Friday, June 2, 2017

Wonder Woman tl;dr: Black Amazons with Natural Hair

She's about to beat up Germans and then downplay her Palestine comments.

Many things have already been said about Wonder Woman, and I hardly respect any review, even the good ones. Everything is partisan now. Of COURSE a movie about a woman with “the strength of ten men” who was born on an island full of strong, independent, intelligent women who need no men to survive is going to have very skewed reviews. Expect some to say that this is a triumph for womanhood while others say it is an attack on manhood and civilization.
My assessment? It was aight. I would watch it in the theaters, but mostly because if it flops, Hollywood yutzes WILL say, “See??? No one will watch a female-led hero flick! All of our shitty excuses were justified!” Mind you, the last two big time female superhero flicks were Catwoman, which...just no…and Elektra, which spinned off Daredevil, for which nearly everyone wants ocular reparations.
Wonder Woman had everything most male superhero movies have: Stuff blowing up, flashback origin stories, schlocky dialogue, a romance that flourishes in about the span of a Spring Break Cancun weekend, European villains getting punched in the face, men explaining stuff, and more stuff blowing up. The criticism is swifter than usual.
First draft: Skinny AF
First, people have been saying since Batman v. Superman that Gal Gadot is too “skinny” to be Wonder Woman. So body shaming the star of a hero film all about women’s empowerment is on the table now?  Beside the fact that the Amazons were all shapes and sizes, from tall/skinny to short/skinny to kind of beefy but not too much because they still need soft titties, Gal Gadot has just about the same proportions of the original Wonder Woman in the comics, so maybe refer to the source material before calling out her size. The “beefier” Wonder Woman is an invention of the late 1970s and 1980s. We all know that we would have LOVED 1995 Lucy Lawless to play Wonder Woman, but we also know that Warner Brothers and DC were too busy making excuses in 1995 to make a Wonder Woman story happen. Look, I get it. No one asked for Halle Berry as Storm. We all wanted Angela Bassett. That didn’t happen either. Let’s all get over that.
The week-long romance thing is a favorite trope of all action movies. I get it; you have two hours to stuff in some love. You HAVE to make this shit quick. One that sticks out in my mind the most is the father-son bond of Luke and Obi-Wan. Luke gets all weepy over Obi-Wan dying about a day after he met him. Dude, your unbeknownst twin sister lost her PLANET! Can you get yourself together??? Anyway, with regard to Wonder Woman, I get that Steve Trevor is her love interest in the comic, but I’m sure everyone would have been fine with the awkward sexual tension of Trevor just explaining why she can’t run around in 1910s London with an armor bustier and short leather skirt. We would have been more entertain with Wonder Woman saving his silly ass every time he gets in a jam. After all, that is true to the original comic. You love her, Steve? Really? It’s been a week, and y’all kiss like 11-year olds trying to awkwardly kiss for the first time. And how did she not castrate you with her super-kegals?
The schlocky dialogue was prime schlock. It was as if they consulted a comic writer from the 1940s to put together the script. It was amazingly corny dialogue, and I relished in it. I have no problem forgiving the thick Israeli accent of the title hero, even though she was born of Greek mythology, just as much as I can handle the completely non-German accents of the German antagonists. It all made the movie kind of funny. Let’s be real: do we really expect Cannes-worthy dialogue from a movie about people throwing trucks in their underwear? If that is the bar you’re using, then you’d best be using it for EVERY superhero movie, not just Wonder Woman.
The action scenes had everything modern superhero movie has. There were ricocheting bullets, trucks and tanks being thrown like Hot Wheels cars, and high speed punches and kicks inter-mingled with super slo-mo cgi side angle near-misses, followed by huge blows to German people’s bodies. In one scene, Wonder Woman took out a sniper by taking out a church steeple. She punched a goddamn CHURCH!
This is Patty Jenkins’s first superhero/action film, and I think for a first venture, she did pretty damn well, given the script. Before that, she did Monster and A Modern Affair, and a bunch of television shows, none of which were literal “punch you in the face” thrillers...though her two Entourage episodes gives her experience with making bro-dude couture.
Overall, I’d say that Wonder Woman is a step above Batman v. Superman, but probably not as good as the Avengers series. For one thing, it is a superhero movie about women warriors, and it barely passes the Bechdel Test! Yes, the women talked about something other than a man, but they still talked about a weapon that was meant to kill a man! The whole time, you knew that the Amazons’ training was for the sole purpose of defeating one man in particular. It barely passes the Mako Mori Test, because even though Diana eventually carves her own path, like in the comic, her initial quest was to help a dude do something.
Plus side: Black Amazons everywhere. Black Amazons with natural hair. There was no relaxer in Themyscira! Not even any Afro Sheen! Every black Amazon on there had locks or afro puffs or bantu knots or something in between. Also, the black Amazons didn’t die first! I wish they had more than 4 or 5 lines, but dammit, I was happy they were strong black women for the reason that EVERY woman was strong and not because they were sassy mamas or something. Thank goodness they didn’t incorporate the original stereotypes of black women in the original comic into this movie...but many apologies to the Native Americans, Indians, and Scots who watch this...If it’s any consolation, they DID all survive through the credits. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Guys...Black women with natural hair...just watch and see for yourself.

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