Spoilerdome: WONDER WOMAN

Make a hawk a dove, Stop a war with love, Make a liar tell the truth.

The latest installment in the DC Extended Universe is now in theaters and it seems to be doing pretty danged well. Audiences are flocking to Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman and critics who aren’t named Armond White are singing its praises. What are your thoughts on the early adventures of Diana of Themyscira? Is it worthy of all this praise? What does this say about the future of the DCEU? Is Chris Pine dreamy or what? Speak your mind in… the Spoilerdome.

  • Something

    “You should be very proud!”
    “Thank you, miss!”

    It was at that moment where I fell in love.

    • Andrew Clark

      Hahaha, literally this moment from ELF:

      • Something

        Except, unlike ELF, WONDER WOMAN is a good movie!

        *hides*

        • Andrew Clark

          Was this on the hot takes podcast? Because holy shit. ELF is amazing!

  • “Diana! Shield!”

    My audience lost their shit at that moment. This was the most engaged I’ve seen an audience since the first GotG.

  • This is definitely one of the more thematically mature superhero movies we’ve gotten out of this post-Iron Man age. The problem I always had with Captain America was blaming everything on HYDRA, a nefarious I-Can’t-Believe-They’re-Not-Nazis group allowing his first two films to avoid having human weakness and the human capacity for genuine evil be the cause of whatever Cap was fighting, and instead have them be because of pantomime villainy.

    But Wonder Woman feels so much more engaging because its hero has to struggle with the moral complexities of real life, and her figuring that out results in a well-executed coming of age story. The film it most reminded me of towards the end was Kubo and the Two Strings, another story about being forced to grow up upon being confronted by the cruelties of the world, but in which the hero also finds that there is still enough good in it to be worth fighting for.

    • But Wonder Woman ends with the soldiers on opposing sides literally hugging each other after Ares is defeated, the implication being that literally the only reason for the fighting was Ares’ influence. There is no complexity what-so-ever there.

  • Alex the DC & Marvel fan

    I haven’t seen the movie, I just came here to ask, does Arnold Schwarzenegger appear in it?

    • Something

      Sadly, he doesn’t.

      • Andrew Clark

        I was on the edge of my seat waiting for it to happen. Big let down.

  • Matt Baen

    There seems to be a semi-consensus among a) those who loved it and b) those who liked it but not as much as they hoped (really the only non-outlier reactions) that the final act, especially Ares, fell flat. Shucks, I liked Ares, liked him being Thewlis (That guy is up to no good! Did no one see Dragonheart?), the Godkiller reveal (I figured that out in Act One), the Perez-esque costume, telekinesis/lightning fight. Oh, and also Steve’s sacrifice and the after war scene (buh huh hoo hoo snurfle). <3 Etta Candy. Grace Randolph pointed out how effective Thewlis' initial peek-a-boo disappearing thing was, and I agree. Thewlis' character represented that it's not just the aggressor who make war possible but the ineffectual peace plan (Versailles, Munich Agreement…)

    • I dug the Thewlis reveal (even if I predicted it) and what it meant thematically. On paper I think the final act worked, but the brawl itself didn’t. It felt flat and dull.

      • Matt Baen

        It was a bit stagy. It was like the angel vs Mephisto in Murnau’s Faust, except they were throwing shit at each other and not just talking. Ritual combat. Maybe the final showdown Matrix Revolutions (not a great movie though) is a better comparison. I re-watched watched the Ares-Diana fight in the WW animated movie and she’s getting smashed into things a lot and I thought it was a bit much. And then Ares getting his head cut – way more brutal. 300 for kids!

  • John Parker

    So overall the movie killed it. There were things that weren’t perfect & my g/f raised some points that after consideration I agree with.
    1. Wonder Woman was given life by Hera in the classic continuity vs daughter of Zeus in new 52. I The movie never mentions Hera. A beat missed with that omission/ not having her be born of only Hera’s blessing & Hypolita’s clay sculpting vs child of Zeus. Either way she is a demi goddess so is on equal footing with Ares.
    2. No games to see which Amazon went out into the world. Missed out on more Amazon skill show off vs beach scene.
    3. Etta Candy had too little screen time & deserved a better mood to her willingness to throw down to back up WW. A great character given too little scene time given how long she has been WW’s side kick.

  • jeves23

    I really, really liked it. I think the pacing is just a hair off during the second half of the London stuff, and the big end battle doesn’t really work the way it should (totally called Thewlis being Ares, though I don’t think they did much to hide it – it was more of a case of not tipping their hand before his reveal at the end). Even more troubling than the CGI fisticuffs was that the mission of the team to stop the plane just kind of happened – I get that they don’t want to overshadow what is going on with Diana and Ares, but it would have been nice to have tied the two together somehow before Steve dies.
    Any small nitpicks about the bulk of the film are easily smoothed by the stuff that I loved, and overall I’m pretty forgiving of the end (for now at least – hard to say if I will soften on it upon multiple viewings or not), because the rest of the movie was basically perfect for me.
    Gadot and Pine were great together, the world-building was well done and felt organic (never once did I question all the stuff with the Greek Gods, or think it rang false), and I think it was strong thematically. And most importantly it was fun to watch, and I cared about these characters (well mostly WW and ST, but the supporting cast was good too).

  • I feel like I’m significantly colder on this than most. While I loved the characters of the film (particularly Diana, Steve and Etta), the movie itself felt really piecemeal at times, messy in a way that while hardly fatal, definitely left me struggling to enjoy the movie as much as I wanted to. This is least noticeable in the second act set in London/the Trenches (and un-coincidentally, that’s quite easily the best/my favourite section of the movie), but the opening on Themyscira was a hair too slow, and the finale is genuine garbage that attempts to recreate the emotional beats of Captain America: The First Avenger without really earning it – as such, it’s simply not as effective.

    I still liked the film overall, but I certainly didn’t love it, and as with Logan I feel like there are some people giving it a pass because of what it is, rather than what it does.

    • YayMayorBee

      I don’t know that it’s so much a “pass” as it is character overtaking plot. I’m a very casual Wonder Woman fan, but I was so enthralled by the Diana presented here. All those flaws just melted away because the character worked for me. It reminds me a lot of phase 1 Marvel for that reason. It’s flaws are forgivable because it does right by the character.

      • I’d argue that it doesn’t do right by the character though, at least towards the end. From my perspective, Wonder Woman is a film about Diana learning that good and evil aren’t as black and white as she thought, which is why her scenes in London/the trenches are so effective as she deals with the fact that humanity isn’t as perfect or as innately good as she may have thought;

        Why conclude that with the defeat of Ares leading to all the soldiers hugging one another?

        It’s bizarre, kind of dumb, and a somewhat insulting note to end on, especially considering that this is a real war that actually happened. I can’t really overstate how much I enjoyed the majority of the film before that, but the ending is such a fatal flaw to me that it really does limit how much I can like the film as a whole.

        • YayMayorBee

          I’ll have to see it again because the ending shot looked more like relief to me (and I don’t remember hugging). I also read Diana’s arc differently, where she’s not so much learning that war is not black and white as she’s learning that humanity isn’t black and white, and that there’s no easy fix for violence and war.

          • But Wonder Woman ultimately says that their is an easy fix for violence and war – simply kill Ares. At that point, the war seems to end immediately. Like I said, it’s a bizarre note to end on, one that I simply can’t quite get past.

          • YayMayorBee

            Hm. I guess it could be interpreted that way, but I read that moment as being more specific to the soldiers in Ares’ immediate vicinity. I thought that was the point of setting the movie at the very end of the war, and making Ludendorff and Poison rogue actors whose efforts were to reignite tensions. With Ares gone, the war reaches its natural conclusion… but humans are still weak.