Warning, I go off on a tangent right off the bat.
Finally got to see a new movie. Granted, it wasn’t on opening weekend, but hey, I’ve seen it now. And it’s basically what I expected. Just like Captain America: The First Avenger, just like Iron Man, just like The Incredible Hulk, just like Thor, it’s all typical cliched nothing new or interesting superhero stuff. But that doesn’t mean it’s bad. All of the above movies may have been typical fluff with no high aspirations, but at least they’re entertaining. Except Captain America: The First Avenger. That movie was too bland for my tastes. I just don’t get why people find that film interesting, at all. It’s just so by-the-numbers. The action scenes are typical, the plot is typical, the characters (especially them) are typical, the climax/finale is typical, and Captain America himself is just like fucking Superman, bland as fuck goody-too-shoes without any character flaws. And I know, I know there’s some exceptions with some stories, but those are rare exceptions. They’re both fucking boring characters. Which is why I was surprised as hell that the second Captain America movie, The Winter Soldier, was in every way superior to that film. Great plot, Captain America’s views on the American government and its agencies being challenged and changed, and the action sequences were phenomenal with amazing fight choreography and stuntwork.
So, yeah, I’ve never been too big on the superhero films in general. Sometimes they’re decent popcorn flicks, but they all end up devolving into the same old bullshit. Bunch of action scenes littered throughout. Some (attempt at) character moments which sometimes work, sometimes don’t. And always an action-packed finale where the action overtakes EVERYTHING. I bring this up because that is what ultimately brought down this Wonder Woman film. The finale. That being said, I found it to be in every way superior to Captain America: The First Avenger. Wonder Woman kicks Captain America’s ass!
You finally did it post-Nolan DC, you finally made a decent film that most people actually like. Though to be fair, I did like Batman V Superman a tad bit more than the average viewer (though Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luther can suck a bag of dicks).
So it’s worth mention I went into this after not sleeping for 24 hours, so I was hoping the film would be good enough to keep me awake. Well the opening 5 minutes wasn’t helping. Little Wonder Girl didn’t interest me, but when it transition from Wonder Girl to Wonder Woman (ie when Gal Gadot shows up), finally got more invested, especially since she pretty much shows up in the middle of an action (ie training) scene.
And then it turns into a fucking Disney plot. Tell me if this sounds familiar:
Protagonist: I wanna follow my dreams and see the world!
Parental Figure: No, it’s too dangerous and you might get raped or killed. Stay home with me where it’s safe and where you have all that you need, under the sea.
Protagonist: Fuck you! *runs/flies off*
The same goddamn thing that happens in practically every Disney cartoon ever made happens during the first 30 minutes of this! I had to sigh, and was thankfully too tired to do anymore than that.
But anyway, despite that cliche, the film is still entertaining enough, even if it’s basically a glorified rehash of Thor (and Captain America). But in all fairness, I’m pretty sure the comics weren’t all that different either with similar origin stories. Was into Wonder Woman and her “Dundee in New York or LA” gig, and her relationship with Captain Kirk wannabe. And going into a clothing store for a “trying on clothes” montage. Her, I’ll take Gal Gadot over any of those dumb boring bullshit teenage shows with annoying as fuck teenage girls doing that shit.
When the film finally got me hooked was when they went to the WWI trenches, and when Wonder Woman went charging into battle. That whole sequence was fan-fucking-tastic. The emotions amidst her will and determination to fulfill what she considers her purpose. The music that played. The way the action scenes played out, how the other soldiers helped her out from time to time. What drives her to do this. In spite of some spotty CG in some places. That sequence is the main reason to go see this film. It’s the high-point, and nothing else comes close to approaching it, let alone topping it.
When it really goes downhill is when Ares showed up. First of all, why the fuck couldn’t they get some guy who looked like Kratos from God of War? That would’ve been perfect to see her kick Kratos’ ass from her to hell and back again. Second of all, the actor who they picked to play Ares. Third, it just comes off as a tacked on “mandatory superhero film checklist” action sequence when she fight’s Area. Not to mention the dialogue got a little worse as it went on. And 4th, and this is the big one, Wonder Woman goes from being like a Captain America knockoff to a Superman knockoff, going godlike and becoming nearly invincible to everything, while prior to this she could at least get wounded by a bullet which helped provide some tension to the action scenes. Once you become godlike, all that fucking tension is lost! Fuck Superman!
I mean, everything up to when Kratos showed up and did his speech was fine. But after he does his speech and Wonder Woman goes to fight him, it all devolves into the same old shit all over again. Why the fuck do they always end on an action scene? Why can’t the film’s finale be a battle of wills, talking and dialogue, the tension based upon the dialogue and the potential change in character, a character learning of something that affects the plot or his/her character. Some philosophical message to pass onto the audience. Something thought-provoking and/or interesting. About the evils of men, yet also the love they possess, etc.) But nope, just a big dumb action scene.
And then it ends in the present day making the connection with the Batman V Superman movie. Irritating that these films try to link to others so often. Just can’t ever be stand-alone.
So in conclusion, despite my gripes, the film is good enough to be worth seeing in theaters. Now I just need to see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2.
PS: Yes, I’m well aware that this is a DC film and not a Marvel film. That doesn’t mean I still can’t make the fucking comparisons!
PPS: And the film stirred up some controversy that we really shouldn’t give a shit about. But if others are going to make a big deal out of it… Fuck Lebanon.