It appears I’m not alone in the belief that Wonder Woman was being touted as, perhaps not a saviour per-se, but a shot across the bow at least, towards the male-dominated Hollywood machine. Anyone else of that belief, is going to have it well and truly smashed, like some gold-spangly wearing goddess in hot-pants.
Diana (I don’t recall her actually being called Wonder Woman in the film), Gal Gadot, is living a simple and happy life on Themyscira. An island hidden from view by some mystical powers.
Home to the Amazons, they know very little about the outside world, in particular the World War that’s raging on, but do prepare themselves for the potential return of Ares, the god of war, by training to fight each other.
This idyllic non-love-island has its peace broken, and by a man of all things, when Chris Pine (Star Trek) falls out of the sky, crashing his plane into the sea.
Diana rescues him, takes part in a battle-of-the-sexes on a beach, the men with guns, the women with bows, staffs and horses, and signs up to help him stop the war by defeating Ares.
As they arrive in London, it is very much the time of the ‘little woman’ as they are generally looked down on, ignored and thought useful for secretarial work alone.
This brings us to the, much welcomed but underused, Lucy Davis (Shaun of the Dead, Garfield 2), as Pine’s secretary who is given all the comedic elements of the movie and performs them admirably.
Meanwhile Pine continues to tell Gadot how she should act and dress in this ‘men’s world’, whilst Gadot continues to show that she doesn’t need him. She may not do, but it looks like Hollywood still does.
Surely, this story-arc is ripe for plucking? A woman who has not been around men, who wants to help stop the war, in London at a time when women weren’t really seen or heard.
But no, instead the movie splits into two as Pine becomes one hero, saving the day in the most implausible way (SPOILER ALERT) so detonating this gas on the ground is bad, but in the sky it’s ok? (END OF SPOILER)
Gadot meanwhile has her own battle to contend with as Ares does show up to the party, the ultimate bad-guy, the god of war and…oh look, he’s British, not just British but he’s a Sir too.
David Thewlis (The Theory of Everything, War Horse) plays Sir Patrick. Again, it seems that if Hollywood is going to try and balance the gender inequality that exists it’s going to do sod-all about the casting of British guys as bad guys. Even in a film about World War 1 for f*cks sake!
This is the point in the movie when everything begins to explode, people begin flying (yet everyone seems fine with this), and Gadot comes to the conclusion, that we’ve seen heroes come to in movies before, namely, yes man is flawed but they’ve some good in them.
The movie isn’t all bad. The effects are brilliant, Gadot is very good, as is Pine and Thewlis. The directing is handled well, including the action scenes although there’s a tendency of overusing the old slow-mo button at times.
The story isn’t bad either and it does a good job of introducing Wond…I mean, Diana, without getting bogged down in back-story.
It just doesn’t feel right however. Gadot roaming around in a gold tiara, knee-length boots and a red and gold basque means she sticks out like, well, like a man in Themyscira. I also couldn’t shake the feeling that someone was going to shout, “Gordon’s alive” in their best Brian Blessed voice (I think it was all the red and gold). It didn’t happen, sadly.