(This article contains minor spoilers – please use your discretion while reading.)
DC has produced some excellent movies in the past – The Watchmen and V for Vendetta being among them – and it has produced some upsetting movies in the past – like Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman. Wonder Woman falls in the latter category, which is sad because she is a character who deserves so much more. With all the excellent stories and villains which Wonder Woman has had in the past, her movie seemed a pale imitation.
Granted, the movie seems to have a decent beginning, but this crumbles soon after. The scenes with the Amazons at Themyscira, while visually stunning, lacked much else. In fact, most of the movie looked good but didn’t deliver anything more.
Here are some reasons why the Wonder Woman movie failed to meet expectations.
Anyone who says Wonder Woman was a well-written movie is either still very young, has no understanding of good writing, or is lying. The “improv” comic relief was bland and just disappeared halfway through. This movie had some of the most predicatable and cliched dialogues, weaved into a story which wasn’t worth much. While there were no obvious plot holes, a lot of the movie seemed like a question mark. I found myself asking, “What was the point of that?” or “What?” or “Why?” frequently. Diana’s naivete drove her character forward, but after a point of time, it just seemed stupid. There was very little originality in either the story (which was understandable to an extent, if you consider that this is an adaptation) – but even the script was very poorly written. The plot twist was weak and unsurprising.
Nothing about this movie convinced me to be scared of the villains – and if you don’t have powerful villains, you don’t have a powerful enough superhero. A good villain is what makes a great superhero. The villains weren’t weak, but they weren’t strong either, and they definitely weren’t smart. Then when it turns out they aren’t the actual villains at all, you’re left utterly unconvinced because the real villain comes in too late. The weird flashbacks you see of him aren’t enough to make you feel for him. Nothing drives you to think maybe she won’t be able to win or holy crap I didn’t see this coming. The villains were quite characterless and, frankly, stupid.
Disregarding Chris Pine’s portrayal of Steve Trevor, none of the characters (or the acting) seemed impressive. Diana herself underwent very little character development, despite the fact that there was a lot of potential for more. The scenes on Themyscira with a younger Diana had the capacity to create a beautiful, well-rounded character with strong relationships and a more purposeful Wonder Woman, but everything seemed crummy because of the cliched dialogues and overly dramatic tones. Even beyond the magical world, Diana doesn’t become much different – one disillusionment is all they could cultivate in a two-hour movie. A lot of other characters who could have had bigger and more interesting parts seemed wasted away. Amazons who were given importance in the comics were barely present. It’s unreasonable to expect for everyone to be accommodated, but the movie seemed underwhelming in terms of characterisation.
This is perhaps the biggest reason to dislike the movie. Not only was it a poor conclusion to the story, this scene singlehandedly ruined the visual appeal as well. Anyone who has seen the Batman v. Superman ending has seen the ending of Wonder Woman. They’re basically the same thing. Giant flying villain thing in the sky doing some weird stuff while the heroes are trying to do their thing with some strange dialogue and oh wow the CGI. In most other action scenes, the CGI is kept to the minimum and there is an obvious reliance on practical effects. In the final battle, that all goes down the drain. There are moments where it’s hard to keep track of what exactly is happening on screen, which is definitely a bad sign. But with Zack Snyder, I suppose you can expect this chaos.
That’s not to say that the movie didn’t have good things. Sure, this was a movie that exemplified a great character. Wonder Woman finally got that movie she deserved. Yes, she was an absolute badass with badass women supporting her. Yes, Gal Gadot filmed while pregnant. Sure, this movie raised several issues about women. And now boys and girls have equal chances of feeling more empowered because of a strong female lead who destroys stereotypes.
But ask yourself. Really ask yourself. In 2017, is feminism (only one elemental theme) enough to make a genuinely good movie? Shouldn’t everyone already have feminism by now? Is showing the world that women can be equally kickass all it takes?
If yes, should it really be?
If no, you’re on my side of the argument.