Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Movie Review: WONDER WOMAN

Hello, film fans!! I had the absolute pleasure of watching Wonder Woman over its opening weekend, which was one of the most anticipated films of this year. It made an impressive $103.2 million at the domestic box office over the weekend and set a new record for a movie directed by a woman, the wonderful Patty Jenkins.

I especially enjoyed all the squealing girls who came out to see it. This film is an inspiration to all women, especially the younger generation. This movie is not just about feminism, though. It's about the light and darkness inside of all of us.

[Editor's Note: This review contains some spoilers]

Unless you've been living under a rock, you should be familiar with the origins of Wonder Woman. She is known as Diana, Princess of Themyscira and Daughter of Hippolyta. Wonder Woman had always said she wanted to save the world since she was a child. Her aunt and mother try to protect her by not telling her where she really came from. Her aunt, General Antiope, trained her to be a warrior. Diana never knew the full extent of her full powers until she discovered where she came from.

The opening scene was interesting because I spotted a Wayne Enterprises truck (as in Bruce Wayne). There was a certain photographs shown that had appeared in Batman v. Superman, and in the introduction to this film, that held a special meaning for Diana Prince, aka Wonder Woman. The meaning behind it becomes clear as the movie progresses.

The fight scenes were choreographed extremely well. I'm not sure how long the actors trained, but they did a great job with sword wielding and gun slinging. An interesting fact about Gal Gadot is that she was actually in the Israeli Army. I'm sure she had a stunt double for some of the scenes, though, as most actors do.

One of my favorite scenes is when Diana rescues an American pilot, Steve Trevor (played by the always charming Chris Pine), from the Germans during WWI. The Germans attack Themyscira and Diana's beloved aunt is killed in battle. Diana believes she must leave the island and go with Steve Trevor in order to save the world from war and destruction. This scene was important to me as an audience member because it was the beginning of Diana's transformation from girl to woman. I thought the fighting in the scene was well-choreographed, also.

After watching the scene with Diana and Steve, I realized that's when she first became more aware of her destiny as a hero. I liked the scene because it showed Diana's strength and character in a crisis situation. Also, I enjoyed watching Diana and Steve onscreen together because they have great chemistry that drew me in as an audience member.

There is a serious tone to this film. I enjoyed the moments where we saw some lighthearted scenes between the fighting and bombing. Steve Trevor takes Diana back to London with him and takes her shopping for some "proper" clothing.  I laughed out loud when she tried on the purple dress and almost fell down. Luckily for me, everyone else in the theater was laughing too.

I read online that some comic fans did not think Gadot was right for the part because she didn't have the proportions of Wonder Woman from the comics. Devoted comic fans thought the actress portraying Wonder Woman in this film should have looked more like Lynda Carter, who portrayed Wonder Woman on the small screen from 1975 to 1979. However, I think she did a great job and was the right actress for the part. Gal Gadot had great chemistry with all the actors she appeared onscreen with.

This film exceeded all my expectations. I thought it was well cast and choreographed. It also doesn't hurt that it was directed by Patty Jenkins, known for directing 2003's Monster. Jenkins is the first woman to ever direct a big-budget super hero film, and what a fantastic job she did.  I liked how she showed Wonder Woman's sex appeal; without going over the top with it.

Women are still not recognized as they should be in Hollywood and that goes for both actresses and directors. The success of Wonder Woman is hopefully a step in the right direction. This film is more than just a reason to go out to the movies. It speaks to the changing shift in our society about gender roles. As a young girl, I was taught that men do the rescuing and were the heroes. Women were just there to support them. However, the role of women has changed drastically in this country and Wonder Woman is a cinematic testament to that. Women are not where they want to be, but we are getting closer.

This is a very inspirational film and I believe anyone that sees it will agree. It celebrates heroism and the world needs more of that. There is a hero inside of all us, if we just look.

Lisa's Score: 10/10

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