch. Gal Gadot did a fantastic job as a stranger in a strange land slowly coming into her own as a superhero. Also I didn't realize she played Gisele in the F&F franchise! What a badass.

The only thing that gave me the sads was that she slept with spy guy. I was literally mouthing "NO DON'T DO IT" at the screen when they were at the hotel. That scene, and the preceding scene where they slow dance and wax poetic about domestic bliss, informed her transformation during the climax in a way that strongly suggested her superpowers blossomed due to Hetero Feelings For A Dude. She raged out of the metal coccoon when spy dude's plane blew up and opted not to crush Woman Who Was Not As Pretty Due To Facial Scarring when she remembered that spy dude had told her that he loved her. See also how she caressed his photo and tenderly placed his watch in the box with the photo.

I chalk most of that paint-by-numbers romance stuff up to it being a Hollywood film. It would have been an even better film if they hadn't slept together, IMHO, even if it does make narrative sense that she would be extremely curious and want to experiment.
posted by grumpybear69 at 7:31 AM on June 6 [4 favorites]


On the subject of queer relationships in the movie, afterward my BF mentioned that when Antiope falls on the beach, Diana, Hippolyta, and another woman rush to her side. He assumed the third woman was Antiope's partner and I'm inclined to adopt that theory as well.

Also, as a museum professional myself, it was thrilling to see Wonder Woman working in museum storage!
posted by rabbitbookworm at 8:32 AM on June 6 [18 favorites]


At my screening, about a third if the audience repeatedly uttered "no no no" in the lead uo to the sex scene.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:49 AM on June 6 [4 favorites]


With that in mind, I'm ready for a superhero disaster movie. Blue Beetle vs. a hurricane. Captain Marvel vs. a megaquake. No fights, just two hours of a superhero protecting people and saving lives with their fantastic powers. Look For the Helpers the motion picture. Don't even have a villain, maybe. And if you do, make it one of those guys who think they're noble like Doom or Magneto or Black Adam and have them prove it by setting aside violence to do the right thing by the people they claim they should rule.

A hurricane disaster movie would be a perfect vehicle for Aquaman. He could rescue fishermen, a group of choolchildren on a glass bottomed boat trip, seniors at a flooding nursing home, etc. ...and the sea creatures could help. You could have a side plot about a group of bad guys trying to rob a bank, or recover some treasure during the storm, and so putting civilians at risk.
posted by leotrotsky at 1:25 PM on June 6 [6 favorites]


Stand-alone Pepper Potts movie where she just does Rescue stuff the whole time and Tony Star doesn't even rate a cameo.
posted by tobascodagama at 1:32 PM on June 6 [12 favorites]


Yes! Can Maria Hill show up, though?
posted by rmd1023 at 2:02 PM on June 6 [4 favorites]


My friend and I think there's a whole slew of tv/movie possibilities with the ladies of Marvel having a weekly lunch and discussing what they've done or are working on.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:07 PM on June 6 [5 favorites]


about a third if the audience repeatedly uttered "no no no" in the lead uo to the sex scene.

I would really like to know how many people have uttered no no no in boy superhero movies when the boy superhero decides to have sex.
posted by warriorqueen at 2:19 PM on June 6 [10 favorites]


I'm trying to think of the last boy superhero movie I saw where the character had sex, or, at least, where the movie stopped for it. I can't even recall precisely when Stark and Pepper Potts hooked up.
posted by maxsparber at 2:28 PM on June 6


My friend and I think there's a whole slew of tv/movie possibilities with the ladies of Marvel having a weekly lunch and discussing what they've done or are working on.

Hellcat TV series except it's just Trish Walker's in-universe talk show.
posted by tobascodagama at 2:36 PM on June 6 [8 favorites]


Donner's Superman does I think and I know 1989 Batman does. I'm pretty sure there's a lot of X-men romance & sex plots. I felt asleep in the latest Superman movies but I'm guessing he was too depressed. Maybe sexless is a modern thing, dunno, but for me - she crossed no man's land! She smashed a tower! She saved a town! Why not have sex after the battle with a hot guy that did ok fighting beside you, as long as it doesn't turn you stupid. I like that she's alive & passionate.

Up on the tower before Ares shows up, when Diana refuses to help Steve, she's hardly acting lovesick. Same thing at the gala when he stops her. So I don't think it was "sex made her nice to humans" here. Ymmv of course.
posted by warriorqueen at 2:37 PM on June 6 [13 favorites]


I felt asleep in the latest Superman movies but I'm guessing he was too depressed.

He seems to be in a relationship with Lois, but without them flying around and her mentally reciting a poem, I can't be sure.
posted by maxsparber at 2:40 PM on June 6 [5 favorites]


I mean, he was also her strongest emotional connection to the world of man beyond the island, so it's not merely a sexual/romantic relationship she was mourning.
posted by Apocryphon at 4:31 PM on June 6 [5 favorites]


The plot of Chris Reeves' Superman II centered around him giving up his powers so that he could have a normal relationship with Lois, and yeah they did that and it was one of the most important elements of the overall plot.

I thought it was perfectly in character that after the excitement of battle Diana would find it an attractive experiment to investigate those pleasures of the flesh with a man who had proven both loyal and valorous. The fact that it wasn't a big deal in the larger plot was exactly right. The Amazons don't stigmatize pleasure and don't have compulsive institutions like marriage. They reserve their angst for things that are important.
posted by Bringer Tom at 6:11 PM on June 6 [14 favorites]


I can't speak for the subsequent movies they make but structurally at the end of this one it didn't seem like she lingered on a lost love the same way Steve Rogers does for Peggy Carter. If anything besides the sex scene and the final scene which she couldn't even hear anyway, Steve Trevor was nothing else than a comrade-in-arms, not a lover. Very professional wartime working relationship.
posted by Apocryphon at 6:27 PM on June 6 [4 favorites]




at the end of this one it didn't seem like she lingered on a lost love the same way Steve Rogers does for Peggy Carter

No. And remember, like Steve we've seen Diana in the present, in BvS, where she didn't seem consumed by some lost ancient love. The trailers for Justice League also aren't looking like she is holding a candle. She is a warrior and warriors and their companions fall; when that happens you celebrate them and then move on.

I think what will permanently affect her isn't the sex experiment but the sacrifice, when Trevor blows himself up with the poison gas. This is a thing she has been trained on, that she has thought about, but that she has never really seen before, not even during the beach invasion. Trevor has made it real. He gave his life so that others might live.

And if they do it right, that will be her driving force for much of the rest of the 20th century, as she gives up the freedom of her home to live with us despite our prejudices and limitations because she knows we need her. The lesson of the village isn't that saving it was pointless, it was that she didn't do enough, a mistake she will strive not to repeat. She will remember Trevor reverently not because they rolled in the hay but because he showed true valor and sacrifice.

And she may not get with another man for awhile if ever because, well, they discreetly didn't show us how playing with Trevor compared to those volumes she'd read about other pleasures. She might simply have satisfied her curiosity in that area, leaving her free to concentrate on what's important.
posted by Bringer Tom at 7:44 PM on June 6 [8 favorites]


Ares straight up sucked as a villain, and it would have been a better film if he never appeared in it. The film would have been much stronger if Diana had killed Ludendorff and the war went on and she had to confront the fact people are just monsters sometimes.

Instead there's this twenty minute CGI scene. It never feels like Ares is a threat to Diana, either physically or psychologically. He's trying to convince her the whole time to KILL ALL HUMANS but that's so obviously not even a temptation to her that it's a waste of the audience's time.

And the mythology feels way too Christian, if you know what I mean? Zeus made people perfect, Ares got jealous and corrupted them, Zeus leaves behind a child to fix everything. Like, what is the *point* of using the Greek pantheon if you're going to just reduce it to God and the Devil?

Anyways, other than the last act it's a really good movie. It does do that thing I like a lot, where a character from the past goes to the future and gets confused by modern stuff. You *should* be proud, ice cream dude!
posted by JDHarper at 8:16 PM on June 6 [28 favorites]


when Antiope falls on the beach, Diana, Hippolyta, and another woman rush to her side. He assumed the third woman was Antiope's partner

Yeah, I definitely think this is the case.
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:26 PM on June 6


We also assumed that third woman was Antiope's partner. It doesn't really make any sense any other way. Antiope being the general and trainer would presumably have close relationships with a lot of the women present, but only one (who isn't known to be directly related to her) rushes to her side. I mean I guess we could invent the idea that this is her second in command or her current main protegé (since Diana's training appears mostly complete). But come now. It's an island of women whose foremothers concluded (in writing!) that men are unnecessary for pleasure.
posted by R343L at 11:12 PM on June 6 [3 favorites]


Hellcat TV series except it's just Trish Walker's in-universe talk show.

One of the biggest letdowns for me on the Netflix shows was how the end of Daredevil s1 started teasing Ben Urich setting up something like The Pulse and then, um, ruling out that possibility pretty definitely. I want Trish to go full Hellcat on TV, but I would also watch a show about her navigating the weird emerging world of super-journalism. If Marvel wanted, a super-newsroom action comedy starring an emerging Hellcat would be a pretty convenient place to stitch the TV and movie timelines a little better. Trish broadcasts just about every day and has been since before The Avengers assembled in New York - her show will have dealt with anything that would have made the MCU news.
posted by EatTheWeak at 12:04 AM on June 7 [5 favorites]


This would also work well with my bizarre persistent fixation on how superheroes would be topics of media gossip/tabloids and image mangnment and they'd totally need PR people and go on talk shows and all that.

(The first fanfic I ever wrote was about the guy who writes Steve Rogers' cue cards and does resreach and preps him for interviews with cue cards and prepared statements and Nwhat Modern Terms Are)
posted by The Whelk at 12:11 AM on June 7 [4 favorites]


Really enjoyed this--Gal Gadot was wonderful. I really felt she suited the role. However, I was disappointed that the merry band of misfits didn't include a single other woman (Etta stayed back in London, and while I liked her a lot, that meant she didn't count as someone Diana interacted with).

But I will definitely watch the sequel!
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 1:34 AM on June 7 [2 favorites]


I was having shower thoughts this morning about the overdone Ares ending. Imagine if they'd had the armistice and then revealed he was Ares. Happy with the slaughter, quietly stirring up more anger between nations with the terms of the peace, grinning over plans to develop deadlier weapons "just in case".

I'm feeling meh about the movie. Having so much of the plot remind me of CA:The First Avenger or episodes of Xena(a show I loved!) made a lot of it seem cliche. New writing with the same director and cast would make me happier.
posted by saffry at 4:11 AM on June 7 [6 favorites]


If Marvel wanted, a super-newsroom action comedy starring an emerging Hellcat would be a pretty convenient place to stitch the TV and movie timelines a little better. Trish broadcasts just about every day and has been since before The Avengers assembled in New York - her show will have dealt with anything that would have made the MCU news.

Add Crazy Ex-Girlfriends musical element an BOOM, hello ratings!

I'm totally serious about this.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:20 AM on June 7 [1 favorite]


Add Crazy Ex-Girlfriends musical element an BOOM, hello ratings!

I'm totally serious about this.


AAAH EXCEPT WHAT IF the songs are largely flashbacks to stuff she sang on her Patsy Walker show, which has already been presented as basically Hannah Montana, which was a show about having special abilities and a secret identity in the first place. They could reflect on both Patsy current predicaments (like, if this was an episode where Jessica was being shitty to her, it could be a Patsy Walker song about 8th grade friend troubles).

This could also stretch the worldbuilding window back a couple decades. What was going on in the MCU in the 90s? We'd find out in the Patsy Walker sequences. Like, some superheroes get to slide around in time as they're rebooted forever, others happened when they were published. Iron Man can have his origin at anytime but Darkhawk happened in the 90s. What did Patsy Walker have to say about that?
posted by EatTheWeak at 11:23 AM on June 7 [4 favorites]


here are a ton of small things I don't think worked in the film. Her shield seemed ridiculously small especially for use in the No Man's land scene. It calls into question whether she's bullet proof or not and if she isn't, then she becomes like Batman: silly, 'cause you wonder why a single person can't manage to shoot her. Yeah, yeah, fast reflexes, but surely the Germans had more than 2 or three machine guns in No Man's land, right?

But she's a demi-goddess or something similar, so she's nigh invincible, so bullets shouldn't bother, same as they don't bother Supes.


There was a tiny scene after the battle on the beach when the Amazon treating her removed a bloody bandage and no wound underneath and said "Hm, curious," or something like that.
posted by emjaybee at 2:10 PM on June 8 [6 favorites]


Yes, you have to remember that her mother lied to her about her origin; she wasn't crafted in clay and breathed into life by Zeus, she is Zeus' daughter. So the other Amazons aren't bulletproof and until the beach invasion, she doesn't have any reason to think she is either. This is part of her voyage of self-discovery. It is probably in No Man's Land that she begins to realize just what she is, the very thing her mother says onscreen "she must never know." And she runs the rest of the movie almost in a spirit of daring. She walks right into the cloud of poison gas without hesitation and without being harmed by it.

I realize a lot of people didn't like the Ares CGI fight scene but this is why I think it had to happen, and for such a thing it was better done than most. Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman isn't Lynda Carter's, and we needed to see that. As we have never really seen on screen, but have in some of the comics, her powers are comparable to those of Superman. A little less here -- it's possible to physically restrain Diana because what would a WW comic be without the occasional bondage scene -- but a little more there, because she has the lasso of restraint and truth compulsion and her bracelets can protect other people against bullets as well as herself. But for the most part WW and Supes are equals.

We just learned that that's the way it's going to be in this round of DC movies. And in this movie, so did she.
posted by Bringer Tom at 4:02 PM on June 8 [9 favorites]


Ares straight up sucked as a villain, and it would have been a better film if he never appeared in it. The film would have been much stronger if Diana had killed Ludendorff and the war went on and she had to confront the fact people are just monsters sometimes.

Meaning in that case, that Diana was flat-out wrong in her beliefs, and the guy who explained the way of the world to her was correct.

Meaning, flat out, her entire mission was pointless, and she was just a foolish girl who needed to be taught by a man how small and cynical everything is.

That's some feminist message there.

In my view, from the moment that Diana says she thinks Ares is out there causing war, there needs to be an Ares. When she says she needs to stop Ares, there needs to be an Ares to stop. Diana can be naive, overly linear and untutored in Man's World, but fundamentally, she needs to be RIGHT.

Doana is a mythic warrior whose wisdom and strength is there to help humanity, and protect it from mythic threats. To say there's no need for that, undercuts her entire point of existence. It's like saying the best use of Superman is to run a power generator. As a person ftom a larger world of magic and myth, fundamentally Diana should make the world more mythic and magical as well. She should pull the world up to her level, not be dragged down to the realm of base humanity.
posted by happyroach at 4:48 PM on June 8 [29 favorites]


This article by Emily Yoshida in Vulture makes some great points about how a truly feminist blockbuster could/should move past the superhero movie standard of an underwhelming CGI-tastic third act fight. I feel like "the third act big fight was bad/underwhelming" has been a criticism of just about every single superhero movie in the past four years, so why is it still such a necessity? Ant-Man sidestepped it somewhat with its literally tiny and clever battle, and Captain America: the Winter Soldier at least had a genuinely emotional, not totally CGI'd one-on-one fight with intensely personal stakes nested in its big third act battle. If you don't have the big everything blows up third act battle, what are the alternatives?

For a movie like Wonder Woman, I think you can reach back to older stories, the oldest even, and focus on her achieving/understanding her godhood. She did it in a big battle here, but she didn't have to. Dying/resurrection is a classic, as is descent to and ascent from the Underworld. You could also try a take on the labors of Heracles or the labors of Psyche. All of these options can have a focus on the interiority of the character rather than what they're actually doing, though what they're doing can still be plenty flashy and use CGI.
posted by yasaman at 11:13 AM on June 9 [14 favorites]


I choose to believe that Ares has had literally millennia to corrupt humanity until war is integrated into every part of our society. Even with his immediate influence gone, it will take a long time to clean up that damage. Diana was not wrong that Ares was causing/exacerbating war, but that his influence would vanish as soon as he was killed. You have to stop a toxic spill before you fix the damage, but just stopping the spill won't undo what's already done.
posted by Karmakaze at 2:17 PM on June 9 [10 favorites]


I agree that the film would have been better without the literal Ares. The message of the film, to me, was that you can help people and find hope in humanity despite the horrors which humans inflict upon one another.

The presence of Ares undercut that whole message... a dude literally shows up to yell at Diana about how humans are trash, and she wins the argument by blowing him up, and then everyone hugs. And then we get a coda about how all people have both darkness and light and each individual must find the light within them. Like, what? We just saw you end WWI by killing the literal devil!

The part where Diana kills the general only to realize that it doesn't stop the war was really interesting and I wish they had explored that more. You can still bring her to the same heroic character beats and realization, but they would have more weight if they were grounded in a struggle over how to find good in the world despite evil, without the veneer of "also the devil is tempting you to kill all humans." Chris Pine still runs off and sacrifices himself; in her despair she still begins absolutely wrecking the factory. She still gets to the scientist lady but this time she remembers what her mother told her about peace and decides to spare her life. Or anything that's actually based on a character being heroic in way that has meaning. The tendency of these films to externalize any interesting character dilemma into a 30-minute CGI fight set piece is tiresome.

Still loved it though. Gal Gadot is fantastic. My favorite part was her jumping into the trench and destroying the gun before anything else. I like all the quasi!fanfic happening here too.
posted by Emily's Fist at 9:04 PM on June 9 [8 favorites]


Better ending would have had one of Steve's be super cynical and mercenary, only to die saving kids from the poision. His (or her!) last words being something like " yeah the world is shit. But i wish it was better. Maybe these kids can do that"
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:36 AM on June 10 [1 favorite]


Sameer's line about wanting to be an actor but not being able to become one because of his race is interesting: Sameer is played by Saïd Taghmaoui, a French-born actor of Moroccan descent who became famous in 1995 for starring in (and cowriting) La haine. However, unlike his costar Vincent Cassel, he had trouble finding acting jobs in France other than "Arab drug dealer #3", so he moved to Hollywood in 1999, where he's been quite successful (he became a US citizen in 2008).
posted by elgilito at 3:12 PM on June 10 [19 favorites]


The problem with these alternative endings people are touting, s, what's the actual point of Diana leaving the island? What's the point of her being of mythic origin, if the response is, "Well, that's irrelevant."

I man, I know people here are really grooving on having something like "Cormac McArthy's The Wonder Woman", but it still seems to me people are missing the basic point of Wonder Woman. Where's the Wonder in these ideas?
posted by happyroach at 11:32 PM on June 10 [7 favorites]


I'm totally down with Wonder Woman being of mythic origin. I think it's neat that in the DC movie universe that there are just gods, without Marvel's weaselly "we're actually super advanced aliens" nonsense.

But I think this movie squanders that potential. They introduce the concept of actual divine beings into the universe, and then the same breath say "then Ares killed them all." They had the whole Greek pantheon to play with and they threw it all away.

My initial suggestion was intended to keep as much of the story in place as possible while cutting out the unsatisfying ending, but you're right, there needs to be more mythos, not less.

Maybe, instead of killing the gods Ares has instead captured them, and Diana's task is to free them so that they can stop Ares, and in the process she learns her actual nature and can strike the final blow against him.

This would also set up conflict for later: By the end of the movie, Diana is literally the only demigod in existence. Nothing can harm her, which makes her Superman but without even his limited weaknesses. But imagine Diana facing, for example, Artemis--the goddess of the wilderness and the hunt who has been captured for centuries, unable to prevent mankind's encroachment into her territory. (I also like the irony of Artemis being at odds with someone named Diana.)

Having multiple gods working together to take down Ares would at least make the CGI fight at the end more interesting, and it would prevent it from being Ares trying to convince Diana to murdering the whole human race (which was the weakest part of that final battle).
posted by JDHarper at 8:35 AM on June 11 [2 favorites]


I was thinking on why women love this movie so hard, including me. The script has got so many flaws and tropes ("DO NOT DO THE BRAVE THING!" "I WILL GO DO THE BRAVE THING. ALSO, WHAT IS KISS") and throws away a lot. We've been over that.

But here's the thing: I cried as soon as I saw that little five-year-old Diana. I knew that wasn't just a child actress but a kid who was playing pretend and playing at being awesome. And the fight scenes in this movie will help girls do that.

I kept thinking of Mystique in the first X-Men movie, "fighting" in painted-on nakedness, subduing some extra with her bare feet and calves in a way that seemed explicitly designed to cater to someone's fetish. I thought of Black Widow, of her perfect black leather sausage casing. And I thought: fuck that.

This movie delivers what female super-fighters in movies have been missing: action that is action first, not posing for the male gaze. Of course Gadot is stunning; all the Amazons are. But that is not the point. She does not appear to give a good goddamn and neither does the camera. This speaks to women without words.
posted by Countess Elena at 10:27 AM on June 11 [42 favorites]


The decision to kill all the gods off offscreen was definitely born of convenience more than good storytelling. If they're not out of the picture, than the question becomes why deus ex machinae aren't happening all over the place. My personal fanwankery is that while some of the gods were killed in battles with Ares, a bunch just retreated into hiding/away from the world of man or whatever. Instead of introducing more gods into the final fight, which I think would only enable more obnoxious OTT CGI business, you could spend five minutes having Diana track one of the gods in hiding down, and have that god be all "yeah, I peaced out. gotta save my own ass, you know?" and then you could have a whole thing about what is the purpose of gods who don't stick with their people, and have Diana really think about why she wants to help humans.
posted by yasaman at 10:39 AM on June 11 [4 favorites]


Jessica Valenti: Did you weep watching Wonder Woman? You weren't alone

Yup, I did. Both times I saw it. Specifically at the beginning of the scene when she first puts on her aunt Antiope's diadem and goes over the top of the trenches. It was such a beautiful, powerful moment of her realizing her own power, making the decision to act and coming to the aid of the defenceless. It was incredibly cathartic. I wish I lived in a world where Wonder Woman was real.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:33 AM on June 11 [14 favorites]


Beach battle against Nazis, pretty fucking awesome. CGI battle against Ares/Magneto/Voldemort though just felt video-gamey.
posted by zippy at 1:21 PM on June 11 [1 favorite]


I never realized how much I want DC to do the comic of Diana Prince: antiquities dealer.
posted by eustatic at 2:25 PM on June 11 [6 favorites]


Okay, it started freakishly raining today so I went. I really liked it. Thought the previous DC movies I saw before were putrid, but this was good (though I still wish DC would USE SOME BRIGHT COLOR, I understand in a war movie it's actually relevant but lord, it was dim to see).

* "Even in battle her face had a stillness/blankness to it that made her come off.. passionless. "

I concur that in stoic mode she is pretty blank, but she can do some cute emotions/feelings when happy that I found endearing.

* "She walks right into the cloud of poison gas without hesitation and without being harmed by it."

I was yelling AAAAH NOBODY GO NEAR THE GAS IT'S GAS YOU CAN'T JUST LIKE, AVOID IT every time that gas was opened. Steve should have been dead, Dr. Poison and whatshisface, etc. every time they just like, hung around it at the edges. Come on.

"Steve sacrifices himself, a thing Diana has never seen before, and it hardens her. Not because she was in romantic love with him, but because she understood immediately what he did, he sacrificed his own life to save others. Saving others is what Diana was told from her birth was her mission in life. How could she do less than this man?"

I interpreted that whole thing as: Ares is arguing that all humans are bastards and need to be destroyed. Meanwhile, she's just seen a human sacrifice himself for love of his fellow man. See, they have good sides too!

I really liked Steve. What a great boyfriend, respectful, going along with odd things Diana said even if he might disagree, reasonable and practical. Good job there. I teared up when he said "I love you."
And I liked Diana. So sweet, so just bursting to get out there and fight. (Though it was weird that Hippolyta/Connie Britton was the anvil of No Fun.)
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:03 PM on June 11 [6 favorites]


I can't wait till it comes out on DVD so i can show my daughter a less violent edit. The island scene were wonderful and I barely noticed the length of the film except for the opening and closing framing. Diana as someone so clearly loved and cherished by her family was such a gift.

My favourite scene was when her mother discovered her training in secret and the sister argued about the training. I winced expecting some punishment that Diana would have to rebel against but instead the queen listened, and changed her mind and helped her daughter grow. A beautiful moment written and acted.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 8:43 PM on June 11 [7 favorites]


Oh, one other question: how long have the Amazons been on that island and when did the Zeus-shit go down? It seems like that war was very recent for them, within 20 years or so.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:03 PM on June 11


Just saw Wonder Woman for the second time this morning, and my Hot Take™ is that this movie needed more weeping. While Steve was under the control of the lasso, it would have been incredibly powerful to see him break down after describing the horrors of the war. Later, I was disappointed to see Diana blithely transition to handshakes and drinks and dancing after killing her way through the trenches and occupied village. In her perspective, humans are under Ares' thrall until she can save them, so the deaths that day should have struck her as pointless lives lost before she could break Ares' hold.
posted by redsparkler at 10:46 PM on June 11 [2 favorites]


Y'know, after seeing people trying to explain the cause of World War I to Ursula Vernon over on Twitter, I've come to the conclusion that if there's one war you can make a case for supernatural meddling, it's the Great War. I mean seriously, all those alliances, and the sheer weirdness of the circumstances around the Archduke's assassination, well, to a sufficiently paranoid viewpoint it starts to look like a set up.

That's something that I think could have bee explored a bit.
posted by happyroach at 11:27 PM on June 11 [5 favorites]


Surprised there's only one complaint here about how (literally, onscreen) dark this film was. On Themyscira, great. In the trenches, it's that hideous washed-out grey-blue, fine, I guess that's sort of fitting. For the whole third act... I was squinting at the screen, trying to make out what was going on. And my eyes are fine, I've never had this problem before except in poorly post-processed 3d films (but then I've not seen any other DC examples).

The scene where WW rides from the gassed village to the airfield and her friends try to wave her down, I could genuinely barely tell what was going on. How do you let a film like that reach the screen? Even in the final fight, poorly lit with burning wreckage, still looked muddy and indistinct.
posted by ocular shenanigans at 3:39 AM on June 12


Did you watch the 2d or 3d version? We saw the 2d version and it was brightly lit and I had no problem seeing things.
posted by octothorpe at 4:36 AM on June 12 [1 favorite]


Did you watch the 2d or 3d version? We saw the 2d version and it was brightly lit and I had no problem seeing things.

2d. I'd read this interview about the use of colour and how making London and the trenches so desaturated and dull was deliberate (which is a legit artistic choice and response to criticisms of the previous DC films) but the whole nocturnal 3rd act just looked like garbage to me. Likewise the early scenes where she leaves Themyscira at night.

It might be the theatre in question but I really didn't think that could be an issue in an age of digital copies. For comparison I recently saw the black and white version of Mad Max: Fury Road and while the night scenes in the middle suffered a little for the conversion from colour, they still looked far better than the night scenes in Wonder Woman.
posted by ocular shenanigans at 5:26 AM on June 12


I liked the movie overall, but I keep coming back to how muddled the cosmology is, and how many different ways they wanted to have their cake and eat it too.

There have to be gods in Wonder Woman's origin, but nobody in charge of the broader DCEU wants to deal with the implications involved if Mount Olympus is still a going concern, so they write in this incredibly weird Greco-Roman Götterdämmerung with Christian God/Satan/Jesus archetypes wedged in for good measure. Also there are no goddesses appearing or mentioned (beyond a quick name-drop where the lasso is named for Hestia that I missed until I heard it pointed out in, appropriately, the Lasso of Truth podcast) even after Diana herself says she fights for "love." Maybe mention Aphrodite there?

Themyscira is an idyllic paradise free of strife or evil, and their mission is to either be a "bridge to peace" for man's world or to kill a god that most of them think is already dead. But they also train for war literally all the time with only hints of a broader culture, and only Diana seems to have any drive to actually do something when it becomes clear that the outside world has gone to shit. We know what Hippolyta told her daughter that the Amazons' purpose is, but I'm super confused as to what their culture as a whole would have to say on the subject.

And then there's Ares. They wanted to Diana to discover man's inhumanity to man, but also give her a big CGI villain to fight, so we get a god of war/self-proclaimed "god of truth" who doesn't do any direct warmongering but feeds chemical weapons formulas to Dr. Poison, and also sabotages the peace process indirectly. Plus his Final Boss form with the hulking George Perez armor and blank visor, which I was happy to see just as a cool visual from the comics but which really didn't work narratively. (My off-the-cuff better idea: have Ludendorff, Dr. Poison and Sir Morgan be members of a cult of Ares working toward perpetual war, but leave it mysterious whether the god himself is still alive)

Also re: that fight, they spent every other action scene building up how the Amazon martial art is designed to handle crowded, chaotic battlefields, so making that last battle a one-on-one CGIfest is both confusing and disappointing. They already took Diana out of her element with the fistfight against Ludendorff, so it would have been nice to see Ares fight her indirectly though a battalion of German soldiers, or something.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:04 AM on June 12 [6 favorites]


(I am going to blame Xena and Kevin Newnham for that though)

It's Kevin Tod Smith.
posted by numaner at 3:24 PM on June 12


Finally saw Wonder Woman yesterday.

So much to love about this film. Where to begin. The opening scenes on Themyscira was so emotional for me. There is something so beautiful and moving about seeing powerful women in action. Let this not be an uncommon sight in the future.

Everything about Diana's journey rang so true and so personal to me. As someone who was raised in such a strong environment of social justice and advocacy, to be thrust into the world and see humanity at its worst, vow to keep fighting for Justice and the Truth even when they are considered unpopular...to truly believe that while most humans don't deserve our compassion, it's the right thing to do. That love will always trump hate in the long run...this is what I identify with, what gets me up in the morning, what fires me up even when humans disappoint me time and time again.

I'm no Wonder Woman, by any stretch of the imagination, just your average Steve Trevor.

Also, the number of POC? With speaking lines?! Impressed and unexpected by that alone. Not to mention an actual call-out of the harm done to Native Americans by the British...did not see that coming. And to see Sikh extras? It really did fill my heart with joy. I know I have the bar set incredibly low when it comes to intersectional representation, but I wasn't expecting it and it made me happy.

Anyway, there's lots this film gets right. It wasn't flawless but it inspired me on this dreary Monday evening.
posted by liquorice at 6:54 PM on June 12 [9 favorites]


Spoilers!

This is literally an age-old plot about the journey from novice to hero. Her confrontation with the realities of war during the No Man's Land scenes were evocative of Siddhārtha Gautama on the road of realizing the existence of mortality and becoming the Buddha.

Oh gods, the moments when she walked through the village with everything gone mustard and all of the joy and promise of the day before was ashes in her mouth... I wept. I loved her move from naive to seasoned - it seemed so reasonable. Her disdain for politics, her lack of recognition of the limitations of a foreign civilization, all of it made sense in the face of the forthright and reasonable Amazons. How many movies show strong women disagreeing and being convinced by each others' determination?

I love that her crown was her Aunt's; omg, such meaning~!!! And given at her moment of rebellion, a moment turned from running to being set forth from the egg she grew up in.

I loved the framing device - the sign that met by Diana, even Batman becomes gentle. It was such a gift to her, to return to her four men she loved. And it's a nod to Batman as detective, a role that is under-emphasized in modern depictions of him. I didn't see the other movies (I have no interest in a not-Super-man or a grimdark Batman), so I might be softer on him for it without that baggage, but it seemed a sweet overture.

I adored Sameer and Napi! And that 3/5 of the main cast were people of color, one of them a woman of color! And that the Amazons weren't all white! The mention of Sameer wanting to be an actor but being the wrong color - such a poignant moment. Napi talking about the genocide against the Blackfoot, at the hand of Steve's people, and the weight of that in among everything else.

The nods to Charlie and his PTSD, and the moment of healing Diana gave him - it's something that she truly demonstrates love in all moments, comfort and support being so central to her being that it doesn't occur to her to act otherwise.

I love the fact that Steve loves that she's his equal. They could have made him resent it, but they never did - thank the gods!

I had fun tracking her boots; flat boots - her stunt double; heeled boots, Gadot. I hope the next time she's costumed they give up on the heels altogether.

I loved that they cut away from the sex scene. I had planned to eyeroll my way through it and then cutaway to a lighted window, and we're on the next morning. Yay! My head-canon is they kissed, maybe made it to second base, then Diana was all, "That's good. Let's sleep." And Steve said, "I understand. Tomorrow's an early day." And they slept next to each other in bed and she woke up before him this time.

I was really struck by the camera framing. It was all Diana as powerful, Diana as warrior, Diana as direct and true goddess. I hadn't realized how much I had internalized all of the boob&butt was ubiquitous until it was gone and I was left with a movie which scratched all of my power fantasy itches without having to patiently wait through lingering shots on a woman's body. It brought back fond memories of Black Widow's fights in the first Avenger's movie.

Etta Candy was a delight. More of her please. That she and Steve both clocked their pursuers was a lovely touch.

I knew something was off with the ultimate big bad early, but I liked that it didn't come out of left field.

Antiope and Hippolyta. That is all.

I love that Wonder Woman got the Superman optimism. I wish Superman had it too, along with the love of humanity, but I love that Wonder Woman picked that up when Superman let it drop.

I agree that Wonder Woman's nemesis is patriarchy.

I want to see it again~!!!
posted by Deoridhe at 1:42 AM on June 13 [18 favorites]


So, humans are created by Zeus in the DC Verse? Is that now official? I suppose Zeus could have been created by an evenmore powerful being but this framing of (human) creation seems a bit iffy.

I liked the movie overall, but I keep coming back to how muddled the cosmology is, and how many different ways they wanted to have their cake and eat it too.

I honestly liked this part of the story, because it reflects everything we know about creation myths and cosmologies, namely that they change along with the societies they represent and who are – it's a circle – creating them. We create myth; myth reflects us; it reflects how we view the world all while attempting to structure that very same view.

That said, there are certain constants in creation myths throughout the world. A period of chaos, followed by a division into matter and non-matter (to put ancient mythology into modern terms), which implies creation of the heavens (non-matter) and heavenly bodies (matter). Then there is a fall from grace/the heavens onto the specific heavenly body Earth, and humankind comes into being. After that, there is humankind's coming of age. Humankind follows an earthly process much like that of the cosmos: chaos, division, loss of innocence, maturity into wisdom and complexity.

As for Ancient Greek mythology, the framing is not very far from past representations. Prometheus was a Titan who was against Zeus, and he created mankind from clay. Athena breathed life into humans. Athena was a daughter of Zeus. Sound familiar?

I didn't find Wonder Woman's cosmology muddled at all. It's a new creation that uses old figures symbolically (which is what mythology does), and as such it breathes new life into them (also what mythology does, otherwise it wouldn't resonate with us).

We take clay and breathe life into it.
posted by fraula at 7:23 AM on June 13 [4 favorites]


I saw this last night which made me about the only person not watching the NBA Final but yet somehow there was still a baby in the movie theater.

There were a surprising number of Sikhs in the English crown scenes which was a surprising addition. Like many of the historical elements I think some people might quibble, but it probably had some basis in reality and certainly fit with the movie's diverse casting.

I'm not totally negative on the third act - as far as third act punch-fests go it was better than most and fit with the theme of Diana's growth into her power well enough. I too could do without these laborious scenes but I'll take it over Superman or BvS. I though the rest of the action scenes were really well done and had a lot more energy than other superhero films.
posted by GuyZero at 10:39 AM on June 13


WAIT
Yes, you have to remember that her mother lied to her about her origin; she wasn't crafted in clay and breathed into life by Zeus, she is Zeus' daughter.

I haven't read the comics or done any background research - was I supposed to pick that up in the movie? When/how?
posted by kat518 at 9:55 AM on June 15


At some point someone calls her Zeus' daughter or him her father, I seem to remember, but if she was actually made out of clay and had life breathed into her I think you could still use that terminology.

I will definitely watch it again though, so hey, that's another thing to look out for.
posted by ODiV at 10:22 AM on June 15


Shit, I realize that's a dumb question never mind. I liked it! Random thoughts in no particular order:
- I know, I know, but I'm a little bummed Steve died. I know! But still.
- I was thinking that like, a few years from now, there are going to be a lot of little girls named Melania and Ivanka which is a bummer. But there will also be a lot of little girls named Diana and that's pretty cool.
- I thought they did a nice job of making her naive but not stupid. Like the sex talk on the boat, how she's like, yeah, I read about sex, ehh, whatever. I also liked how they showed that she has a good heart. I kind of loved the part where they're walking in the street in London and she gets excited to see a baby.
- I was not too keen on the intro where she's working in a museum. I also thought she could go home to visit. I hoped there would be a reunion scene on the island where everyone celebrates her return.
- Some internal consistencies - she believes every life is precious except when she goes on a rage spree after Steve dies. And she basically does no wrong except she steals some random lady's clothes. Not a big deal but it stood out to me.
posted by kat518 at 10:49 AM on June 15 [2 favorites]


Ares spelled it out during the final battle: "only a god can kill another god," so Zeus gave the Amazons "his daughter with Hippolyta" with the idea that she could be trained to kill Ares if he re-emerged.

(For my money they could just as easily have said that Diana can kill a god because she's no mere mortal but a divine creation made from the earth itself, with life breathed into her from Zeus, and not messed with her classic origin. Feh.)
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:22 PM on June 15 [3 favorites]


At some point someone calls her Zeus' daughter or him her father, I seem to remember, but if she was actually made out of clay and had life breathed into her I think you could still use that terminology.

So they don't really address it head on but the impression I got was that the clay & breath story was a lie they told her as a child. The truth is that she was a love child of Zeus and that's why she could kill Ares.

But I could be wrong on that interpretation.
posted by GuyZero at 1:05 PM on June 15


I like to think the "molded from clay" story is the Amazonian equivalent to "The stork delivered you. "
posted by happyroach at 1:42 PM on June 15 [7 favorites]


I followed the "only a god can kill another god" bit. I thought maybe she was a god because Zeus breathed life into her and she just didn't know that made her a god until then. I was satisfied with that explanation for the random hush-hushness when Hippolyta was like, she can never know what she really is.
posted by kat518 at 1:48 PM on June 15


Yes, you have to remember that her mother lied to her about her origin; she wasn't crafted in clay and breathed into life by Zeus, she is Zeus' daughter.

I haven't read the comics or done any background research - was I supposed to pick that up in the movie? When/how?


There were numerous cues, but one thing I liked about the plot is that they didn't beat you over the head with it. It was there to be discovered, just as Diana appeared to be discovering it through the course of the movie. Finally Ares, who would know, tells her she is Zeus' daughter.

The thing about the clay+breath story is that those aren't acts of parentage, they are acts of creation -- just as Zeus created humans in the movie's mythos. And we've been told that's not good enough to make you able to kill a god.

I got the strong impression that sacking with Zeus to make a godchild to protect them seemed like a good idea at the time, but as that whole motherhood thing played out Hippolyta realized that creating an innocent life for the purpose of using it as a weapon in your war was kind of an asshole thing to do. So she repents this intent and vows to raise Diana as a normal child and not use her has a weapon after all. But Diana is drawn to her destiny, and she turns out to be as necessary as they thought she might be at the time of her conception.

And while they didn't get too far into the aftermath, we now have a solid basis for her decision to leave the island and live among us. After all, she was created to protect these helpless idiots, and she's good at it. But her home society also lied to her en masse about her origin and purpose, at the direction of her own mother. This is way worse than finding out there is no Santa Claus and she might find a little distance appealing as she claims her birthright.
posted by Bringer Tom at 3:32 PM on June 15 [5 favorites]


I thought the story about Diana being shaped from clay was quite obviously a complete lie told her to prevent her realising her true parentage, the lines where her mother and friend discuss why she should not be told the truth seem to explain this quite adequately. (My first thought was that she would prove to be a child of rape and was very relieved this was not the case!)

Some interesting commentary on the film's feminism on The Mary Sue.

I also enjoyed this squeetastic blog post about attending the premiere and lifelong fandom, from Anne Wheaton.
posted by Coaticass at 2:38 AM on June 16 [5 favorites]


In case you care to contemplate the bullet we all collectively dodged when Joss Whedon's Wonder Woman fell through, from Gavia Baker-Whitelaw at the Daily Dot: Whedon's Leaked Wonder Woman Screenplay Is Mindblowingly Sexist. It's uh, real bad. Like oh my god. If it were physically possible to take shelter in the arms of a movie, I would want to take shelter in the arms of Patty Jenkins Wonder Woman to hide from the awfulness of Whedon's screenplay.
posted by yasaman at 5:19 PM on June 16 [8 favorites]


That Anne Wheaton blog is, indeed, squeetastic. The room got a bit dusty when she was invited to tell Lynda Carter her "I thought I was related to Wonder Woman" story.
posted by Bringer Tom at 12:29 PM on June 17


That Whedon script is really impressively bad.
posted by octothorpe at 12:42 PM on June 17


Cuke: I'm glad comic book fans liked it and hope it makes a ton of money so we see more women as leads and directors and maybe there will be more changes over time.

The Wonder Woman Effect: Female Directors Are Owning the Box Office This Summer (Wired, Angela Watercutter)
IF STEREOTYPES ARE to be believed, women aren’t very good at math, but I’ll give this a shot. This weekend, Wonder Woman brought in another $80.3 million at the global box office. Not bad. You know what’s even better? Last weekend, the movie’s second in theaters, it brought in more cash than the latest Tom-Cruise-runs-from-things movie, The Mummy. Thanks to a lot of good will, the drop between its first weekend and second weekend box office totals was smaller than almost any other superhero movie before it. By the time you finish this sentence, it'll probably snag another million from somewhere, bringing its global haul to nearly $572 million. Again, I don’t have a head for numbers, but those look pretty good to me.

Wonder Woman’s opening weekend was the highest ever for a female director (Monster’s Patty Jenkins). That’s incredible by itself, but what’s more unreal is that she’s not alone. This past weekend, Rough Night, helmed by Broad City director Lucia Aniello, also brought in $8.1 million—not Wonder Woman money, but impressive considering “female comedy” was pretty much a non-starter before 2011's Bridesmaids. Add in Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s Iraq war drama Megan Leavey, and Eleanor Coppola’s Paris Can Wait and that’s four movies from female directors in the box office Top 20. (It would have been five movies, but Stella Meghie's Everything, Everything, which had been in the Top 10 for a month, got edged out.) Having more than one or two female directors in the top spots isn’t unheard of (there was a brief period in 2015 when Sam Taylor-Johnson’s Fifty Shades of Grey, Ava DuVernay’s Selma, and the Wachowski’s Jupiter Ascending were all there), but it’s exceptionally rare—especially in summer, and double-especially given the long tail Wonder Woman is displaying. In short, women are ruling the box office this summer.

This is, of course, not literally true. This week, as with every one before it, the vast majority of movies in theaters making money are made by—and made for, and starring—dudes. But it does seem as though the pendulum is swinging ever so slightly toward the center. Whether it will continue is impossible to say, but even this much change cannot be denied.
And there's more to come this summer.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:06 AM on June 19 [1 favorite]


The thing with the Diana's origins is that "molded from clay" and "Hippolyta and Zeus had a daughter" is that, in the comics, both are valid origin stories for Diana, although I think the Zeus one is the current valid one, which the movie implied was the more accurate one. Personally, I think the movie did a good job of paying homage to both of them without making one seem better or more right than the other.
posted by PearlRose at 10:34 AM on June 19


The daughter-of-Zeus origin is the one from the New 52. She's since gotten another new origin in the current "Rebirth" continuity (DC Comics: keeping readers popping aspirin since 1986!), but I don't know if that one reinstates the "born of clay" birth or keeps her as a demigod. I know it throws out a lot of other complications the prior run established, but I'm unclear on that part.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:56 PM on June 19


I guess maybe I'm getting overly metaphorical in my own age, but I did not consider "she is Zeus's daughter" incompatible with "Hippolyta crafted her from clay and Zeus breathed life into her".
posted by ckape at 8:08 PM on June 25 [9 favorites]


The difference between being made and being a child is very significant in pretechnological mythology, and I have to assume the people at DC were aware of this in crafting the various versions of Diana's origin. In keeping with how things have been for most of human history when humans made things, the thing that is made is always less than the being that made it. Pots and crossbows do not operate themselves, and even a water wheel doesn't do anything useful unless the humans who built it arrange for that. But a child eventually becomes comparable to its parent, and can even surpass its parent in some ways.

The idea that you could make something that might be greater than yourself is very new, and really only dates to the creation of clockwork automata in the 14th century or so. The fact that these machines could operate long after their makers walked away was so threatening to the traditional idea of what it meant to "make" something that they were banned in several countries.

Of course now everyone wears a wristwatch that could potentially become Skynet, so we don't really observe that distinction any more.
posted by Bringer Tom at 5:37 AM on June 26


I saw this for the first time this afternoon, in a nearly full theater and I had so much fun. I really appreciated that they realized that WWI-era Britain wasn't all white. Including the military.

My favorite part was when she climbs up out of the trench and the camera lingers on her feet, her armor, her whip, her shield, her headband, her armor, and not once on her breasts or butt. It made me tear up. She is just badass, and we get to stay immersed in her badassness without having to pause while the male gaze strokes itself.
posted by ChuraChura at 3:29 PM on July 8 [4 favorites]


I want to see a prequel with the five sidekicks working together behind enemy lines, to stop Dr. Poison's City Killer shells destined for the Paris Gun! Etta's quick shrewdness, political aplomb, tactical thinking and unsinkable attitude would make her an ideal team member.

The opener would be, "Chief, I need you to procure something unusual. I'll need an omniglot with a smooth delivery, an elite sharp-shooter, an explosives expert at home with the state of the art, and a good right-hand man. Someone who's on top of what's going on and knows how to deal with the higher-ups back in London. They need to be the best you can find, provided they aren't... entangled... with active units."

"That's a tall order, Steve, and it will cost you. But if you have the money, I can get you what you need. Tonight."

Also WWII needs to be set in WWII. She needs to be at Trinity, and see the laughing head of Ares in the fireball. The third installment can be where we meet the evil and cruel Doctor Zeul and her hideously powerful stolen body, and the assemblage of Villany, Inc. with the villains of the prior two, Dr. Maru and Cheetah (I'm thinking Patrizio Rich, a Fascist Italian spy who married for money and access and became a widow deliberately) defying age along with Diana.

An interesting note - Queer Feminists and Mainstream Liberals and Catholics and Fundamentalist Christians who review movies all love this movie. The holy rollers sometimes take a paragraph or two to list the sins of language, violence and sex (which they didn't object to entirely, as the violations were so minor), and to explain the Greek mythos stuff was not actually heathen idolatry, but symbolism, in case anyone was confused. But both sides love the message, they love the fundamental decency of the heroes and their refusal to put aside their goodness for expediency, and how they all work with each other to be better heroes along the way. They love the sense of nurturing family and community on Themyscira, and how family members can disagree but still be loved and supported.

It kind of makes me think we're not that far apart as a nation. Wonder Woman might just save the world yet.
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:47 PM on July 9 [5 favorites]


“But who will sing to us, Charlie?” The Defining Power of Wonder Woman - "There’s much to praise about the film, but for me the moment that made me realize what made Wonder Woman different from all the other heroes wasn’t a grand battle, or any big defining scene. It was tiny moment. In fact, it was just a single line in a passing moment as Diana and crew were ready to head into the final battle. A familiar scene that can be found in many wartime movies."
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:33 PM on July 12 [6 favorites]


The great part of Charlie's arc is that he's most useful not as a sniper, or even a singer, but as a scout - only someone with his eagle eye and comfort with a rifle-scope could help them in that moment, and it was something he was eager and ready to contribute. He was there because Diana chose kindness and inclusion as part of her way of winning a war.
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:43 PM on July 13 [7 favorites]


This only just came out here last weekend so we dropped ¥3,600 to see it in the theater (only finding out afterward that it comes out on the US iTunes store three days later). Overall, I felt kind of the same way as I did about Frozen, where the unstoppable hype train left me a little disappointed that it was merely pretty good. It was better than Thor at doing the same sort of "divine fish out of water" story, which means that, yes, DC has finally made a decent Marvel movie.

My immediate reaction, though, based on more or less the entirety of the first and third acts, was that I'd never before seen a movie that was shot and scored entirely as a trailer — if you cut out the slow motion and CONSTANT bullet time effects, you'd shave a solid ten minutes off the movie, and the music was never not The Most Important Thing Conceivable. There were a couple of moments where I could actually feel myself being emotionally manipulated by the score despite knowing intellectually that there was no real good reason to be feeling the feelings I was feeling.

The second act was really good, though, and it actually contained a few moments that weren't saturated with Important Moving Music!

My wife and I both agreed that the way Ares was handled was maybe the worst possible way available (up to and including flashback of scraggly hair but perfectly trimmed mustache, which was HILARIOUS), and that it would have been way more interesting if Ares were still out there behind the scenes, or more of a ghost that possesses or influences humans, or even just not alive anymore (in which case it's just humans' flaws at play). The decision to just reprise the Neo vs. Agent Smith Dragon Ball fight for the zillionth time was… boring? There was nothing at stake emotionally other than Diana's woMANPAIN when Steve does his sacrifice thing, and then it was just a super generic "i win bcaus i punch u hardr" fight scene with a brief moment of "I won't hurt the bystander." And then she literally kills the devil???

But all of the secondary characters were great (I loved how Charlie's recovery arc was about how he got over his trauma and made the show Spaced started singing again, rather than becoming a sniper again), and despite being a DC movie it contained any saturated colors at all and any joy at all, and Diana's overall optimism was really refreshing. In the end, I feel like, despite the movie's efforts, I actually enjoyed it overall, but I don't think I could withstand the intensity of its Importance through a second viewing. At least not for a while.
posted by DoctorFedora at 11:01 PM on August 27 [2 favorites]


Finally saw it, and I'm siding with the meh-sayers. I appreciate that this is a progressive movie for a comic adaptation, but that doesn't make it a great movie over all - it's passing over a lowered bar.

The pros:
- woman-driven narrative about a woman challenging cultural norms (of the time period, but also of the present)
- she learns about the modern world and teams up with a man who is generally fairly progressive (for that period, and this one, to a lesser degree), and is then part of a multi-cultural group of misfits who quickly accept her as a badass
- the plot isn't tied to romance, and that romance is instead a fleeting, if unnecessary, moment
- little Diana was totes awesome
- adult Diana was completely awesome, except ...

The cons:
- she's part of an ancient people who are ever vigilant for the return of Ares, except they don't leave their bubble of safety to understand what he might be doing out in the world, let alone how the world is progressing, so they get to play the role of unfrozen caveman lawyer out of touch Amazon warriors, who just barely survived facing guns for the first time
- you lost me at "I'm above average" -- really, why the fuck did Steve get to say that twice without a heavy eye-roll, or "you already said that" on the second time from Diana?
- so. trope.tastic.

OK, I get that she's a naive young lady who ventures into the world to learn about the horrors of modern man, but why is that the first "progressive" female-fronted story DC tries to tell? And they set it in a time when the roles of women can be jokingly-not jokingly called slavery for a quick laugh.

As Countess Elena pointed out, the bar was lowered dramatically, first with Mystique's bodypaint, then Black Widow and "her perfect black leather sausage casing." Unfortunately for Wonder Woman, Peggy Carter came along and really kicked ass. She's not naive like Diana, and she understands the real limitations of the world, where to push them, and where to accept the boundaries, for now. More characters like Peggy, and more shows like Agent Carter, please.

On further reflection, as mentioned upthread, Wonder Woman is like a less powerful Superman. But because she's not powerful enough to do it all solo, she has to rely on the skills of others. And as my wife pointed out, like many women, she's quick to deflect the singular praise and recognize the role of the group as a whole. It's not an invalid recognition on her behalf, but again, would a man do the same thing?

Parting link: if you want to refresh your memory on what was said, if not who said what, here's a rough transcript
posted by filthy light thief at 8:46 PM on September 3 [2 favorites]


At some point someone calls her Zeus' daughter or him her father, I seem to remember, but if she was actually made out of clay and had life breathed into her I think you could still use that terminology.

It's notable that Zeus had no part of her in her original origin story; the "Zeus dad" is a New 52 retcon. I loathe this retcon. In her origin story she was molded out of clay and had life and gifts breathed into her by the Greek goddesses alone. I love the original origin and am holding to my headcannon even in the face of this movie I otherwise loved.
posted by Deoridhe at 12:00 PM on September 4 [3 favorites]


I loved this movie. I'm not invested in superhero cannon, especially not DC stuff, and as such gave continuity/realism/consistency a complete pass. Lots of quibbles, but, eh. A production with this kind of costs has to try to satisfy a lot of different sets of (and individual) people, compromises had to be made.

I got emotional and actually cried in reaction to at least three scenes; initial training/proving montage re: "You can do better" - and she does.

WW getting fed up and charging across no man's land - it wasn't quite certain at that point that she was essentially immune to bullets before testing it out - that her friends backed her but the soldiers didn't until much much later... The courage of her convictions.

WW getting fed up with Ares and decides that, "fuck yeah, I'm taking this asshole down," calling back to her initial training/proving montage.

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WW's (well, the director's, really) choice of footwear; I'd like to think that the opening modern day's high heeled stiletto boots were for her (looking/feeling good::manipulation of male gaze/fashion), the flat boots during most fight scenes for comfort/practicality, and the wedge boots in the close-up hand-to-hand fight scenes for the producers.

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I liked that Steve died/sacrificed himself. But unless he got incredibly lucky with prevailing winds and other weather effects, I would have projected that even more people would get sick and die (perhaps over a longer period of time and much more prolonged suffering) than if he grounded the bomber somewhere close, depending on the nature of the chemical weapon. Chlorine gas was used as a chemical weapon in WWI but it reacts rapidly with water and is rendered ineffective relatively quickly (qv Canadian troops who recognized the nature of chlorine gas attacks and wetted hankerchiefs [sometimes with urine as a last resort] to breath through to counter the lung-melting effects of the gas) but other chemical warfare agents could be hazardous at lower concentrations, for longer durations, and cause delayed morbidity/mortality).

That the obvious German (pre-full-blown-Nazi) baddie wasn't the real baddy, but rather a (demi?)god who pretended to be a British goody was interesting, but I hope that a lot of that story was lost on the cutting room floor rather than that this was it, as-is on the face level.

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As for WW's power-level... I think it's less important than her ability to get the most out of a team. Soft skills.

Superman is Superman, he could probably just do "everything"/mission accomplish by himself. WW's compassion improves everyone around her and even if she could get the job done just by herself, force-multiplying every member of her team creates an even greater good - they become much more effective at the power levels that they are at, or even upgrades their power levels. Many hands make light(er) work.

--

Yeah, I really like this movie and I cannot even comprehend another actor of this generation more suited to the role than Gal Gadot.

Kudos also have to go to Patty Jenkins for striking a difficult and fine balance in how this film is presented.

I'm hoping that the closing contemporary scene of WW means that she maintains hopes for humanity because she's seen examples of goodness and decency in the face of hate and stupidity and ignorance over the last 100 years - and has actively helped skew that balance since her introduction to Earth.
posted by porpoise at 7:21 PM on September 6 [1 favorite]


Superman is Superman, he could probably just do "everything"/mission accomplish by himself.

But WW is more badass than Superman because she was the one who saved the day in Batman vs Superman.
posted by LizBoBiz at 9:09 AM on September 7 [1 favorite]


she's part of an ancient people who are ever vigilant for the return of Ares, except they don't leave their bubble of safety to understand what he might be doing out in the world, let alone how the world is progressing, so they get to play the role of unfrozen caveman lawyer) out of touch Amazon warriors, who just barely survived facing guns for the first time

My feelings too. I respect people who found things that were good, good-for-them, or just generally what they wanted in a movie. I was hoping for some of the dynamism and "Man this woman is AMAZING" stuff that I found in Mad Max Fury Road and did not find it.

Gal Godot was amazing and somehow still underutilized, like one of her superpowers was just staggering beauty. Not enough women in the entire second half of the movie, it barely passes the Bechdel test after she leaves the island. I got sort of tired of her naievete (She speaks 1000 languages but is still all "What is dancing?"). I know it's tough to do this with a war movie but I still wanted a lot more female characters with depth, the only other two were basically pawns in service to Ares. CGI fighting is deadly dull when both people have magic abilities and I found the "Oh now I know what love is because of this guy I've known for five days" to be sort of a meh reason for her to come into her own amazing powers. Might have liked it better if she'd been maybe 15.

I think some of this is just that the stock superhero movies that are more on the serious side (Captain America and Batman, not Iron Man and Deadpool) are just not my thing. My analysis is more like FirstMateKate's. Good superhero movie, was hoping to see them do more with a female superhero and have it be more of a feminist movie, not just a feminist character and backstory. If the whole movie had played out like the first parts on the island (complicated, questioning, a lot of back and forth) I would have been pleased.
posted by jessamyn at 6:08 AM on September 8 [5 favorites]


porpoise: I really like this movie and I cannot even comprehend another actor of this generation more suited to the role than Gal Gadot.

Kudos also have to go to Patty Jenkins for striking a difficult and fine balance in how this film is presented.


Good news! At last, Wonder Woman 2 has secured Patty Jenkins as director
Wonder Woman has become one of the biggest superhero movies in history, earning $410 million in the US and another $405 million abroad. Its star, Gal Gadot, inspired major fan meltdowns at Comic-Con. And yet Warner Bros. waited months before figuring out who would direct the sequel. Now they've finally cut a deal with Patty Jenkins, who wrote and directed the first film. Jenkins will be getting $8 million, a bit of a raise from the $1 million she got last time.
...
Variety reports that she's already working on a script with DC film universe head Geoff Johns. Her contract reportedly involved her writing, directing, and producing the sequel, as well as "a substantial backend of box office grosses." Godot is returning to star, and the movie is slated for release December 13, 2019.

No word yet on the plot of the film, but it's likely to pick up where Batman v. Superman left off, in the present day.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:38 AM on September 12 [2 favorites]


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