Pop Culture Princess

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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Truly a Wonder of a Woman movie

I know that I'm a little late to this party but when it comes to our first official Wonder Woman movie, better late than never seeing it in theaters.

 As someone who grew up with the Lynda Carter TV series,along with Super Friends, having this superheroine come to cinematic life like this is a pop culture dream come true and thankfully, it wasn't a nightmare.

Yes, I loved the film and since there have been plenty of reviews of it out there by now, I thought that I'd go over a few talking points. This will be a spoiler-free zone,although I will mention a couple of comic book elements not present in the movie(which won't ruin the story for you at all,I swear!):

IS GAL GODOT THE NEW LYNDA CARTER?: While there were attempts to bring Wonder Woman into live action both before and after the 1970s small screen series(with Cathy Lee Crosby in a prior made for TV film and Adrianne Palicki in a later television incarnation that never made it to air), it is Carter who has held that honor as the defining performance for the character.

In a way, Lynda Carter was the TV equivalent of Christopher Reeve, a relatively unknown actor who was able to make the character their own and establish their career from that point. Neither one of them ever bemoaned that superhero role that got them off the ground,which at times did typecast them severely,and always honored their fans.

Gal Gadot is following in those footsteps and doing a great job to boot. Much like Reeve and Carter, she is able to make this role her own yet honoring the actress who made that seemingly unbreakable mold in the first place with her warmth, humor and battle ready prowess.

I really appreciate having Godot in this role, as a celebrity casting would be too distracting. Yes, Ben Affleck makes a great Batman but it's more like Ben-Affleck-as-Batman than the actual character,which is not his fault but it's also the reason that Ryan Reynolds was a bad choice for Green Lantern and a better one for Deadpool(the full body costume and snark required for that particular Marvel character suited Reynolds to a T).:
Godot is a complete Wonder Woman, full of nuance and heroics, whose chemistry with Chris Pine as Steve Trevor is charmingly electric. She also works well with the ensemble cast and is happy to pose with her fans in the numerous public appearances she's made for the movie. While Lynda Carter will always be known as the first successful Wonder Woman, Gal Godot is giving a new generation a fresh take on the character that does them both justice:


  There are a few things you expect to see in superhero movies, special trademarks of the character such as Batman's utility belt, Superman's Fortress of Solitude and Captain America's shield.

In the case of Wonder Woman, most of her iconic hallmarks are checked off here. We get plenty of bullets and bracelets action as well as use of the magic lasso of truth and the basics of her outfit tie well into some of the redesigns that her costume has had over the years.

A few things that don't show up are the invisible plane(which makes sense, given that Diana and her Amazonian folk are determined to stay apart from the world of men) and the part of her origin story where Princess Diana disguises herself in order to compete for the honor of escorting Steve Trevor back to the society of men.

 Nothing wrong with that, as it's become a cliche by this point but I do ponder why the setting is in World War I rather than WWII,as originally written in her legacy, but perhaps that was simply a creative choice. Regardless of whatever tweaks given to Wonder Woman's abilities over time in the comic books and now reflected in this film, her powerhouse presence is not marred by any new elements. Rather, they're considerably enhanced:

ANY PROBLEMS WITH THE MOVIE?: Well, I do think that there was a battle in the third act of the film that ran way too long and could have been wrapped up more firmly.

Also, it would have been nice if Wonder Woman had more interaction with other women once she got to the outside world. There was some but it was minimal at best, except for Etta Candy, who I wish had some more screen time.

Perhaps Etta will have a bigger role in the announced sequel, which is said to be set in America. I really loved her time with Diana and hope that she'll be allowed a little bit of action in future films(apart from the upcoming Justice League film, which is placed in the present day). Other flaws would be too spoilery to go into but let me say that as a first go-round, Wonder Woman made a grand entrance through the superhero door, even if she had a small stumble or two:

To conclude, I was thrilled beyond belief to have such a good Wonder Woman movie and to finally see DC be able to make a credible superhero film that isn't Batman. Hopefully, this will be the start of better DC Comics adaptations in general and spark off more female focused genre films that give us the super powered heroines we deserve. At the moment, I am thankful for this wonder of a film to offer us a glimpse of hope in the better nature of humanity:

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