Wonder Woman

There are two heroes in this life that I love more than any of the others. Sure, I like the X-Men, Superman/Girl, Batman, and Deadpool quite a bit. I like a lot of different genres and characters so I don’t like to pigeonhole myself into one specific character fan base because that’s pretty limiting in my view. Who I relate to varies based upon what’s going on in my life.

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However, the two constants in my life have always been and always will be Wolverine and Wonder Woman. I loved Wonder Woman before I became a mother because it was my mother’s favorite superhero. As a prosecutor, she kicked more ass than any woman I’ve ever seen and truly immulates the Wonder Woman spirit.

And that’s the thing – Wonder Woman isn’t just a character – she’s a state of mind. Her tenacity has spanned over many years, inspiring the young and old and not just women, but men as well.

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This week is especially exciting for me because not only did we interview the first man to play Wolverine on our podcast June 3rd at 8pm EST, the Wonder Woman movie came out. As you can imagine, I have been waiting for this weekend pretty anxiously!

I had heard through the Twittersphere and other sources on the ‘net that Wonder Woman was pretty good. I don’t read reviews past “good” or “bad” before I see movies but that’s just one of my weird quirks.

I got the unique experience to bring my daughter, my husband, and my father to see Wonder Woman on Friday afternoon. I was able to observe a wide range of different perspectives and reactions to the movie: an older gentleman, a man my age, and a six year old girl.

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My husband loved it. Sam isn’t a huge DC comics fan and he loathed Man of Steel and Batman vs. Superman. This movie, however, had him laughing, grinning, and generally just enjoying himself. He is a huge action movie junkie so when he gets excited about a fight scene, it’s probably pretty good.

My dad was largely lost throughout the film because he was more a Superman fan in his youth and didn’t know much about Wonder Woman. Even with this being Diana’s origin story, I had to fill in a lot of the gaps for him post-film. He later said the acting was really well executed and the cinematography was on-point. For a 71 year old man who doesn’t read comics, that’s a pretty shining review. He loved seeing Robin Wright as Antiope because he really liked her in House of Cards as Claire Underwood.

Abby had a ball, generally speaking. It was a little slow in the beginning with Diana’s childhood. I had thought that Abby would really dig seeing a little girl her own age kicking so much ass but she related to the character so much that she was worried when Diana was disobeying her mother and potentially going to get in trouble a few times. She squealed every time Hippolyta was about to or did catch Diana doing something forbidden. Abby, if you’ve ever met her, is a good kid with a good heart like Diana in the film but also very mischievous and precocious.

Overall, there wasn’t anything in the movie that was inappropriate for her or overly violent. Even the Chris Pine semi-nude scene wasn’t bad, honestly. It didn’t show anything. The villain, Doctor Poison (played by Elena Anaya), scared her a bit but that broad scared me. As with most parental warnings and such, I leave it up to the parent based upon the maturity level of their child. Every kid is different and I’m only responsible for one, myself, so I leave other people’s parenting decisions to them. I will say, for a PG-13 film, it didn’t seem to me to be too violent or overly crazy for the under 13 set. I wouldn’t, obviously, bring any kid under 4-5, but that’s just my personal view of it.

Onto what I thought. I loved it, quite honestly. I just genuinely loved it. I thought it was amazing acting, beautiful cinematography, the action sequences were well choreographed and executed, and the history was pitch perfect. I really enjoyed that they put a lot of emphasis on World War I history. They really got into the nature of trench warfare, the use of weaponized gas, and even Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which was then called “battle fatigue” or “shell shock”.

This won’t be the kitschy Wonder Woman Lynda Carter-esque style but more like the animated movie with Kerri Russell and Nathan Fillion. The story itself is taken from the animated movie of the same name but set in a different era (WWI versus the animated film’s present day setting). I’m not saying that I don’t like Carter – I adore her and her work – but if she’s the only incarnation you can only see your Wonder Woman ideally being, you’re going to be disappointed. Instead, perhaps approach it with a broader mindset and try to enjoy it for what it is.

For those who are skeptical about Gal Gadot? Save them. She’s phenomenal. I would gladly buy that woman a beer and if I ever need any kind of protection, I’m hiring her. Why? Because on top of being a beauty queen, model, and actress, she is also a combat trainer from the Israeli army. If that isn’t badass enough of a person to play the iconic role of Wonder Woman, I don’t know what you would need. I’ve heard complaints ranging from her not having blue eyes to her not being “built” like Wonder Woman. I agree that large changes to an establish character’s physicality takes a toll on the character itself (like if they made Wonder Woman an obese Asian man) but eye color and the fact that she’s not built like a brick shithouse aren’t viable reasons to boycott a movie. She personified every bit the strength and spirit that Wonder Woman embodies and has embodied for years.

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It amazes me when fellow nerds get overly hyped over certain actors being contracted to play their favorite superheroes. On the one hand, I sort of get it because you don’t want someone you’ve loved for years played by someone who wouldn’t do that character justice but on the other, we geeks have gotten so hyper-sensitive about it that we’re losing credibility. When you start flipping your shit over Wonder Woman’s armpits, you really need to assess your life. Remember when everyone pooped their Pampers over Wolverine being played by Hugh Jackman, who was significantly taller than Wolverine’s shorter build? Yeah, I was a little apprehensive/skeptical but there were people who genuinely lost their damn minds about it. Seventeen years and Mangold’s Logan later? Yeah, shut up. You were wrong then, fanboys/girls – you’re wrong with this, too.

Look, I’m not going to get too wordy with this because I don’t want to beat a dead horse but, with all films, give it a chance and erase your preconceived notions. You might find that you actually enjoy films rather than sit there and try to find fault with them.

Patty Jenk’s masterpiece hit it out of the damn ballpark and I had happy tears pretty much the entire time, especially when our girl rose from the trenches at No Man’s Land and kicked some major ass. If you can’t get jazzed after that, you’re dead inside and there’s no hope for you.

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