A mad cap romp! I feel like people say that a lot, I’m not 100% sure what it means, but it seems pretty fitting here. This movie is everywhere recently- people saying it’s empowering, people saying it’s overrated, people saying it’s Zionist- everyone has an opinion!! Which is exactly what it feels like to be a woman!
Did I cry multiple times during this movie? Yes. Did I want to? No. Do I think it’s a feminist victory? Kind of? Not really?
Things I liked: An island with only women all of whom are warriors? Hell yea. A woman saving the world and killing a God? All about it.
Other stuff: Eh, some of it was annoying to me? Like, (and I know there’s this whole “that was the time” explanation but there’s also nuance all the time and you can have representation too) So-when she wants to go to war and they detour to take her shopping first. That was annoying. This trope of a bright-eyed, beautiful, idiot who needs to be led around all the time. I know she’s not an idiot but by placing her in a world she didn’t know she ended up deferring to a lot of her companions for knowledge and direction, etc. All of whom were men. Also she didn’t need to be that clueless? It felt male gaze-ish. Kind of like how on an island only of women they for some reason still chose to wear short skirts to fight and train in instead of pants? Obviously women can wear whatever they want and maybe I would wear thigh high slits in all my skirts and leather bustiers if I wasn’t worried about being raped all the time too, but it seems like it would be easier to move/better protection to have flexible durable pants rather than floor length skirts made of slitted metallic hides? And everyone’s wearing wedge sandals the whole time? Even in battle? And was their currency fishtail braids?
I guess I just wish she hadn’t been looking around wide-eyed at men for 2/3rds of the movie. I wish she had fought more (the fighting was AWESOME a lot of women flipping through the air, doing backbends off horses, and shooting three arrows at once), or figured more stuff out, or even spoke more. She doesn’t speak for a lot of the scenes in the movie which was kind of frustrating.
Continuing the representation thread, in the Greek myth origins thing her mom told her that was about Zeus/God making man in his image, blah, blah there were NO black or brown people in it. Not one! And we know they were there!! It’s white-washing to try and portray it otherwise, which is annoying, irresponsible and wrong. You can look up all of this, and you should. People have the internet now they should know better!
But again, did I cry? Like 4 different times. There’s a cool scene where she catapults into a sniper tower and blows it up with her legs? It’s awesome. The war stuff was also a little confusing to me- I guess not confusing but I needed to let myself forget history and be immersed in this world where World War I ended because a woman did enough fire backflips a Greek God died.
Usually I start with plot- I guess I should have done that earlier: Gal Gadot is a clay child her mother and Zeus made so that when Aries comes back to destroy the Amazons (and the world) there would be someone powerful enough to kill him. She lives with her mother, the Queen, and all the other Amazons on an enshrouded island (didn’t it sound like the name of the island was mascara??) in the middle of the ocean. A British spy fleeing from the Germans (Chris Pine) accidentally finds the portal to their world, and comes, bringing angry Germans with guns in tow. There is a fight on the beach, Robin Wright (the general?) dies protecting Gal (Diana) and the more Diana learns from Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) the more she realizes she needs to go and fight in this war.
So they go, after a shoreside stand off with her mother that was very guilt laden (“You know you have been my greatest happiness. And today you are my greatest sorrow”) and a weird sex talk on the boat (“Why won’t you sleep with me?” “The pleasures of the flesh?” “I know about that, but we don’t need men. Goodnight”) they get to land where he needs to deliver a stolen recipe book for chemical weapons before an air attack kills thousands of people, but first it’s imperative to go SHOPPING because people can see Diana’s legs.
We also meet Steve Trevor’s secretary, a slightly older, portlier woman who is allowed to be both of those things onscreen because she is funny, which is a whole DIFFERENT can of worms I don’t even want to get into-but just ask yourself have you EVER ever ever ever ever seen a movie where a fat woman is the romantic lead? Where her weight isn’t a gimmick (Shallow Hal) or something she’s apologizing for/trying to fix (Dreamgirls, Real Women Have Curves), or something that corrupts her sense of worth so entirely she will do anything to keep a man (The Honeymoon Killers)? And don’t say The Last Holiday because Queen Latifah isn’t fat. You haven’t and I haven’t because they almost don’t exist which has fucked me up BUT again, that’s for another time.
They decide they need backup so they meet a ragtag group of accomplices in a bar, the group travels to France?, Diana is tight as hell and saves everyone, I cry, Chris Pine loses her trust, she kills a bad guy but it’s the wrong one, Chris Pine suicides on a plane, she picks up a tank, she thinks about destroying the human race but then decides to save it, she kills the right guy, the war ends but she’s without love so her life is basically meaningless in the eyes of society, she continues to save society anyway even though it was rude to her, she becomes an art dealer, Bruce Wayne sends her a picture of her boo thang, she tells us this story through a flashback in her mind, The End.
I’m looking forward to 5 years from now when we have better more feminist superhero movies where the most feminist thing about it isn’t that there’s a woman in a position of power or focus (cough Mad Max cough) but that it’s challenging latent sexism or ideas of gender etc. etc.
There was also an odd emphasis on romantic love-Love was what the human race was worth fighting for and saving, love was what made everything have meaning- they specifically made it romantic love though, which they didn’t have to do at all-they could have let her touch one baby (she kept trying!) and then it could have been about connection and future and life-but instead they made it romantic love which made it seem like she saved the whole world because she frenched a dude one time.
Like the scene at the end where Chris Pine dies (spoiler!) and it seems like she’s gonna kill the poison doctor and symbolically side with Aries to help him defeat the human race, then she remembers that Chris Pine loves her so she doesn’t? It makes her convictions (which were so strong when she was leaving the island) seem kind of guileless and weak.
I tried to go see this movie yesterday and I couldn’t because it was sold out and that’s good. In the screening I saw today I saw men alone or groups of just men and that’s good. But honestly that should be normal. There shouldn’t still be a question of, “Can women do this thing?” No matter what that thing is, I guarantee there are women who can do it. Not me, but women. I know women who can do three pull ups for Christ’s sake. Normal women just walking around day to day in the world. We can do anything! It feels condescending that people are like, “this women’s movie is doing so good!!” It makes me mad because women are every second person on the planet, you don’t think they can direct movies? Or coach Basketball? Or host Late Night? It’s all dumb. This movie is just ok as a movie. It’s embarrassing it’s the first vehicle superhero movie that has had a female lead (Are we all just ignoring Catwoman? I liked it), just the same way it’s embarrassing that this is the first season (out of 21) The Bachelor franchise has featured a black person. Ya late.
Gal Gadot is very beautiful, I was annoyed that she was so tiny-if you’re making her the most powerful woman in the world can you make her more than 125 lbs? I felt this way during Jessica Jones too, it feels like a cheat code to get both things- not that thin women can’t be strong, but if someone is picking up a tank let them have thick legs! And arms! And I know Gal fought in the military, probably because Israel requires it of all it’s citizens, but again, for representation it would be cool to see someone strong who looked liked someone strong.
Idk if some girl watches this and believes in herself more because of it great, but it seems like a very narrow idea of success and not for most women and I did cry but I was also mad because she looks exactly like everyone else I’ve ever seen succeed or deserve love in a movie and it’s not that groundbreaking to me. Honestly it’s annoying to me that people think it is!! I’m sure if I weighed 120 lbs I could dodge bullets too! Ah well.
2 out of 5 wedge sandals will probably masturbate again but won’t enjoy it.