By Leigh-Anne Clabby (Kyle, TX)

 

I finally went to see Wonder Woman today. Everyone I’ve seen or heard talk about it has loved it and says that they are glad that there is finally a superhero movie with a strong female lead. This review does contain SPOILERS, so if you haven’t seen it and don’t wish to have it spoiled, please save this post for later and read it once you have seen the movie.

I would say that Wonder Woman (or Diana) was a strong character only in the sense that she is an amazing fighter and can easily defend herself… though this is in no small part due to the fact that she is a demigod and thus has superpowers. So, with that realization, I’d have to say that she is not really a more impressive fighter than Black Widow, who is completely human with no powers and possesses above average (but still human) fighting skills.

I was rather disappointed with the way Diana was portrayed. Now, I don’t actually know much about the Wonder Woman character from the comics, so I’m basing my opinion of and experience with her solely on this movie… just something to keep in mind. I honestly did not see her as a “strong female role.” I found her naïve, impulsive, stubborn, single-minded, unwilling to listen to others, and oblivious to any kind of social cues and courtesies.

Surely, even though she had always lived on an island separate from the rest of society, they would have a set of social rules and cues – ways that they behave around others, respect for others (especially authority figures), etc. Surely they would not always charge into situations without understanding the context and try to take command without listening to the people around them. That was one of the things that bothered me the most about Diana. She would rush into a situation and demand to do things that were not always possible or that would not always be helpful. She was in a society she knew almost nothing about, and she refused to listen to the person she was with who did know what was going on. He knew more about the culture and the way things were done, but he was not uncaring towards the plight of the people. He just understood that sometimes it helps more to do something that will help stop the suffering overall, rather than charging into every small situation to help. He knew how to look at the big picture when trying to stop the pain and suffering. She only saw what was in front of her and wanted to stop every little thing, which is not always the best strategy.

I did appreciate her compassion for others and the ferocity with which she wanted to defend the defenseless, but I found that the way she went about trying to accomplish the things she wanted were often counter-productive. I wish they had given her character more depth and more ability to understand that not all things can be changed right away. I wish they had made her a little more cooperative and willing to listen to the perspective of others.

Now I’ll move on to the whole Ares part of the plot. I honestly did not even expect them to actually have Ares in the movie. I thought that after all the work and effort that Diana went through to find the man whom she thought was Ares, that she would kill him and discover that it did nothing because he was not the cause of the war and that it was simply a war amongst humans who had started the war themselves. That is kind of what happened…but they still added Ares.

I was really intrigued by the idea that Ares was not actually the god of war and that he did not force the humans to start fighting against their will; he merely whispered suggestions and ideas and let them run with it on their own. The more I thought about it, the more I started to see Christian principles woven in. Ares would represent Satan or the devil, who likewise does not force humans to do the wrong things that they do. He tempts them and makes suggestions for things that they could do, and they can choose whether or not they will do them. All humans are capable of evil, and all commit wrongdoings on different levels. Some may “only” lie and steal, while others may murder multiple people with no clear reason. Some people are more able to resist temptations, while others give in easily to theirs, but we are all capable of unspeakable evils. The devil does not force us to do these things, he merely offers the option and we take it or not.

Diana realizes that mankind is not simply “good” on their own and that they do not deserve the help or compassion of the gods (or of God), but in the end, she is able to see past their evils and wrongdoings to see that they are also capable or love and kindness. Likewise, God chooses to see the best in us and to love us despite all we are capable of doing to ourselves and to others. He chooses to save us even though we don’t deserve to be saved. Diana decides that while it is true that humans are capable of horrible atrocities, that does not mean that they should just be destroyed, as Ares believes. She realizes that they can be redeemed and are also capable of helping each other, of loving each other. This perspective really reminds me of the Christian God. It pains him to see all the horrible things we insist on doing to each other, but He still loves us in spite of that. He still fights to save us, even when we resist Him.

Overall, I’d say this movie was just… okay. The cinematography was amazing and I did enjoy some of the fight scenes. I really enjoyed the actors as well. Though I mostly disliked Diana’s character, I did think that Gal Gadot was a fantastic actress, and Chris Pine was amazing as always. The message wasn’t completely clear, and the writers didn’t seem like they knew exactly what they wanted to say with this movie, despite planning it for such a long time. I did appreciate the Christian undertones towards the end, whether they were intentional or not.

Storyline – 7/10
Cinematography – 9/10
Clarity – 5/10
Actor quality – 9/10
Character development – 6/10
Message – 6/10

Overall – 7/10

Rating: 3/5

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