To give an “above average” (movie reference) review, I saw the film twice opening weekend at probably one of the best cinema experiences in the Pacific Northwest – the Cinerama in downtown Seattle. Opening night (Friday, June 2) I saw Wonder Woman with my good friend Ann, whom I have known since grade school. She graciously agreed to be seen with me as I dressed in cosplay, wearing Diana’s Themyscira training outfit. A goldish-tan pleated skirt and a similar colored bodice with a darker cross-body strap. I paired this with gladiator sandals as well as her authentic Themyscira hair style of a Dutch braid into a Fishtail braid. I also wore replica bracers or better known as her indestructible bracelets with brown hand straps underneath. I was fairly confident no one else would be in this outfit and I didn’t want to cart around the shield and sword from the WW warrior costume.
While the Cinerama audience was enthusiastic, they didn’t deserve me (another movie reference). I was the only one in full costume. Come on people! Opening night of WW and all you can muster is a measly WW tee shirt?!? Ann made up for it, by wholeheartedly agreeing after people complimented my outfit. “Yeah, doesn’t she look great?!?” I appreciated her positive energy and excitement more than she’ll ever know. I have a brilliant, witty as hell, kind and beautiful invisible jet, and her name is Ann!
The next day I saw the movie with my husband. Fully intending to dress up again, the previous evenings disappointment made me reconsider. So we both joined the movie crowd in our WW tee shirts. I was thankful for the warmth and comfort of jeans.
There was a lot of ground to cover considering the focus of the movie is her origin story. At 141 minutes, the film moves along at a good pace. The fight scenes were beautifully choreographed and not too long (one of my pet peeves). They used the Matrix-style slow motion just enough to show the lines of movement through the air or other trick moves. The fight scenes were also fairly acrobatic instead of simply using brute force. One thing my husband noticed was the lack of blood. Yet she did kill bad guys – or injured them to the point of not getting back up. It’s implied when WW slashes you with her sword that you are down. There is no need to spew blood all over the place (like a Jackson Pollock painting) and make it a focal point. She dispatches with the baddies and moves on. It was a noticeable difference by female director Patty Jenkins.
Chris Pine was a wonderful Steve Trevor. True to the comics, he plays second fiddle to WW and is happy to do it. Pine’s comic timing was reminiscent of his quips as Captain Kirk – dry, cheeky and a bit arrogant. It was nice to see him as the token male amongst the all female Amazons. God knows women have endured being the token female for long enough!
I don’t think there is a valid excuse for not doing a female-centered superhero until now. Superman, Batman, Spiderman and even the Hulk have all had their fair share of numerous movies and remakes. While chatting about the movie with my husband over lamb burgers at Lola, he brought up another good point. He noted that the movie technology of today is perfect for really doing justice to her powers, her mythology, fight style and weaponry (IE lasso). One review I read, said the end of the film was full of “typical” CGI. Well of course it’s going to have CGI! Isn’t that the point of a Superhero movie? Showing fantastic feats mere mortals could never do – no matter how good at CrossFit you are.
Gal Gadot was magnificent as Diana Prince / Wonder Woman. For anyone who doesn’t know, she is Israeli. As part of her mandatory duty to Israel, at the age of 20, Gadot served for two years as an enlisted soldier in the Israel Defense Forces, serving as a combat instructor. After her two-year military service, she then studied law. She also won the 2004 Miss Israel beauty pageant and competed in the Miss Universe 2004 pageant in Ecuador. She is smart, gorgeous and a bad ass – even before she got the role. Speaking of that, after it was announced she was to be Wonder Woman there was a huge backlash because apparently, some folks said her breasts weren’t big enough. Seriously?!? Are we still here? The sexualization of female superheroes is a whole other conversation altogether. But it’s important to point out that those with sexist opinions, clearly don’t know anything about WW or what she stands for and wouldn’t know a true superhero if she hit them in the boob!
I highly recommend seeing the movie. This film made history in so many ways. I cannot stress enough the positive impact this film has had on women. As I’ve already mentioned, there are plenty of male superheroes and strong male figures out there for men to identify with. Finally, an iconic female figure headlines a movie franchise of her own. We have been waiting so long for this. It’s a moment to stand together and truly be proud!
In the afterglow of the movie and my years-long obsession with all things Amazonian, I stopped to reflect on what it means to embody the iconic female superhero.
For women in particular, Wonder Woman is an ideal (her values and morals, not physically) to strive for. She is a role model. She is an inspiration. A lover, and a fighter. She is a savior and a champion. A survivor. Her core values include love, compassion, and truth. She is defender of those who cannot defend themselves. She strives to understand her enemy and applies force only when necessary. She is, in many ways, innocent and holds out hope for mankind and all of our foibles – believing that we can be better. And we should be.
I wish I were a little less cynical at times and expected the best in people, instead of assuming the worst. It’s hard to see others and the world (especially today) through the eyes of hope, purity, integrity, morality, and decency. Perhaps I’d be a little less judgmental if I did. Maybe we all would?
I believe we all have the capacity to embody Wonder Women. Maybe not 24/7, but we have the means to lift up others, to believe in something bigger than ourselves and be a stronger support to the women of the world. That’s what I’d like to do for the sisterhood.
It’s been such a fun and powerful experience to be an uber-fan of Wonder Woman. Since the debut of the very first trailer released at the San Diego Comicon last year (as you know from my relentless posts) I have been pretty obsessed about it. But there are worse things to get behind. I have proudly owned my inner geek. I have not backed down from being a forty-something woman playing dress up in a Superhero costume (I’m a dancer, so it’s not a big stretch for me). I’d be a fan regardless of the movies success. Wonder Woman embodies strength, compassion, love, fearlessness, and a fierceness to stand up for what is right. She is the defender of the defenseless. What’s not to love? The fact that the movie is breaking box office and Rotten Tomatoes records, has received rave reviews from critics and has set the new standard in the movie industry for female empowerment – well, that’s just icing on the cake.
Go see Wonder Women in the theater. Support all the women and girls you know and take them to see the movie. You’ll be glad you did! And they’ll love you even more for it.
PS – To any men feeling left out, excluded or feeling the need to push against all the estrogen – Lighten up Francis, it’s not about you!