Spoiler Alert: What Was Really Wrong With Wonder Woman
*Spoiler Alert* Going Beyond the Grade: What Was Really Wrong With Wonder Woman
For those of you who read my Wonder Woman review and disagreed, I applaud you. You shouldn’t let a review dictate your opinion of a movie. That being said, I feel it is my duty to write a separate review full of spoilers to give a brief detailing as to exactly why I differentiated from most other reviewers. So buckle in, moviegoers, this is just a handful of reasons why I can’t call Wonder Woman a “great” movie.
Let’s start at the very beginning (I hear it’s a very good place to start). The opening narration done by Diana presented two problems. The first of which was the fact that it was there. Unless the narration holds crucial information that the audience couldn’t have ascertained from the scene alone, it’s a storytelling device as useless and superfluous as a five-legged desk. If you think I’m wrong, imagine if every movie had narration in every scene. It becomes a bit ridiculous, right? There’s a time and a place for it, and Wonder Woman was not it. The second problem with the narration is that it made no sense. Not only did it have no reflection on the scenes it went over, but after watching it a second time I realized it also had no relevance to the rest of the movie. In fact, it wasn’t even a paragraph. Many of the sentences had nothing to do with the others, and were in fact just vague phrases that were meant to give a foreshadowing feel, but didn’t actually foreshadow anything.
The movie then moves into a flashback, where the rest of the movie takes place. Why did we need that scene of the present? It didn’t really have anything to do with the rest of the story besides showing us a picture we already saw. It really felt like they just wanted to have the words “Wayne Industries” somewhere in the movie, or we’d be panicked. The present scenes (both at the beginning and end of the movie) took time away from the movie without actually adding anything. It also didn’t match the rest of the movie. Perhaps if two stories were happening simultaneously, one in the present and one in the past, and they paralleled each other, this could have been justified. That would have been a much better use of their time than inserting these two bookend scenes.
A really weird mistake to make was that the extras were noticeably bad. While the Amazons were badass to the max in all of the action scenes, there were a few times where their impromptu dialogue was noticeably amateure. One particular instance was an Amazon discussing the training of other Amazons with Antiope. Clear as a bell the lines “She’s good.” “Yes, she’s good. Keep training her.” came over the music. This is the kind of peas-and-carrots dialogue that’s better left implied than said, because it’s a very awkward thing for two people to be discussing since that’s all the Amazons have done since the dawn of man.
Perhaps the most galling feature of the whole film was Queen Hippolyta. Not once, but twice her character completely changed her opinion for no reason other than to move the story along. In the beginning she was ADAMANT that Diana not train. Since her birth until she was twelve, Hippolyta refused to even discuss the possibility. Then Antiope argues that it’s the best way to keep her safe, and with that one sentence and no supporting evidence of that, Hippolyta changes her mind on a policy she’s held this whole time. Then she forbids Diana, “as her Queen”, to leave the island. Diana says she has to, and Hippolyta basically responds “Okay.” Either she’s the most easily influenced monarch of all-time, or just the flimsiest character ever written.
Speaking of characters changing their mind on a whim, Diana does that same towards the end of the movie. After she kills Ludendorff and is upset that it was Man’s own desire to wage war, and not the influence of Ares, she does absolutely nothing to help Steve and the gang to disable the gas bombs. She could have stopped them on her own, probably saving Steve’s life, but she didn’t move. Because she didn’t care about men now that she knew that their corruption was innate. Then the real Ares presents himself, and suggests that Diana do exactly what she was doing for the exact reason she was doing it. She refuses, and fights him to the death. She disagreed simply to add conflict.
Finally there was the theme of the movie itself. The grand conclusion that Diana comes to in the climax of her fight with Ares is “Love will save the world.” My problem with this is, how? Not “How will love save the world”, but how did she arrive at THAT conclusion? At no point in the movie did anyone’s love save anything. The only people that were saved in the whole movie were the people of the village that Diana saved out of pity, and the people of London that Steve saved out of patriotism. While we’re on the subject, if she’s referring to her love for Steve, or his for hers, I’d like to remind you that neither of them were saved, and in fact they knew each other for 2 days. Even in terms of war, 2 days is not a long enough time to come to the conclusion of “love will save the world.”
If you’ve read all of these points and are thinking “yeah, but I still liked it.”, well good. I don’t want you to not like it, I’m simply pointing out it wasn’t a good movie. I love Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey, but if someone told me it was a bad movie, I wouldn’t argue that. Don’t stop enjoying these movies, just hopefully next time they’ll give us a GOOD movie to enjoy.