Sunday, June 4, 2017

Wonder Woman Slays the Day

SPOILER ALERT: Wonder Woman gets a rude awakening.

Make no mistake that Wonder Woman is better than everyone. *glares at Batman and Superman*  I find delicious satisfaction in that DC finally found its big break in what the LA Times calls "the first female-fronted superhero blockbuster," with Wonder Woman grossing $100.5 million in its debut weekend.  DC can finally heave a sigh of relief.  Fourth, fifth, sixth time's the charm.

There's a certain coming-of-age quality to Wonder Woman's origin story.  She grew up in paradise filled with strong women like her mother Hippolyta, who instilled the values of justice and peace-keeping through stories of the Amazonian past.  Wonder Woman, also known as Diana, then steamrolls alongside Allied spy Steve Trevor into a war-torn world.  She's determined to slay Ares the god of war, because she believes his influence is the sole reason for the war and that once he is dead, then everyone will stop fighting and killing each other.  Take out the one bad guy, and you're all good, right?  It takes a while for Diana to learn what we already know: people are way more complicated.

(Source: Wikipedia)

Besides the nice character development, the film has great action scenes, with liberal use of the dramatic slo-mo and athletic feats that would make you do a double take.  Wonder Woman is a goddess.  Meanwhile, Steve does his best to help with his rifle, with a pew-pew here and a pew-pew there, but you know she's the one that's kicking butt and taking names.

I also like that the movie acknowledges racism several times through Sameer and Chief, two men of color on Wonder Woman's team.  Sameer wanted to be an actor, but he tells her that the color of his skin has ultimately forced him to become a spy instead.  Chief, a Native American, explains that when he smuggles, he's taking back what was taken from his people by (gesturing to Steve) "his people."  Both Sameer and Chief become heroes in their own right, and I appreciated seeing that.

Wonder Woman showed us the transformation of an idealistic, fresh-faced woman into a hardened warrior that knows her way with a sword (a sword, mind you, that at one point she wears in the back of her dress).  The film made me gasp with surprise and tear up with emotion.  Diana and her merry band of unexpected heroes are a wonderful (pun not intended) addition to the DCEU.  This world did not deserve this movie.  But I'm sure glad that we got it.

P.S. There's a big spoiler that's not in the header.  Can you guess what it is?

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