Opening weekend Cate and I went down to our fave NYC theatre (reclining seats yay) and took in DC’s latest offering to the Holy Trinity, Wonder Woman. I do not exaggerate when I say this film was DECADES in the making. For some reason The Powers That Be just didn’t believe a female led superhero movie could make money. After all Hollywood is first and foremost a business, and making money is the primary goal. Toss in the fact that this installment of Wonder Woman had a Female director, something not usually heard of for a big budget movie, let alone a big budget action movie, and there was A LOT riding on the success of this movie.
Despite hearing/seeing overwhelmingly positive reviews, as we entered the theatre Cate and I both expressed a feeling of slight nerves, or as she put it, “I feel like I’m in line waiting to go on a ride, when you are excited but thinking maybe I don’t want to do this…”
I myself have always loved Wonder Woman, I grew up with the DC Animated Universe, and the fact that there was this brilliant woman, who was equal to that of batman, or even Superman really resonated with me. I cosplay a version of WWII Wonder Woman, which is by far one of my absolute favorite things to wear. I sat through that ATROCIOUS David E Kelly Wonder Woman pilot back in 2011 and mourned what they had done to my beloved character. She deserved so much better, we all did. I, as many did, sat frustrated as it was made known that Joss Whedon, one of the few men who, I feel, has shown to truly be able to write a REAL feeling female protagonist, had worked on a Wonder Woman script and it had been shelved because the studio didn’t believe in a female lead superhero movie.
And so we waited. Fans all across the globe waited for the day that our champion would finally get her time on the big screen. We watched the animated movies. We read the comics. We rewatched Linda Carter the 1970’s tv show. We cosplayed. We bought the merchandise. And we waited.
It didn’t matter to me how many good things I heard regarding this film, I was refusing to get my hopes up, having been burned before. It’s no secret that the DC films of late haven’t been all that stellar. I couldn’t even bring myself to watch Suicide Squad, which knowing how much I love Harley Quinn should really say something. I sat down to it several times on HBO and just couldn’t make it through. So as we sat, feet up, I waited with bated breath, hoping that we had finally received a version of Wonder Woman that was everything we had waited for. I was not disappointed.
I won’t use hyperbole here, and say it was the greatest film ever made, but it was a spectacular sight. The battle scenes were fantastic, starting straight off the bat with the training sessions on Paradise Island, which highlighted not one but SEVERAL, POWERFUL women fighters working together. Something, I can not remember seeing in a movie before.
But perhaps the most important scene in the whole film, the scene that the Studio wanted to cut, was the “No Man’s Land” scene. The moment Diana started to take down her hair and the music started to kick in, I felt chills on the back of my neck. This was her moment. This was the moment where after spending the entire movie, this far, of having people tell her she “can’t”, she decides to stand up and say no and do what she believes as right. She’s not against the Germans, she’s against the injustice of the war. The moment is not about who she is fighting, it is about her coming to her own. She literally took on the whole of the of fire from the German forces in her quest to free the enslaved villagers on the other side, because it was the right thing to do. Whats more, is that after she heads out into No Man’s Land, and draws all the fire, she inspires the Allied force to follow her into the battle. Just moments before, none of them dared to enter that territory and suddenly seeing Diana do it makes it possible.
I was warned by others, that even heartless little me, would cry during the film, what I did not expect were the tears to be shed during a battle scene where no one (of import) dies. That moment she crested over the bunker in full Wonder Woman gear, I felt my heart leap in my throat and I was filled with emotion as I whispered over to Cate,”That’s MY girl”. This was the moment. That moment we had all been waiting so many years for. It was finally real. That scene is already iconic.
There was a lot riding on the success of this film, the fact that it did so well it’s opening weekend, hopefully, proves to The Powers That Be that there is a market for female driven stories, and that women CAN successfully direct all genres of film. More importantly though, was how women, young and old reacted to the film. Opening weekend alone I saw COUNTLESS of photos of little girls in Wonder Woman gear. Countless tweets from women just SO grateful that this movie was made, and how it touched them.
It wasn’t a perfect movie by any means, for after all there is no such thing as a “perfect” movie, but it definitely was a great one. An important one.