Last weekend I made the mistake of not reserving my movie tickets for Wonder Woman ahead of time and ended up having to decide whether I wanted to see a later showing or go home. I opted for an extra hour’s wait — and it was worth it.

Here is what I wrote **pseudo-spoilers ahead** for Conservative Book Club:

Director Patty Jenkins can make a strong case that she had one of the most pressure-packed Hollywood tasks in recent memory — making Wonder Woman a blockbuster for Warner Bros. She needed to please fans of a character with over 70 years of history while overcoming doubts about the direction of the DC Extended Universe and Gal Gadot’s acting.

Mission accomplished.

Wonder Woman, much like Joe Johnston’s Captain America: The First Avenger in 2011, was the kind of job where studio executives pull one off to the side and say, “Good luck, but don’t you dare screw this up.” Ms. Jenkins, like her creative peer, responded by churning out an upbeat film of solid craftsmanship across the board. Gadot’s Princess Diana just so happened to make her debut during World War I instead of World War II (both ideal backdrops for films pitting good against evil).

As is the case with most quality superhero origins, Wonder Woman takes its time establishing the character’s backstory before fists start flying and guns go blazing. This fish-out-of-water tale required the women of Themyscira to meet military men like Captain Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), and Ms. Jenkins wisely dictated slower pacing. The DC Universe is one where Greek mythology meets Judeo-Christian beliefs, but writer Allan Heinberg (story byJason Fuchs and Zack Snyder) made it work.

The plot is simple: The first World War literally breaks through a protective bubble put in place by Zeus to hide the Amazons from the god of war, Ares. Diana saves Captain Trevor when his plane crashes into the ocean, which serves as the impetus for her to leave utopia and save mankind. She believes that locating and defeating Ares on the field of battle will end all war. Steve humorously goes along for the ride as a means of getting home, although a romance between the two heroes eventually grows.

Perhaps what is most impressive about Wonder Woman — besides a memorable “No Man’s Land” scene and the iconic “lasso of truth” — is the way Diana’s improved understanding of love and free will allow her to fully realize her potential. The god of war eventually comes across as a Satan stand-in, and Wonder Woman adopts, for all intents and purposes, a Catholic definition of love (i.e., willing the good of the other as other).

Check out the rest of the review here.

 

Advertisements

About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

5 comments

  1. The movie was shockingly Christian…as if the team that made this movie decided that this would be a good way to get past the PC censors.

    At first I was a little annoyed at how they were twisting the origin story a little and making Zeus…a god known for his excesses and infidelity, into a benevolent figure. One of my favorite parts of the 2009 movie was Wonder Woman’s creation…Hippolyta having been a part of so much violence and carnage basically wills Diana to life, as if in remorse for the lives she took.

    But when I saw what they were doing with it, I was intrigued. Wonder Woman is so well done here, she exudes the confidence of a complete woman, unflapped by the misogyny around her. They keep her feminine here, a powerful point that feminine virtues are good things, not to be thrown away in a foolish attempt to overthrow men. I enjoyed the movie immensely.

    Spoilers!

    I only had a couple of issues…in the love scene…I really hoped…because good men from that era wouldn’t have…and we know it. I was sad to see him go back in. Yeah it’s Gal Gadot, and I think perhaps in his shoes we would all fail rather badly, but we lost some good things from that time and discretion about sex was one of them. Gentlemanly behavior and all, I just wish Steve could have been one for that moment, even knowing what would happen. I didn’t lose my lunch or anything over it, who can blame the guy (good god look at her)…but yeah.

    Also, I wish we had learned more about Doctor Poison in the movie. She’s was incredibly mysterious, dangerous, evil and yet vulnerable and aching for love and tenderness…subtly played by the actress, whose name escapes me. Wonder Woman has never really had a ‘good’ rogue, and equivalent to Joker or Lex Luthor…we basically have Ares…whose more idea that character.

  2. Still haven’t seen it yet, but from what I’ve heard, it’s great. It’s the first DCEU movie to get universally positive reviews from both fans and critics alike. I’m hoping it’ll be the movie that rights the DCEU ship. I still haven’t seen “Dawn of Justice” or “Suicide Squad,” either, but I keep hearing mixed at best reviews for both.

  3. Haven’t seen it yet, but every review I’ve read suggests that it’s an excellent movie and has put DC’s movie universe on the right track after Batman vs Superman and Suicide Squad. The “Justice League” movie looks quite promising as well.

  4. Going from the trailer alone, it kind of has a “Captain America: First Avenger” vibe to it, even though it’s set during World War I as opposed to World War II.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s