Wonder Woman, the film, mercifully ticks all the big screen entertainment boxes here. Gracefully progressing from one crucial sequence to the next, the comic book revival picture is a milestone as well as an experience. Joining the awards season debates early, it is of course one of many movies of 2017 that was tagged with the notion that it can not be a Best Picture nominee come Oscar time. Hmm.
All hail Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot, then, the women behind and in front of the illustrious camera. Although we have to wait for the tiara-clad woman in blue, red, and gold, the film is neither lethargic or wasteful leading up to our heroine’s arrival. And the defiant moment is one of many that got me so fired up by the events on screen. And what it triggered in my psyche, I wanted to be that kid again on the prowl for toys and merchandise. With the naive, agenda-less, politics-free love of the movies. To be a super-hero.
There are thrilling moments of awe and glory, action scenes and special effects so well choreographed and executed throughout, with such panache and grace, it is exhilarating. Never does it overpower or break the jurisdiction of the film’s story and themes. Even going back 100 years to a more idealist, fresh-faced super-heroine than the unbreakable one we were introduced to in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Wonder Woman was by far the greatest element of that trash-fest by he way.
The wondrous woman must surely rival favorites of the genre in the caliber of Christopher Reeve’s Superman perhaps. They certainly garner the same warmth and protection of the human race. As comic book movies go, the comparisons rolling back to Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight may be warranted. Though I believe this trumps that. Is there a Best Picture significance in there somewhere?
Gadot, too, is a rising star no question about it, with all the nuance and spirit to pull off such an important, impacting figure both in fiction and in our real lives. Boys and girls. To boot, the actress forced her way through a hefty regime, altering her diet, martial arts training, and gaining muscle weight. Those who think she’s just a pretty face need to think again. Followers on Instagram will also be an audience to her candid personal life. And in that, Gadot’s Wonder Woman certainly symbolizes women as ambitious and bounteous, self-sufficient and strong, regardless of the masculine aggression and mistakes before her.
Jenkins’ movie can encapsulate the sorry state of the man’s world in a few simple utterances and glances, without belittling them. I mean, women didn’t have the right to vote back then, let alone enter a governing chamber full of men. The line “Where I come from, that’s called slavery!” must have had a rapturous applause from secretaries and the like across the world. Reminding us too, this is not a wholly serous affair, punctuating a sense of humor into the foray.
Diana’s heartbreak and dismay as she witnesses the horrors humanity can offer carries a lot of emotive weight, something you just don’t see enough in the genre. When Wonder Woman (never actually named so I might add) lifts a tank with intentions of harm, then tosses it aside, we ourselves witness a mental victory, as well as a metaphor for a more constructed thought-process of war. If only. And in her final confrontation, she gets back to her feet over and over to surge back to Ares. Not stopping throughout the blows until she destroys him and saves the world. Which is all she really wanted.
Warner Bros. has campaigned Wonder Woman in light of the awards season. And aside from a select few party-poopers, the support was overwhelming. In fact, the public backing and adoration of the picture might not have even required for your consideration ads to deal such a blow. But that’s show-business. Wonder Woman is a victory for cinema, the comic book world, for women, for the vast audience enrapture. A film, surprisingly and reassuringly moving, that doesn’t rock the foundations of life’s little wonders like peace and love, but somehow, majestically, molds those ideals as if brand new. I can think of worse Best Picture nominees.