We watch a lot of Marvel at our house. We read a lot of Marvel comic books and we have several Marvel character encyclopedia books with lists and images, complete with backstories, powers, and alter egos. But we don’t spend a lot of time with DC’s characters.
Until now. Wonder Woman. Her own whole entire movie. My son is thirteen and my daughter is twelve, and my husband and I took them to see Wonder Woman yesterday as a family. On principle, it was extremely important to me that the whole family attend the movie together, just as we would for any other superhero movie.
I’m no film critic, so if you want reviews, there are many out there. But I can tell you what I saw and how I felt, watching this movie with my family, and especially my daughter, whose female superhero exposure on the big screen heretofore has been Black Widow and Sif (who fights alongside Thor). Both awesome, but this was on another level.
I’ll try only slightly not to gush about Wonder Woman, directed by Patty Jenkins, because it was amazing. I’ll definitely be going to see it again in theaters. Starting off, the Amazon women live on Themyscira, an island created by the Gods and hidden from mankind to protect them. They interact, train, and do their thing without men on this island. They are powerful, strong, and awe-inspiring. The actors and stunt women for these roles were athletes–boxers (including American boxer Ann Wolfe as Artemis), MMA fighters, and Olympic athletes–recruited from all over the world to play the roles of Amazon warriors. They are a diverse group of women of all ages battling it out in acrobatic, graceful, and powerful battle sequences. These scenes are played out not too fast, not too slow, giving you time to appreciate the battle. It made me want to sign up for warrior training on my way out of the theatre. (Maybe some local martial arts studios would do well to set up a table outside of all theaters showing Wonder Woman?) Plus the amazing archery skills–Katniss Everdeen of The Hunger Games and Merida from Disney’s Brave would have thrived here–and all the magnificent leaping, running, and diving. In an article I read about the actors and stunt women, they shared how powerful they felt when they all gathered for filming–all these strong women together dressed as warriors was just the beginning of tapping into their own strength.
One moment that stands out for me is during the battle scene when the Amazon General Antiope, Diana’s aunt and the queen’s sister played by Robin Wright–looking as fierce as any warrior should–leaps in the air with three arrows nocked in her bow. This image is seared into my mind. I don’t know what it was, the grace, power of the moment. She was so bad ass. Amazing.
Diana, who is never referred to as Wonder Woman, kicks ass without a moment of fear all over World War I in this movie. She is delightfully unaware of the era’s sexist culture (why would she know of sexism?) in decision-making places. She is distraught by all the death, the women and children left behind or killed in the wake, soldiers dying without the protection or concern of the admirals and generals. She charges onto battlefields taking fire while the soldiers run in behind her. I loved the Matrix-type slo-mo moments throughout the movie’s fight scenes, giving you a chance to appreciate the artistry. And lastly, Chris Pine. He is, to quote Angelica Jade Bastien’s review, a great “guy-in-distress,” without needing to be portrayed as a blundering idiot. And he just loves and admires Diana; how can he not? She is like no woman he has ever seen.
Want to read more about the actors starring in this movie? Read this interview from the LA Times with Gal Godot, Connie Nielson, and Robin Wright about playing wonder women on the set.
I recommend this movie. Enjoy it with the family, by yourself, with your daughter(s), on girls’ night out, date night, or whenever you want. Then weigh in. There’s certainly plenty to say about it!