Uncollected Thoughts – Wonder Woman

Superman only lifts cars

The benchmark is still Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice. That, as you may recall, was the first and still only film where I have wanted to get up and walk out, bored, after only thirty minutes. Wonder Woman is nothing like that. True, I looked at my watch for the first of many times only twenty minutes in, but I did not feel the urge to walk out at any time. To have the film over a good hour before it finally stopped, yes, but not to leave before the end.

Because it’s dull, unstructured, painfully slow and if this is the best the DC Expanded Cinematic Universe can do, then I am already considering whether I do actually want to go see Justice League of America.

Perhaps some of it has to do with not being a woman and therefore not being capable of the kind of identification there must be to seeing a woman lead a major film, display superpowers, be so effortlessly superior to everyone about her with the exception of Ares, the God of War, or Truth, if you believe him. At least it manages this without any self-congratulationary stops to pat itself on its back over it’s women’s strength, the way Supergirl does.

Perhaps it has something to do with my not really having read that much Wonder Woman: the George Perez post-Crisis on Infinite Earths reboot was the only time I collected the title. But dammit, she’s part of DC’s Trinity, the Big Three, and she’s a bloody good character.

But DC still don’t know how to make successful films. There’s plenty of spectacle, seriously good CGI and battles galore, but they’re so widely spaced you could fall asleep in between, it’s all so bloody portentous and grim and foreboding, and despite what other people have said, I really don’t think Gal Gadot is that good an actress. Nor that beautiful a face (hey, I never fancied Linda Carter either: do you think it’s me?)

Yes, she’s an excellent action actress, but for everything else I found just just a bit on the wooden side.

Chris Pine as Steve Trevor was decent, whilst the comedy sidekicks were good but but wasted through not having anything of substance to do. For instance, Charlie the Scottish sniper was set up as being disturbed by his experiences: seeing ghosts, can’t actually shoot straight, know what I mean, all good character stuff and then it just gets forgotten, so why did we bother?

The only unalloyed glory about this film is David Thewliss, as Ares. Is this man capable of giving a performance that is less than superb, even when he’s dealing with material that’s beneath his talents? Only in the closing stages, when he’s CGIed into a metal helmet that you can barely make him out through does he lose the way, but by that point, acting is superfluous and nobody could make anything of that.

So, there you have it. It’s a massive success, it didn’t annoy the living hell out of me like Batman v Superman, and I didn’t want to walk out. In the DC World, this counts as a success to me. I just wish I could have enjoyed a DC film more than I did the trailer for the latest Spider-Man.

2 thoughts on “Uncollected Thoughts – Wonder Woman

  1. I’ve went back and forth on whether this is the best of the DC Film Universe films and that says just how bad they’re in shape wise. Suicide Squad is the lowest, while it was fun and entertaining, plot wise it makes no sense and the end credit scene further cemented it. That leaves the other three bouncing back and forth.

    Wonder Woman suffers from the same darkness in theme and the tones of the actual film, though the opening Paradise Island scenes helped to alleviate a lot of that. And the same 2 hr 20 min + run times.
    To me Man of Steel would hands down be the best, but it took so damn long to get going and like we needed another long retelling of the origin. Wonder Woman is set up the same way, but feels fresher as we’ve never seen it onscreen and makes sense as most aren’t familiar with her origin. With Wonder Woman it’s really the middle part that wastes too long in setting up the climax.
    Many of the naysayers are pointing that DC just made the same movie as Captain America the First Avenger. I think they made a smart story telling approach of stripping superhuman elements to a handfull, being able to tell a story, without having to worry about setting up the next four movies…
    Again, I could go with any of the three besides Suicide Squad, at this point….

    One more trailer of Spider Man and they’ve about ruined the whole movie…

    1. I haven’t seen Man of Steel and won’t as a matter of principle – my Superman doesn’t kill – and I’ve yet to see Suicide Squad but want to, so I can’t place them in order. But I found Wonder Woman boring for the reasons I said, and find it ironic that it’s now DC not Marvel doing the heavy, angsty stuff. Damn Zack Snyder.

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