I broke my resolution to never bother myself with another superhero movie and rented this one. Some people told us it was good, and the reviews were quite good. So what was the result? Some good and some bad. I’m not really sure which one outweighs the other.
The good: I liked the opening a lot. It told the story of a battle of the Greek Gods, how they were destroyed with only Ares surviving. What is spectacularly genius about this is that the imagery might have come from the Sistine Chapel ceiling … except it was three-dimensional as we panned across the struggling figures, and they were moving, in slow motion. It was like a classical painting by Titian or El Greco or Da Vinci had come to life. It was stunning. Then we see Diana defying her mother to train as a warrior, and the arrival of Steve Trevor, crashing his WWI plane into the sea. Then we follow them as they return to London of 1916 or so. This is all very nice, Diana being a stranger in a strange land, ignorant of the mores of late Edwardian England, and appalled by most of what she sees. Then we’re off to Germany … and it’s still pretty good. Diana seems much stronger than the women in the comic books of my youth, able to fend off extended machine gun fire, but it’s a good sequence.
Where the wheels come off, for me, is when the inevitable climactic battle happens. Ho-hum. We have seen the same scene a hundred times by now, and it’s one of the biggest reasons I swore off superheroes. Who gives a shit if Diana can lift up a tank and hold it over her head? Who gives a shit if Ares can hurl Harry Potter thunderbolts? Not me, friends, not me. Been there, seen that. Boring!
I suppose this is inevitable, but please, please, does everything have to be so obvious? I mean, I understood who the real Ares was within ten seconds of David Thewlis appearing on the screen. Give me a break! Did you seriously for one minute think it was Ludendorff, which Diana was sure of? I admit that I didn’t guess what the dark secret was that the Amazons would not reveal to her (and I don’t have the foggiest idea why not), but I was close. I thought Ares was her father. “I’m your father, Luke! I mean, Diana!” Turns out he was her brother.
Gal Gadot was good. She looks as if she is seriously athletic. The chemistry between her and Chris Pine worked pretty well. But now we come to one of many major problems with action movies these days. Am I the only one on the planet who is so sick of the slooooow-mooooootion shot in the middle of an action sequence that I could just puke? Somebody makes a flying leap … and they slow down in midair so we can admire the fact that they can now shoot at 240 frames per second or more. Okay, okay, I’ve seen it. I’ve seen it ten thousand times, possibly a hundred times in this movie alone! Am I the only one who thinks these endless repeated and interminable shots slow down the fucking action? Please, I’m serious about this. I’d like to hear from anyone reading this if you actually like these shots, or if you are as bored with them as I am.
Lastly, major disappointment: Where is Wonder Woman’s invisible airplane? That was one of the coolest things about the comic books. Maybe in the sequel?