A Short Spoiler-Free Review of Wonder Woman

Go see it.

Oh.  Maybe I should add more detail.

First, let me sweep away all the nonsense that has been swirling around this movie.  It is not a political lecture dressed up as a comic book movie.  It really, truly is a comic book movie, and that’s a good thing.  Wonder Woman has always been a wonderful role model for girls, true.  But WW has had many male fans over the decades, and this movie is for them, too.

I think everyone knows the basic plot of movies like this.  Show where the character comes from, who the bad guy is, and then let the butt-kicking begin.  I think they could have tightened up the origin part a bit, and maybe smoothed out a rough spot or two, but over all they did a great job with this.  My theater broke into applause when it was over.

The biggest thing that needs discussing is the switch from WWII to WWI.  A major theme of the movie is that humanity – men in particular from the view of an Amazon – has the potential for both good and evil.  That every person is a mixture of hero and villain.  That works in WWI, because there was no clear cut ‘bad guy’ in that war.  Countries were dragged into it because of the spiderweb of treaties that tied European countries to each other.  There were certainly villains, but nothing that can compare to the Nazis.  In that war, the bad guys were doing pure evil as a matter of national policy, even before the actual fighting started.  You couldn’t have the ambiguity that the movie needed.

Gal Gadot does a great job showing Diana’s learning curve in dealing with the non-Amazon world.  She and Chris Pine brought a lot of humor to their roles.  Especially noteworthy were the scenes where there was fumbling over the meaning of ‘sleeping with’, Diana’s trip to a dress shop, and the reaction of their compatriots to the news that there is a whole island of Amazons.

The action scenes are powerful, and a joy to watch.  Wonder Woman acts with boldness and confidence, and even when she temporarily falters, it is not long before she regains her center.  The other characters all ring true, even though some of them seem to be stereotypes when we first meet them.  The movie does a great job of letting us see inside of them without dragging exposition.

Is it perfect?  No, but no movie ever is.  There were some lines of dialogue that had me thinking that I would have written them differently, but nobody asked me.  Over all, it is a great movie to watch while you snuggle into a movie seat and chow down on popcorn.  Go, and have fun!

This was originally posted on my old blog, Middle Class Poor.

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