Wonder Woman: Movie Reviews
“This is reaching so many milestones for feminism everywhere.”
“This movie is going to open doors for so many more powerful female leads.”
“This movie is everything.”
Having been pegged with these frenzied screeches for a while now, I walked into the theater hoping at least one of these statements would be true. The feminist in me (aka me as a whole) was already feeling pretty optimistic – Wonder Woman is indeed one of the first superhero movies with a strong leading female, and it features a female director as well. Also, Gal Gadot seemed badass as hell.
I watched it, admittedly checking my watch mildly frequently after the first hour or so, and came out of it a little confused. It was a good movie, don’t get me wrong. But I couldn’t tell if the small problems or confusions I had with it were because they were actual problems or because I was being too #sjw #feminazi to appreciate a good movie.
The second only exists as a mansplainer silencing device, so I’m going to stick to the former.
I’m not here to write a review, because I am in no way qualified for that and will probably end up embarrassing myself. But from the discussion we had afterward, I came out of that day with the feeling that the movie wasn’t really as “feminist” as everyone hyped it up to be.
The whole movie actually showed a lot of concessions made in order to not scare away the original fans, I guess. Still had a whole island of tall, attractive Amazon women while allowing the men to form their own motley crew. Wonder Woman still had the showy outfit, as mentioned, and was saved out of tricky situations with another crazily attractive male lead. She was also called “distracting” and doubted so much by her male companions (who have seen time and time again how capable she is) that it grew really, really tiring to see.
Which is another thing I found weird. She seemed to have gotten her final push of strength to defeat her enemy from sorrow over a man. Or was it from compassion for humanity as a whole? Your guess is as good as mine, but it sure did seem like Steve was a weak excuse for Diana to turn her badass-ery back on. It would’ve been way cooler for something else.
I had a lot of small problems with it overall, not to mention to overwhelming guilt and discomfort after finding out about the actress’s previous racism and questionable (to say the least) actions and words with the Israeli army. I guess it’s easy to forget considering how much praise she’s getting, but it still nags me.
That being said, Wonder Woman is a good movie. It’s probably much more simpler when you’re not looking at it right away from a critical point of view, or thinking of what points to bring up over pizza with the group later, but it is still is quite an enjoyable experience. It’s very motivating, and features very artful ways of combat (probably since this is now from a female perspective), and I really enjoyed this change.
Overall, if you’re willing to overlook a few nagging tugs in the back of your head to enjoy a larger message or even just a plain ol’ good movie, I’d recommend it.
As a feminist, the Wonder Woman film, especially being one of the first dynamic and famously known female superheroes, was a phenomenal thing to go see. The film is one of many few films to be directed by a female screenwriter and director (Patty Jenkins) and one of the few films to be female centered and pass the Bechdel test. The Bechdel test is a test for movies based on gender to determine whether a film is sexist or is appropriately representing female characters or not. The Bechdel test can also work for race or other minority categories. According to the Bechdel test, the film must follow these four guidelines in order to pass the test. The first being: Are there two or more women in the film. The second being: Do they have names? The third: Do the women in the film talk to each other at all. And finally the forth: Do the women talk about something other than men, each for longer than sixty seconds. According to my insight the film passed with flying color starting off with Wonder Woman being raised on an island of just women. The film went on to have Diana (Wonder Woman) save the man instead of a female character being heroically saved by a man. The film went on to also display and challenge the sexist rhetoric against women back in the day. When Diana and her accomplice Steve Trevor Sr. run off to inform Steve’s superiors about an evil journal, Diana becomes a distraction and the men are taken back and offended to have a woman in the room. This goes to demonstrate how back in the day women were not seen as intellectual beings to be accounted for in a men’s room discussing serious issues. Furthermore, the film goes on to question and counter fashion trends set for women such as the corset which sets an ideal body type standard for women. Although it does briefly challenge this, Diana’s Wonder Woman costume and build also accomplish the same standard ideal of beauty for women, being that she is wearing a leotard and a very revealing outfit. Although it is revealing it also sets the standard to say that women can and should be able to wear whatever they want. In the beginning of the film Diana was also wearing a very large coat and glasses in an attempt to hide her feminine features but was hit on nonetheless. This goes to show that women also do have to be revealing to be beautiful. Furthermore, the film displayed Diana as a very feminine, compassionate character, caring for babies, women and children, loving a man, and caring for people in general. In all, the film had a lot of high points and Diana was a very powerful and dynamic character who captivated the audience’s attention and was a force to be reckoned with. The men in the film, despite all of her capabilities, still questioned her strength for the majority of the film, despite how much power she displayed. This goes to show how hard women have to work in order to prove themselves amongst men. Overall, Wonder Woman was a great film, it made a record-breaking 100.5 million on its opening weekend, and it’s one of the hottest movies of the summer.
– Jennessica Holliday
Recently, I was able to watch the latest DC Comics superhero movie, Wonder Woman, starring Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman and Chris Pine as American pilot, Steve Trevor. I thought the film was a breath of fresh air for recent superhero movies that do not spotlight women as strong characters that are able to stand alone without the physical or emotional support of a man. Wonder Woman is portrayed as a strong individual and a superhero, and we get to see the development of Diana into Wonder Woman. On the island Themyscira, the home of the Amazons, the audience begins to understand Diana’s upbringing amongst strong woman, such as her mother and aunt. Therefore, from the start of the movie even before Diana emerges as Wonder Woman the audience is taught by the strong women that influence her to be the powerful woman that she develops into. Next, as Diana leaves her home with Steve and arrives in London, the next woman she encounters is Steve’s secretary, Etta Candy.
One of the most satirical parts of the movie that amused me was the conversation between Diana and Etta about her job. After Etta’s explanation of her responsibilities, Diana responds back with, “Where I come from that is called slavery.” Myself and other viewers of the audience laughed at this comedic moment of the action film, not only for comic relief, but also for its blatant truth. I think that this statement by Diana, in comparing a form of forced labor to a job that entails a substantial amount of work, calls viewers’ attention to the absurdness of a secretary’s job and especially the job’s subjugation of women in that position to a male boss. However in spite of the normal limits of a secretary, Etta defies the norms of a secretary’s role through her heroics to save Steve Trevor in an action scene, and her being in charge of Diana’s and Steve’s subsequent mission. Therefore, I believe that in order for Wonder Woman to be a transcendent movie that depicts women in a light that is more accurate of the strength they possess, the film had to not only depict Diana/Wonder Women as a powerful women, but also do the same for the supporting women throughout the film.
– Cymone Rice