Wonder Woman

What I liked about it:

  1. The casting.  Gal Godot is amazing. She’s feminine and strong and successfully pulls off all the aspects of the role needed to really hit a home run with the character. And Chris Pine is good as Steve. Actually, everyone is good in it, even the ones who aren’t given a whole lot to work with. Whomever is doing the casting at DC is knocking it out of the park.
  2. The character arc.  Diana, whose world has been pretty black and white until Steve comes along, can’t help being a little self-righteous and judgmental; however, suddenly dropped into a world full of damaged people, she finds that, even with super powers, it’s not so easy to remain unscathed. Patty Jenkins does a good job of moving the character through the simple certainty of why she leaves with Steve to the complex uncertainty of why she should stay.
  3. The setting. I have no idea why they chose WWI (as opposed to II) for the setting, but it works.

What I didn’t like about it:

  1. It’d de rigueur for absolutely everything to be turned up to eleven now, I suspect because of the influence of video games and the success of Marvel, but it’s just not my cup of tea. I prefer my heroes–male or female–a bit more vulnerable. When they’re fighting a tank one minute and a demi-god the next and it’s all played out on the same scale, everything is normalized and impact is lost.
  2. I mentioned liking the overall character arc as a strength, and I do. But the verbal expression of it’s a little weak. “It’s not about what you deserve,” says Diana, “It’s about what you believe.” Yeah, okay, and, “love means never having to say you’re sorry.”
  3. I don’t want to get into spoilers, but there’s a deux ex mahina event at the end to introduce the threat Wonder Woman has been chasing all along. I suppose they wanted a super showdown for a special effects payoff, but it comes at the expense of the greater emotional payoff that would have come from Wonder Woman’s realization that what she had  been chasing and was so certain of was in fact an illusion.
  4.  I wish they’d stop doing the pretty/perfect = good, ugly/imperfect = evil thing.

BL: Full disclosure: I was really looking forward to this one and probably had unrealistic expectations. I’d like to see more humor and more emphasis on character development and dialogue and less on action sequences and effects. Still, it was perfectly enjoyable and easily the best thing to come out of the DC universe since The Dark Knight. It’s nice to see DC moving in the right direction again.

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