Caperton in Feministe:
I saw Wonder Woman last night, and here’s the completely spoiler-free part of my review: You should go see it. We saw it in IMAX 3D, and I would pay IMAX 3D money to see it that way again. The Boy said he would just as happily have watched it at home after it hits Redbox, but he still liked it and thought it was cool. The important thing is that the action was great, the story was believable and touching, the characters were three-dimensional, the character arcs were compelling, and there were some parts where I teared up. (I also teared up at the commercial where the parents put the lion’s mane on the dog, so take that as you will.) It’s really good. You should see it. I’m serious, you should. Thus ends my completely spoiler-free review. The next section might get mildly spoilery, and the last part extremely so, so be warned.
Wonder Woman was a really good movie.
Patty Jenkins had a lot on her plate. She didn’t have to just make a good movie. She had to make the Wonder Woman movie that so many have called for and so few have had the guts to take on. She had to do justice to a character who has inspired countless girls and women. And on top of that, she had to create the Platonic ideal of a superhero movie, because of course if a woman-led movie gets even marginally bad response, it’s taken as proof that studios shouldn’t waste their money on women at all. So no pressure there. Wonder Woman did it. Jenkins and her cast and crew have made a movie that has broken box-office records, gotten rave reviews, and was loved by Wonder Woman’s longtime fans. Heretofore unrevealed Wonder Woman fans have been popping up on my social media feeds like mushrooms in well-loved Wonder Woman t-shirts. So I guess it’s pretty good, or something. People seem to think so. It’s not a perfect movie. There are some glaring faults. Despite obvious efforts, diversity remains a problem. The island of the Amazons has women of every age and ethnicity taking roles in the army, the senate, and the town. That said, women of color are still underutilized in featured roles — Florence Kasumba’s turn as Senator Acantha was disappointingly brief — and prominent visibility. Plans are already in the works for a Wonder Woman 2, with Jenkins again at the helm, to be set in the modern-day U.S., so hopefully that’s something that will be improved upon in the next go-round. The other thing that bugged me (and I don’t consider this a spoiler, because come on, you knew it was coming) was the huge super-on-super battle at the end. It suffered from the same problem as Man of Steel‘s five-hour Let’s Wreck Metropolis final battle: At some point, when you’ve punched each other through enough walls and thrown enough trucks at each other, throwing a truck at someone no longer seems like a big deal. “An armored van? Meh. Come back when you’ve hit him with a 747.” I need to see consequences for the dueling supers and not just the 1.38 million casualties of the Battle of Metropolis.
Wow. If that’s how much I had to say about the negative stuff, you might want to grab a snack and a pillow before we start in on the stuff I liked.