I saw Wonder Woman...
I didn't love it. <pounds head on desk repeatedly>
A couple of things to say before I go into my thoughts on the movie.
First, I've never been a huge fan of Wonder Woman. I've always found her to be a lot of iconic imagery without much character. Her story makes her unrelatable in the comics, and I've never understood why she is the big female icon, rather than one of the better female characters.
Second, I didn't love the movie, but I didn't hate it either. This isn't a negative review. I think Gal Gadot was great in the role.
I'm still trying to figure out where this movie is going to settle in my brain. I guess we'll find out in time.
What are some of the issues that I have with the movie?
Well, as I've said before, the interesting thing about Batman and Superman is that they've been done so many times before that the current franchise runners really can't fall back on the basic paint-by-numbers origin stories. They had to find a new style from which to film them, and a new hook by which to tell their stories. This means that the writers and director had to push that much harder to create a world for those characters.
Since Wonder Woman is such an unrelatable character by default, I really wanted something like Man of Steel, to make that character come alive for me and make me believe in the world that she lives in. While the opening scenes on Themyscira were beautiful and drew me into Diana's world, something shifted once they went back to the "modern" world. Suddenly, every character that surrounded Diana was comic relief, constantly bantering and joking in ways that made them feel like characters, rather than people. I couldn't imagine many of those characters existing off screen. They existed to serve Diana's character.
In Man of Steel, you get a sense of Martha's life without Clark around. You see Lois' life without him. Every character on screen has their own world and their own personality that makes the world full and complete. I just didn't feel that, even with Steve.
In many ways, Wonder Woman has a lot of the same problems that I find in Marvel movies. But I'd still say that this movie was better than the Marvel movies, because while I didn't like it *as much as* Man of Steel or Batman v Superman, I do think that there is more substance and more interesting ideas here. And visually, it just looks better.
Though I don't get why people are saying that it's so much more colorful than Man of Steel. Did I have my sunglasses on during the movie or something?
There was a moment that I thought the movie was taking a really interesting turn. As Diana tracks down General Ludendorff and kills him, she realizes that nothing changes. And Steve tells her that maybe it's not Ares, maybe it's just people. Bad people do bad things, and good (though still not perfect) people fight them, and that's the point of this. We keep fighting, because it's the right thing to do.
Right there, I thought that this was something unexpected and interesting, and a truly hero-creating moment. Diana can't rid the world of all evil and war by killing one bad guy, it has to be a life-long mission (especially since... spoiler alert... there's another World War).
Then the real Ares shows up, that moment from a few seconds ago passes, and we get a big battle that is exciting, but less meaningful than what almost happened.
It's almost like there was a whole other direction for the movie, and it was changed later in the process. In this alternate version, Steve's message to Diana sticks and she realizes that there is no simple way to kill one bad guy and be rid of evil. They off the general, and fight some soldiers as they work to blow up the poison gas, and the day is saved. Yay!
There was also this running question of what a normal life looks like in this world, in between wars. Neither Diana nor Steve know the answer. So in my alternate version, we leave with them together, off to discover what that normal life looks like and whether or not people are actually happy to be married.
There's no reason to not do this. Diana isn't frozen and thawed out decades later. She will live those decades, so why not with Steve? Why did he die in this movie, except because they want to set any sequels at a later point? Diana could have lived with him for at least a couple of years, and at most a few decades, and it wouldn't have done any harm to the character. In fact, I think it would have helped. Wonder Woman is always so unrelatable, but if she had that time with Steve and outlived him, we instantly have something that we can relate to!
This part frustrates me.
Instead, we get a big Ares battle, a dead Steve, and... I don't know. I'm still trying to figure out what I'm going to take away from it in the end. Maybe I need time to get past the "what I wanted to happen" part of my reaction.
Right now, my movie rankings are...
Man of Steel
Batman v Superman
But just to be clear, Wonder Woman still beats out the Marvel movies. I don't think it was bad. I don't think it was full of plot holes that render the whole movie useless. I don't think it was poorly acted or directed (though I strongly disagree with those who say that Jenkins did a better job than Snyder). It was a good movie. I just have to see where it settles once the dust clears.