I have seen the new Wonder Woman film (directed by Patty Jenkins) twice so far, and I love it. Spoiler-y reaction in more detail below:
Things I Liked:
- THE AMAZONS! They were terrific and totally badass. I loved Antiope jumping off the shield to soar gracefully over a rock and shoot three arrows at once from mid-air. I loved Hippolyta spinning off her horse, gold cloak flying.
- Antiope repeatedly telling Diana-in-training that she is stronger than she thinks she is, that she needs to believe in herself more.
- Young Diana! So cute and spunky.
- Gal Gadot’s performance–amazing, perfect.
- Her simple make-up and practical, short fingernails.
- All the hairstyles on Themyscira
- The dynamic between Hippolyta and Antiope and how they both fiercely love Diana but have different views on what’s best for her
- Diana looking at herself in the mirror in the tower with the gifts from the gods when she sneaks in to grab the sword, because she is one of the gifts but doesn’t know it yet.
- Diana getting caught in the revolving door because of her sword and shield, and then rebuffing Steve’s attempt to walk her through it by saying “Let me try it by myself,” and then jumping in and totally nailing it on the second try.
- Etta Candy! Delightful.
- Diana going off on the Generals and yelling that they should be ashamed of themselves.
- Diana pushing Samir’s uninvited embrace away
- When Diana takes the time to listen to a woman asking for help in the trenches, and then listens to her own conviction that something needs to be done and ignores the men telling her it’s hopeless, and charging out into No-Man’s-Land and deflecting all those bullets and inspiring the whole army. I THINK THIS IS MY FAVORITE PART!
- all of her fight scenes–SHE MOVES WITH SO MUCH POWER AND I LOVE IT!
- The World War I setting: although a departure from her traditional origin story timeline, I thought it was a good choice to support the theme that it wasn’t just one side or the other that was at fault in the conflict, but all were complicit and corrupted. If the setting had been WW II, would Steve have agreed that “maybe we’re all to blame”?
- the intersectionality; Samir saying he really wants to be an actor but can’t get cast because he’s “the wrong color,” and Chief talking about Steve’s [white] people taking everything from his [Native American] people.
- tbh I liked how suspiciously Dr. Maru regarded Steve when he was trying to charm her, and how she called him out for getting distracted by Diana. I kind of liked her overall as a villain and I’d be interested to learn more about her backstory.
- When Diana blocks Ludendorff’s bullet straight back into his own gun, it’s like the greatest clapback ever
- It is very handy to have a truth-verifying lasso when someone is dropping bombshell revelations on you in the third act!
- The music is good
- I very much like the conclusion that humanity is terrible but not completely so, that evil can’t be eradicated because it lives in the hearts of each of us but that each of us can do our part to fight it and to join Diana in her mission now, forever: “I stay, I fight, and I give, for the world I know can be.”
Things I Didn’t Like:
- Why is she wearing heels in her fighting outfit. ESPECIALLY considering she was wearing flat sandals for all of her training.
- Why did so many Amazons have to be killed in the battle and especially why did so many of them fall from ONE bullet? *grumpy face*
- Diana never got to hold a baby! I was hoping she would get to at some point after her reaction to the first one she saw when they reached London. They could’ve totally worked that into the celebration scene in the village.
- I am glad they included the theme from the “Is She With You?” track in Batman vs. Superman, but I wish they had used it MORE.
- There was a total under-utilization of the wonderful Etta Candy character, and I wish she and Diana had interacted more.
- I wish there had been another woman in the little gang that goes to the front.
- They set a Wonder Woman story pre-suffrage but didn’t interact with the theme of gender inequality at all except for one humorous aside by Etta about using “our principles” to fight for the right to vote, and the whole “why is there a woman in this council chamber” thing. Steve escorts her out of there literally saying “sorry, blind sister, she got lost.” It is BIZARRE that she wouldn’t comment on the absurdity of patriarchal norms.
- Why does Ares still have a mustache in his flashback scene of having just-been-smote-down-to-Earth? Did they think we wouldn’t recognize David Thewlis otherwise, or did he just not want to shave for only one scene? HAHAHHAHHAHA.
- I reeeeaaaaalllly could have done without the Steve romance. I get that it ended up being crucial to her arc, and I admit I kind of enjoy the fact that he basically dies just to further her character development in a role reversal of what we’ve seen played out so many times for the women that male main characters love, but he disrespects, disbelieves, underestimates, and patronizes her a lot, EVEN after they spend the night together. And also, she is demonstrably amazing in front of him numerous times but what has he done that is so impressive she is enamored with him during his dumb sway-dancing ‘lesson’?? And the next day when Charlie says “Steve, son, you don’t really believe this rubbish [about Ares] do you?” and Steve says NOTHING to defend Diana, so he either doesn’t actually believe her himself yet or he is too chicken to say so and either way, GROSS, and he does not deserve her. And I don’t like how he kept trying to tell her to “just stay put” even after he had seen how kickass and capable she was, and how he would grab her arm and lead her around and not confide in her.
- “NEVER let your guard down! You expect the battle to be fair?! The battle will NEVER be fair!” -Antiope to Diana in training
- “There is much you do not understand, Diana. Men are easily corrupted.” -Hippolyta
- “It is our sacred duty to defend the world, and I wish to go, but my mother will not allow it.” -Diana, to Steve
- “My father once told me, he said, if you see something wrong in the world, you can either do something or do nothing. And I already tried nothing.” -Steve, in response to Diana’s question of why he’s so eager to get back if the war is so terrible.
“…I understand enough, and I’m willing to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves. Like you once did.” -Diana
“You know that if you choose to go, you may never return.” -Hippolyta.
“Who will I be if I stay?” -Diana
- “You have been my greatest love. Today, you are my greatest sorrow.” -Hippolyta’s parting words to Diana
- “I’m the men who can!” -Diana, cutting off Steve who was saying there wasn’t much they could do to end the war and they “need to get back to London and find the men who can–“
“How do women fight in this?” -Diana, trying on London fashion
“Fight? We use our principles! That’s how we’re gonna get the vote. Although, I am not above a bit of fisticuffs, should the need arise.” -Etta
- “Really–specs? And suddenly she’s not the most beautiful woman you’ve ever seen?” -Etta, when Steve suggest glasses as part of Diana’s incognito look
- “Let me try it by myself.” -Diana at the revolving door.
- “I am not, I am NOT with you. You would knowingly sacrifice all these lives?? As if they mean less than yours, as if they mean nothing?!” … “You should be ashamed, you should ALL be ashamed!” -Diana to the General who shrugs off Steve’s warning about the deadly weapon being developed with a “That’s what soldiers do, they die.”
- “I am taking you to the front. We are probably gonna die. This is a terrible idea!” -Steve accidentally oversharing when he voluntarily uses the lasso of truth to prove he isn’t lying
- “I plucked him from the sea.” -Diana explaining how she met Steve
“We can’t save everyone in this war; this is not what we came here to do.” -Steve
“No. But it’s what I’m going to do.” -Diana, just before climbing out of the trench
- “Everyone is fighting their own battles, Diana. Just as you’re fighting yours.” -Samir after telling Diana about his dream of acting, blocked by racism
“What if you’re wrong?” -Steve
“You don’t believe me.” -Diana
“I can’t let you do this.” -Steve
“What I do is not up to you.” -Diana
- “You don’t think I wish it was one bad guy? It’s not. It’s all of us. We’re all to blame.” -Steve
“What are you?!” -Ludendorff
“You will soon find out.” -Diana
- “You’re wrong about them. They’re everything you say, but so much more.” -Diana, to Ares
“They do not deserve your protection.” -Ares
“It’s not about deserve, it’s about what you believe. And I believe in love.” -Diana
- “I used to want to save the world, to end war and protect mankind. But then I glimpsed the darkness that lives inside their light, and learned that both will always be inside them, and that is something no hero can defeat. They must always choose for themselves. So I stay, I fight, and I give, for the world I know can be. This is my mission, now, forever.