Saturday, June 3, 2017

Wonder Woman...a resounding YES

I will be honest and let everyone know I have not seen any of the comicbook/superhero movies. I was not a fan of the Bat Man movies, even the George Clooney ones, and I had no desire to see any of the updated Superman movies. Christopher Reeve was and will always be Superman to me. I have not really seen either the DC or Marvel films. I may have glimpsed some of them when they were replayed in my house, by the male members of the family, but I really had no desire to see any of them. I will say however, that I have watched the TV show Marvel Agents of Shield and I do enjoy the show Legends of Tomorrow, probably because of the time jumping. So I come to this review as an outsider, someone with very little expectations and very little knowledge about this film genre.

Well let me tell you.! And I don't mean great in the sense that it is highbrow dialogue or tells an involved mystery. It is not an art house film, where you are left talking about the movie for days trying to figure out all the nuances and underlying meaning of every movement or action. This is not an Ingmar Bergman film. I think it is so much more.

Not only is the female lead a strong, intelligent, sweet, and gentle person, but she packs quite a good right hook as well. She is beautiful and powerful. She is kind and she is tough. She has a moral and ethical underpinning, and is not afraid to fight for what is right, good, and best for humanity. Yes, this is the role model you want for your daughters. This is also the role model of a woman you want to show your sons. In fact, all the women in this movie are strong in their own way, whether they are Amazons, or they are women living in the very patriarchal world of WWI England (there is a quick mention of suffragettes and the misogyny of the men is very apparent). Each woman survives in her own way, and brings a selfawareness about who they are and their purpose in life.

What we also see in this movie is the concept of the hero. Not just of Diana, but the simple selfless heroism of the average everyday human being. Here, not only is the superhuman, demiGod the hero, which would be an easy reach for someone with extraordinary power, but those frail and fallible human beings are shown to do great things if they need to. That is after all what being a hero is all about, and why to this day our nations gives out medals and honors to those who go beyond what we think of as our limits as human beings. Bravery above and beyond the call of duty.

It reminds me of those that still serve, and answer when their nation calls. I am reminded of those that do right and good and put themselves into harms way for others. We are reminded that humanity, while there can be darkness, there can also be so much light.

Now I do want to answer some rather idiotic kvetches about the movie. Let me start by saying there are some women who simply need to branch out beyond their own echo chamber. When you can't enjoy a film without having a political meltdown, or fixating on armpit hair, you are doing life wrong.

First they complained about how Wonder Woman is dressed. There are those who are annoyed that she is dressed in armor, and grieves, basically in very classical battle dress. Apparently, these faux-feminists have never seen the pictures of the Amazons drawn on ancient greek pottery. They are dressed in very few clothes, as all soldiers were dressed in the ancient world.

Historically, Amazons first really appear in the story the Iliad. They come to the aide of Troy. They are mentioned as warrior women from the "mountains." Many historians believe that Amazons really existed, and lived near the Black Sea. This would have made them if not Greek/Macedonian, then Serb or Slav.

Those who are offended by how Diana is dressed in the film, have no real background in ancient history, battle garb, nor weaponry. That the movie version may be a little sexier than say, a real life gladiator, well I am sure that in Troy Eric Bana, and Brad Pitt had a little sexified armor as well. In fact, the lack of clothing in Troy on the male stars, was one of the reasons most women I know liked the film. We won't even get into the lack of clothing in the movie 300 with Gerard Butler. And by the way, the Spartans really did wear next to nothing.

Then there is the nonsense, that faux-feminists were insulted that apparently Diana wouldn't want to save the world without having a romantic relationship with a man. The movie played the romance up really sweetly. It was innocent, and it was gentle. It was respectful. It was a new idea and experience for Diana. There was nothing wrong with it. Her innocence was refreshing and his respect for her lovely. The entire movie was about Diana's love for humanity and her hopes for humanity's future. Love becomes her ultimate strength.

Is it not the love that we have for our families, and especially our children that propels us to do extraordinary things so their world will be better? (Some complained that she was overjoyed to see a baby, too. They have no babies on her island.) Do we not fight for those we love, so that they may live the lives of joy and happiness that they are entitled to live? Diana, because she had no experience with the world of mankind, needed romance to understand ultimately what it is to be human. She needed to understand what humanity fights for, and what ultimately gives us the strength to fight another day.

And yes, if there is a movie with Chris Pines in it, there has to be a romantic angle. We may all like strong women characters, but let's be honest, we strong women, also like really cute men.

If you want to see a thoroughly enjoyable movie, that has a nice message, and shows a strong woman character this is the movie for you.