So, this won’t be a big, in-depth review of the Wonder Woman movie, but I will share some thoughts, with potential mild spoilers.
I saw the movie yesterday with my wife and our two sons (14 and 4). I had some hesitation about bringing the little one and asked a friend if they thought it was too intense for a kid his age. She replied that there was “a bit of Steve (Trevor)’s thigh, but no real nudity.” Well… that wasn’t really what I was worried about. My kids are very blasé when it comes to nudity. It’s normal and natural. I was more concerned about the violence, given that it’s set during WWI and Wonder Woman herself is running around with a sword much of the time. Fortunately, most of the violence is at the level of the typical comics; people are punched and thrown around, or hit with Diana’s sword without any accompanying spurt of blood. There are only one or two moments of showing the war-wounded soldiers, meant to convey the horrors of the battlefield, which might be somewhat distressing to the very young. For the most part, the action isn’t worse than what is seen on TV. Still, it will depend on your child. People clearly do die, even if it isn’t very graphic.
On the topic of action, it was well-presented, I feel, though I am not a big proponent of the slo-mo that is overused these days. There was some here, but not as much as some other films, and not enought to actively annoy me. Better still, there was no super-tight close-ups where you couldn’t see what was happening, and no wildly-swinging camera to give you vertigo.
Gal Gadot herself plays Wonder Woman about as well as could be expected. I grew up with Lynda Carter, but I never had the view that some others do, of her being the only person who could play the character. Gadot plays her with charm and innocence, but also a strength of will and fierceness that suits the story. The only thing that surprised me was that she has a somewhat raspy voice at times, but it wasn’t an issue for me.
Some say that the difficult thing to convey about Wonder Woman is that she is willing to kill (like many heroes these days), but she is also one of the least likely to do so without trying to make peace first. That goes very well with one of my favourite lines from the comic: “We have a saying, my people. ‘Don’t kill if you can wound, don’t wound if you can subdue, don’t subdue if you can pacify, and don’t raise your hand at all until you’ve extended it.’ ”
There were some mild complaints about the third act and how it “degenerated” into a CGI-fest, but I didn’t see that way. It went as I would have expected it to (although with a couple of surprises…) and after the more down-to-earth battles, gave those accustomed to the comic a good view of Diana’s real power level, which seemed to grow from typical Amazon to true Wonder Woman levels throughout the film.
I was a bit sad to see Etta Candy and Steve Trevor as part of this story, because I was hoping to have them be part of the ongoing series in the modern day, but they were both great in the film.
I have absolutely no qualms about recommending this film. About an hour after arriving home, I was ready to go out and watch it again. Although I would have preferred if Diana had been bit a bit slower to kill, she certainly wasn’t bloodthirsty or indifferent to the act. She was a better example of the heroic hero that I grew up with and have been desperate to see on the big screen.
If you haven’t seen Wonder Woman, go see it. If you have seen it, see it again. And if you have seen it twice already, pre-order the Blu-Ray. This movie deserves all the support it can get. With any luck, we will have Wonder Woman set the tone for future superhero films.
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