I really loved the Wonder Woman movie but


#1

I have been unsure if I wanted to voice my issues with this movie, because it is making so many people so happy and I don’t want to distract from what a major victory it is. Beyond the great stride that Patty Jenkins just took with the film, beyond how many barriers it smashed through, and what it meant to a legion of fans both male and female; it was a damn good film.

However, I do have one issue that I just… couldn’t stop thinking about. While I do have some nitpicks involving the mythology and origins of Wonder Woman, I can let those go. I do think they closed the door on some potential stories but this is an adaptation and they are allowed to make some changes or go with whatever run they want to as a basis, despite my personal preference. No, the thing that bothers me is the same thing that has bothered me with all of the DCEU, I HATE that the Trinity is killing people. I just can’t get past that. There is this odd thing where out of all of them people seem most willing to accept Diana as a killer due to her warrior upbringing. However, that just rings so false in my ears. She wasn’t raised in a war-like culture, but one based on peace. Combat training would be something more akin to how we think of martial arts than marine training. They prepare for battle in the hopes of never needing to use those skills. And somehow this martial prowess seems to make people think Wonder Woman is the one most at peace with death?

Wonder Woman loves everyone, truly. This is one of her defining character traits, she genuinely cares about everyone and would not want to hurt them. Still, I should have known what to expect when that started having her run around with a sword and shield. Why? WHY would Wonder Woman needs a sword and shield?? That is like giving the Flash a motorcycle or Superman a suit of power armor! Wonder Woman already has her vambraces to deflect bullets and will heal from just about anything(she is nigh invulnerable at times but they seem to not be following that continuity which is fine). She is also incredibly strong and has no reason to carry around a weapon that is for killing. Her only weapons she carried over the years have been her bracers and lasso. These are very telling because they don’t say warrior or killer, they aren’t tools of destruction. She is wearing armor to protect herself and a tool to subdue her enemies, not harm them. Murder is nowhere in the mission statement.

I probably should have come to expect this from the DCEU, and its been my biggest problem throughout. I tangentially was enjoying Man of Steel until the Zod neck snap had it crumbling down. And I DESPISE that we have a Batman who both uses guns and kills people in his first outing. I swear to God that is more abhorrent to the canon of Batman than the entirety of the Gotham tv show. And now we have a Wonder Woman willing to kill in battle and I just… I would love to be able to be excited for the upcoming films because Wonder Woman was such a good time. But I am not sure if I can, I don’t know if I can get past this or rather, if I should?

I am worried about being hypocritical because the heroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe do kill. The Netflix heroes being the only ones to show a serious distaste for it. However, it did make me ask why can I enjoy a film where Captain America kills people but not one where Wonder Woman does? And the answer is simple. I hold the Trinity to a higher standard. I love the Marvel heroes, but they are more human and flawed. The Trinity are known worldwide and are pillars of modern mythology because they are more than just characters; they represent something. They are meant to show us what we can become. Superman shows us a bright future we can achieve and to never stop looking up. Batman shows that anyone can accomplish great things and shows how one person can inspire their community. And Wonder Woman fights for the truth; that everyone, no matter how different, deserves our love and respect.

These heroes mean a lot to me. So when I see them with blood on their hands, for the sake of making them more human, believable, or dark. I see our ideals tarnished. Rather than looking up at our heroes, seeing the distance between us and striving to move ourselves forward, we have opted to drag our heroes down closer to ourselves.


#2

I was bummed out that she was wearing heels in her warrior outfit.

The sword and shield isn’t new to the movie, nor is the killing. She killed Maxwell Lord in Vol 2, issue 219 in 2005. The sword and shield appear to have first debuted in Kingdom Come of all places and were on prominent display in the New 52 run of comics.

I think you are right, as a whole. DC heroes are more Iconic than Marvel. They are demigods that are supposed to inspire people to be better. At least the Trinity. The DC movies seem to reject that quality and instead want everything to be dark and gritty.

I was also kinda bummed that the two big battles in the movie were against old guys, but I that can at least be read as taking down the patriarchy.

Edit: Sword info taken from here.


#3

I haven’t seen the movie yet, and I stopped reading DC after the New 52 kind of took a dump on a lot of things I liked about their comic super franchise, just as a qualifier for this.

I would like to point out though that the general interpretation of the Trinity was that while killing people is a line that shouldn’t be crossed, Wonder Woman was always the one who was willing to step over that line if she thought it was actually necessary. At least in the more modern interpretations. A big sticking point of pre-Infinite Crisis and beyond was that Wonder Woman killed Maxwell Lord to stop him from mind controlling Superman, because it was the most expedient solution that caused the least amount of damage overall.

I do agree that it’s kind of disturbing that DCEU is willing to show these heroes killing people. And again, I haven’t seen Wonder Woman yet, maybe she kills a bunch of people in that movie, which I also admit is out of line. But it’s at least not entirely out of character.

I honestly lost a lot of respect for what WB was trying to do with the DCEU when the majority of the population of Metropolis was murdered and no one batted an eye in Man of Steel. And then in BvS that was actually a sticking point of the plot, but the person who had a problem with it (Batman) was going around shooting people like it was nothing. So if Wonder Woman at least tries to rein that in a little then I’ll take what I can get.


#4

I am familiar with a decent amount of the history, and certainly I am not always opposed to Wonder Woman carrying a sword. There are times it is a useful tool, but I take it issue that the sword and shield are default parts of this incarnation.

Also I can accept the Maxwell Lord example because that was only shocking due to Wonder Woman’s refusal to kill. In universe the world was unsure if they could trust her and she took an entire year off to come to terms with herself. It worked because the stakes were high and it had a real fallout. If Wonder Woman killed Maxwell Lord in the DCEU people would simply shrug because that killing is the default setting.

I am not saying that you can’t tell am story about forcing the trinity killing but it has to be earned. Batman killed people with am gun while under the mind control of Deacon Blackfire and that tormented him. It worked because he broke his established status quo. Superman was faced with killing people in What’s so funny about truth, justice, and the American way? (Aka Superman vs the Elite) which showcased why he wouldn’t cross that line and even more that he doesn’t need to.

Seeing these heroes kill is usually shown as a villain of an alternate timeline. Injustice or the animated Justice Lords arc being prime examples. They show what separates these heroes because they won’t cross that line.

These is also troubling because when we get to the MCU, killing villains is the default. Those are the heroes that Spider-Man has idolized animated and he is being mentored by Stark. Can any of them really tell him not to kill? This is what troubles me because this media is something that is internalized by people, including children, and we are telling them heroes kill. Why would any of us expect Spider-Man to be any different?


#5

While usally showing remorse for having to kill someone she mostly shows that for humans. No one bats an eye when the trinity kill Monsters. Aliens or Robots


#6

Because Spider-Man is the best among us.

I agree with you on all points. The Trinity killing should be a HUUUUUGE character changing moment that is built up to if used at all. Same thing with Superman being killed. You don’t do that in the second movie when the world hates Superman. That’s ridiculous. DC is not good at representing their heroes.


#7

honestly, the whole ‘no killing’ thing was always a convenient hand wave, delivered with a wink and nudge, because it was understood that they had to say that because comic characters were ‘for kids.’ its also hardly new- batman killed the joker in the original burton movie and he killed all the ninja’s in the monastery in batman begins. you also have to assume that a lot of people survived encounters with batman and superman that really should have killed them- the arkham games were always the most laughable example of that. you’d go to town on some henchman, smash him into the ground with such force that his nose would bounce and then the game would pretend he was just ‘asleep.’ the DCAU would do that a lot too- superman would hit someone presented as a normal human so hard they’d fly 10+ feet through the air. the force necessary to throw a human body like that would cause massive internal injuries and (at best) a lifetime of debilitating pain. the DCEU has just been a little more honest about whats going on


#8

From a plot standpoint the sword is a maguffin and a plot point, while the shield is the symbolic and important part(I think it gets way more screen presence than the sword too, but I’m not sure). The sword exists as a physical reminder of the main plot thread(kill Ares), and also to get destroyed by him later in a move to represent basically what you’re talking about, that she doesn’t need it.

I suppose the sword was only actually used because, I mean, it’s there, so it’d be weird not to? I did notice that there was a very clear(and very cool) distinction between Wonder Woman’s fights juxtaposed against Steve and co.'s, where she’s making a very clear effort to be at least restrained somewhat compared to the others who are openly killing without remorse. Did make it very noticeable when it did get used, but also it’s pretty hard for people to not die in fight scenes of this scale anyway.

Spoiler:This whole discussion does play into the main narrative of the film though, which is quite fun. There’s definitely an element of this in Diana’s realisation at the end that the real world doesn’t really allow for the unrelenting optimism in us that asks that Wonder Woman not kill people. Maybe the film would have been willing to go full into that optimistic attitude if the previous DC films weren’t so grim, who knows.

But anyways, belting film innit? Really need to see it again. Not leasts ince the cinema I saw it in had rubbish sound quality(Ares sounded like he was talking through an intercom) and the folks in front of us were on those awful moving seats, which made a racket and were super distracting. Poor folks sat in them were not having a pleasant time.


#9

I really strongly disliked this film. I thought the way it presented Germans as bad guys considering the setting was super lazy and it set up threads of the reality of WW1 being people in power from all different nations exploiting the working classes, but never delivered on them. I felt like they transplanted cliche WW2 bad guys into a WW1 setting


#10

Definitely, I didn’t really see any purpose to switching things from the WWII origin to WWI in the first place, but you have a much more salient point


#11

It’s set during the Great War because it’s hard to make a “both sides are bad” argument when one of those sides is The Actual Nazis.

And I think they delivered on that theme really well to be honest. My biggest complaint about the film in general was that it felt a bit pressed for time, so yeah it could have done with a bit more of that stuff, but overall I thought it was well done.


#12

I didn’t feel like it presented the allies as bad at all? Other than ineffectual generals in a meeting room. Compared with the gas using Germans with cliche evil scientists to boot. (Ignoring the fact both sides used gas for example).

Dunno, something about it didn’t sit right, and if I could delete one film from history it would be 300, so I can never see another film where it goes : slow mo, one second sped up, slow mo, repeat, repeat. Find it so irritating to watch.

I’m glad it’s doing well, I’m glad it’s going to inspire lots of young women and I don’t think it should be judged any harsher than countless other bad action films, it just really wasn’t my cup of tea


#13

There is an argument to be made about how this movie is all about white imperialism as well.

http://www.afropunk.com/profiles/blogs/the-success-of-wonder-woman-proves-liberals-are-ok-with

I don’t agree with all of the points, in particular the focus on Gal Gadot, an Israeli, being pro-Isreal, as being some kind of actual point about the movie, but the overall idea is interesting.


#14

Yeah I’m also kind of uncomfortable with Gal Gadot being held to a standard I don’t feel like a male action star would be? And am always wary of criticism of specific Israeli people that ignores the complexity of being born and living in Israel, for example I haven’t seen anyone mention that IDF service is mandatory for over 18s. I feel like it’s way too complex an issue for people to boil down into a reason not to see that movie but that’s just me.


#15

It depends on the context here I feel, because I certainly hold Superman and Batman to the same standard here… However, I do feel that simply speaking of it as an action film, yes that would be a hell of a double standard.

I tend to try and avoid all of the Gadot is a Zionist stuff, because I am too ignorant on the topics to have a valid opinion.

Also yeah, I don’t feel like they were portraying both sides as bad. I mean very clearly Steve is dumbing it down to I am a good guy those are the bad guys. The film doesn’t even portray that both sides are bad, just point out that it is incredibly innocent to think that a war will be stopped with one person’s death, the choices and will of people and nations comes to bear.


#16

Speaking of mythology: Ares straight up sucked as a villain, and it would have been a better film if he never appeared in it. The film would have been much stronger if Diana had killed Ludendorff and the war went on and she had to confront the fact people are just monsters sometimes.

Instead there’s this twenty minute CGI scene. It never feels like Ares is a threat to Diana, either physically or psychologically. He’s trying to convince her the whole time to KILL ALL HUMANS but that’s so obviously not even a temptation to her that it’s a waste of the audience’s time.

And the mythology feels way too Christian, if you know what I mean? Zeus made people perfect, Ares got jealous and corrupted them, Zeus leaves behind a child to fix everything. Like, what is the point of using the Greek pantheon if you’re going to just reduce it to God and the Devil?

Anyways, other than the last act it’s a really good movie. I don’t mean to criticize it too harshly, since I know a lot of people got a lot of joy out of it. I wanted it to be even better is all.


#17

Can’t argue there, but having a super weak third act is also a huge problem in all the Marvel films. I think part of it is due to the lack of really good villains outside of Batman and Spider-Man. The only villains I can think of for Wonder Woman besides Ares are Cheetah and Medusa. Granted, I haven’t read a bunch of Wonder Woman comics, but the lack of memorable villains affects most superheroes.

The parts of the film I didn’t like, I can’t blame the film for. I didn’t enjoy the scenes of young and teen Diana learning to fight, but I can certainly see their validity in showing Diana’s otherness, as well as being in there for the little girls watching the movie (can you really pander to children? I have no idea).

Except the battle heels. The film tries to hid them. They are obvious. Gal Gadot is not short. Why would a warrior princess who cares nothing for fashion beyond fighting capability (that was a fun scene in the clothing shop) have her primary fatigues have heels. And not even heels that you could say were for stir-ups.

I also don’t like the slow-mo/fast-mo bits. I don’t like Snyder’s action direction, and at least there was only one scene that felt heavily influenced by his style. Outside of all the gosh darn blue tint everywhere.

I still liked the movie. Best DC movie since The Dark Knight. Better than quite a few of the Marvel movies. I am genuinely happy that it was a Wonder Woman movie that finally crossed the bridge into good for the DC movie universe, and it isn’t surprising that Snyder wasn’t very involved in the first good DC movie in this franchise.