After years of being one of the Amazing Amazon’s biggest fans, will Riley be filled with Wonder after seeing her new movie? Or does this spell the end for the DCEU? Stay Tooned as Riley Reviews… Wonder Woman!
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Hello, Internet! Chris Voyage, here, and god this movie was awesome. I am so glad we’ve finally got us a Wonder movie about the Amazing Amazon. But let’s touch on some of those spoilers.
The movie did an excellent job of bringing out what truly sets Wonder Woman apart – the depth of her compassion, and her boundless love for all things. Heck, even during the Blackest Night event, over in the comics, she temporarily became a Violet Lantern, which makes total sense.
There are some things I would have liked to see in the movie, of course. I would’ve liked to see the Trials. They’re a big part of the origin story – Diana proving to her mother, and her sisters that she’s worthy of this quest, and all that. But I agree with Greg Rukka, who I actually saw at a panel while attending MegaCon, a few days ago. He’d seen an advanced screening or some such and he thought the same thing, but also said that it was a foregone conclusion, so it doesn’t matter much that it wasn’t in there. It saves about 20 minutes of screen-time, after all.
Steve Trevor’s death was perhaps my most significant gripe, and even that was more steeped in my desire to just go a movie without someone dying, more than it was an issue for the movie, itself. The thing is, much like the Trials, Steve Trevor dying was also a foregone conclusion. Not that I’d assumed he was going to die in the movie. But seeing as the movie takes place over 80 years ago, he’d just obviously be dead by the time of the modern Justice League movies. So that being said, it didn’t bother me terribly much. Not as much as it would in other movies, anyway.
Speaking of the setting of the movie, being where it is… did she just not do the Wonder Woman thing for, like, 80 years? That entire 80 years? Because if she had been doing the Wonder Woman thing for that long, there would have been no way people wouldn’t know about a woman that can knee down a building. Which leads me to believe they shouldn’t have been so surprised that Superman was a thing. But we won’t get into that, because that gets into criticizing other movies, and… that’s a discussion I could have all day.
I will say that that whole scene where Steve stops to tell her he loves her, and later when she gives that speech about love to Ares… eeeh. Felt a little, to me, like they hopped on the cheese bus around there. Which is fine in a movie that’s a little more self aware of its cheesiness? But this movie’s sense of humor wasn’t that same Guardians of the Galaxy style of self aware. It was more just about clever jokes and whatnot. Also lots of funny character interactions that were very much in-universe. Nothing meta was really going on. So those scenes seemed a bit hammy. Not bad, per se. Just far from subtle.
But as Riley alluded to in the review, the biggest gripe with the movie isn’t really a matter of the movie’s being at fault. It’s entirely symbolic, and a matter of preference. I don’t like the origin that says Diana is actually the child of Zeus. And here’s why. For one thing, it means she was created essentially for the express purpose of killing another God. At least in the narrative of this movie. And there is a certain poetry to that. It allows Ares to give her the whole “Not so different” speech, and let’s her have an Iron Giant “You are who you choose to be” moment, but I honestly don’t like that for her. The reason I prefer the origin of Diana being given life after being carved out of clay is that it’s much more symbolic of the character. As I said, Diana is a character all about love. If you know Greek Mythology at all, you know Zeus is the most prolific deadbeat dad in fictional history. He doesn’t care about his kids. At all. Nor his spouses, really. There was no actual love involved in the making of Diana if he was the father. It was a fling. A happy accident. But Hippolyta carving Diana from clay out of anguished desire for a child? The sculpture being brought to life by the gods, who sensed the love Hippolyta had placed into carving the child? That is just so much more powerful to the character, and more representative of her. But also it’s just more interesting. More unique. It takes her from being She-Hercules, to being something that stands out as a more interestingly. But, again, I understand that this is otherwise irrelevant and entirely symbolic. It’s just a matter of preference.
My last significant gripe is what follows Steve’s death. Now, the scene of Diana holding up the tank, contemplating crushing Dr. Poison? That is a truly incredible scene to me. It’s something I really wanted to see out of her. Her having the option to kill someone, and not taking it. That is important. But the fight that follows that scene is… it’s just too easy to me. Based on the origin they went with, Diana and Ares should have been evenly matched, at best. And at worst, Ares should have still outclassed her a fair amount. So even after she did find her inner godly power, that last bit of the fight should’ve been a bit more of a struggle. I honestly think it just would’ve made the fight a tad more interesting in the end.
With all that being said, guys, I really loved this movie. The instant it’s out on Blu-Ray, I am definitely picking it up. I’m right there in Riley’s camp. Wonder Woman is one of my favorite superheroes and it’s about time she got a movie that can show the world why we adore her so much. A-
With all that said and done, folks, that’s it for today. Thanks for reading, as always.
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