shinyjenni: Wonder Woman deflects bullets with her bracelets (wonder woman)
[personal profile] shinyjenni
I really wanted to love Wonder Woman, but I was really worried that I'd hate it, because DC and I have not been friends for a long time, so I went to see it on my own last night so I could assess my reaction to it before committing to see it with other people. (The spectre of The Force Awakens was looming here: that would have been an even worse experience if I'd seen it with anyone else.) Turns out I... didn't have much of a reaction either way, for spoilery reasons which I will get into under the cut, along with my other thoughts on the film.

A few months ago, I heard a fairly credible rumour that the film was going to go with the new daughter of Zeus origin for Diana, which I hate for many reasons, so when Hippolyta told tiny Diana (who was a delight) that she'd made her from clay, I started crying, because I really believed the film was going to give me my Diana back. But then there was a bit of dialogue implying that actually, no, it was going to be daughter of Zeus after all (which turned out to be true), and I just disengaged completely. It wasn't a conscious thing; some part of my brain automatically went "I see where this is going, and no". As a result, I spent quite a lot of the film vaguely bored, because I couldn't make myself care about what was happening. (Actually, I think what's happening here is that after everything they've done in the last six years, I have no more benefits of the doubt to give DC: one misstep and I am out.)

I did end up having some (mixed) thoughts on it, though:

  • Themyscira looked AMAZING. The visuals at the beginning were pretty much spot on on every level. (THE COSTUMING.)

  • There were about a hundred thousand men in this film and they were all unnecessary almost all of the time. (A Wonder Woman film where the only name gods are male ones? COME OOONNNNN.) The way we were invited to see Diana through their eyes a few times was also pretty tiresome. I don't care what men think about Wonder Woman.

  • I had hoped that my Star Trek-related fondness for Chris Pine might make me care about Steve Trevor, but nope, the character was still rubbish.

  • This wasn't the worst Etta Candy I've ever seen, at least? Really not here for her being the Moneypenny to Trevor's Bond, though. (That bit where she hugs him and he flinches away was awful.) Look, I know Original Forties Etta is problematic in lots of ways, but at least she's fun, and in these dark times I think we could really use Etta Candy gleefully beating up Nazis.

  • (I know there weren't any Nazis in this film, and honestly I feel pretty uncomfortable about WWI being used as a backdrop for superheroics, but I can't entirely articulate why.)

  • To give the film credit, it did a much better job of dealing with the "retreated from the world for 100 years" thing from BvS than I thought it would be able to do. (It also did better at balancing "Diana is right about Ares" with "it's not that simple" than I feared it would.) (I mean, I still didn't really LIKE either of those things, but given they were there, they could have been worse.)

  • The lady villain whose name escapes me was just one massive ableist trope, right?

  • The fight scenes were great! I love a fight scene, especially one involving characters who can't exactly FLY but can jump really really high. /weirdly specific preferences

  • Gal Gadot is glorious as Wonder Woman. She's practically perfect in every way. I just wish the rest of the DCCU lived up to her.

  • I really want to reread The Circle but I don't seem to have a copy of it. My life is very hard.


Overall I'm glad I saw it, but partly because now I know what I think about it, and I can stop worrying about it and go back to thinking about Star Trek pretty much full time. I'm sad I didn't love it, but at least I didn't hate it. (Also, I definitely feel like I've given the DCCU a fair try now, because if they couldn't even sell me Wonder Woman, I think I can safely say there's nothing there for me.)

(no subject)

Date: 2017-06-04 07:53 pm (UTC)
raven: Karen Gillan as Amy Pond, wearing green and red and looking up (Default)
From: [personal profile] raven
I enjoyed the movie but I agree with a lot of this. I was annoyed by how much of the story is about... men. Diana's adventures after she leaves home are just - men, men, men. She doesn't make any friends who are women. She doesn't even have any conversations with them without men around. It becomes this strange story of Woman With Wacky Hellenistic Belief vs. Sensible Rational Men, which I was irritated by even as I was enjoying Diana beating the shit out of people.

(I know there weren't any Nazis in this film, and honestly I feel pretty uncomfortable about WWI being used as a backdrop for superheroics, but I can't entirely articulate why.)

I've been thinking about this, especially as I've spent the last 2 years writing a WW1 book and then a WW2 book about the same people? I'm still not sure, but I think it's to do with this: yes, people are variously complicit in government action, yes the German Empire did some pretty awful shit, but British-German antagonism in WW1 was a war between two stable, non-fascist nation states, whose soldiers were ordinary people on whose bodies grand-dame shifting alliance wars were fought. And it's a terrible simplification to say that in WW2 the ordinary German soldiers were Nazis - they often weren't! Nazism was part of the imposed fabric of everyday life! etc - but it makes it different, setting a superhero movie against WW1, where you need black-and-white villains.

(sorry that was a lot of thoughts and feelings!)

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shinyjenni: Wonder Woman deflects bullets with her bracelets (Default)
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