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NEWBIES: If this is your first trip here (welcome!), here’s the QT on what these reviews are.
THIS WEEK: Finally, after 76 years, DC’s number three superhero gets her big screen debut (only 74 years after Batman made his). Gal “Fast and Furious 4” Gadot plays the Amazon model/warrior (aka Diana Prince) who leaves Paradise Island (aka Themiscyra) to help Chris “Captain Kirk” Pine and his band of rogues fight WW I while she tries to find war god Aries and end all human badness, while still learning the wacky ways of the “world of men.”
Screenplay by Allan Heinberg from a story by Zack Snyder & Allan Heinberg and Jason Fuchs. Directed by Patty Jenkins. Wonder Woman created by William Moulton Marston and Harry G. Peter.
- Get the obvious out of the way: Casting rocks. Gadot nails the character both in look and badassery. Despite the Ms. Israel thing (see “Cons” below), she was also a martial artist and member of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF, or “Tzahal”) and it comes thru loud and clear. She kicks major booty while looking as gorgeous as a pinup. I didn’t even mind the goofy accent, since other Amazons had it too and it made more sense she wouldn’t sound like someone from Kansas. Easily the best casting for a DC flick since George Reeves.
- And for you old geeks, comparing her with Lynda Carter is simply unfair and just plain stupid. Different mediums, different centuries, different tones, different approaches, different audiences, different everything.)
- Chris “Prince Charming” Pine made a great Steve Trevor. Not wimpy and not macho. Didn’t come across like a 21st-century “sensitive guy” in an early 20th century setting. (And ladies get to see him nekkid, with only his hand covering his mini-Captain.) Chemistry with Wonder Woman was genuine. Other characters were fine (Lucy Davis in a fat suit as Etta Candy, and Robin Wright as her warrior-mentor Aunt Antiope were the best of supporters).
- Complete origin story since childhood, including mentioning the comic-book bit about her being sculpted from clay and being brought to life by Zeus. Clever way of working that in, along with other staples like the bracelets, shield, sword and tiara.
FROM MIKE: Thankfully they didn’t keep the Silver Age “if a man lands on the island all Amazons lose their power) restriction, nor the “able to glide on an updraft” thing. She more or less performs giant leaps like the Hulk (only her legs look a lot better).
- Actually a couple good themes about “doing nothing or doing something” when there’s wrong in the world, plus the source of evil and why there are good/bad people. (Plus a neat twist.) Could be a clever analogy for the whole Devil/Satan thing too.
Visually stunning cinematography and some of the effects as well. (Some may think the super-slow-ramp-up-to-speed shots are trite, but they really do work here.) Locations and sets are spectacular and the costuming is superb, from the Amazon stuff to the WW I (1918)-era fashions and props. And the classical-painting-look of the Olympian gods flashback was very cool.
- Battle scenes, gun fights, trench war, hand-to-hand mixed martial-arts, swordplay and archery all came off well enough to make you feel part of it all. Some of the stuntwork with the warrior wimmen was jaw-dropping (not pants-dropping—these broads were all bidness).
Diversity fans will be happy to see not just caucasian Amazons or soldiers.
- Quick tie-in with Wayne Industries at the open, before the flashback.
- May tug at the ol’ heart-strings at the end. Several wet eyes in the theater
- FROM MIKE: Great to see “Thank Yous” to George Pérez (though they forgot the accent over the “e”), Ross Andru, Len Wein and some other WW artists/writers. And my fellow former Silicon Valley Comic-Con panel guest Benton Jew as Illustrator. (But sadly, no mention of Gene Colan, José Luis Garcia Lopez or José Delbo, my favorite Wonder Woman pencillers.)
- Big one: after her army gig, Gal Gadot became a model…and still is! Arms and legs are toned but with no muscle. (Very few of the other Amazons live up to the name.) Typical hypocritical Hollywood double-standard: all the MALE superheroes have major bulk-up regimens and pack on the pounds, but the Amazon Princess gets to be all princess and no Amazon, other than her height? Why? And don’t gimme crap about “looking feminine,” you insecure fanboy dweebs: Ronda Rousey, Laila Ali and Sarena Williams all look like real Amazons and are still highly doable. So grow the f*** up
- Pascale’s peeve was NO credit for WW’s co-creator, artist Harry G. Peter–possibly due to his name sounding like a penis. (MIKE: Shut up, you junior-high heckler—it’s more likely because of a silly contractual/legal reason.) The irony is that Marston, also inventor of the lie detector, gets sole credit, which is a lie.
- The disfigured biological weapon creator Dr. Maru (pronounced as both “Maroo” and “Moreau”) was one-dimensional—literally cackling in one scene—with no background on her disfigurement. And she disappears for no reason.
- DC has a new opening like Marvel to show off their characters, but not nearly as cool. No comics references, and it highlights two members of the JLA who’s not even in the Justice League movie.
- They say at the beginning that Diana is “the only child on the island” which makes zero sense (how would the place stay populated in the first place?) and ignores the true Amazonian lore—men taken in battle were used for reproduction and either killed or made into slaves.
- Movie seems long and does drag a bit, mostly in the first half. A lot of exposition at the beginning.
- One of the best characters bites it.
- The main bad guy didn’t come off as very menacing without his outfit. Though I got the idea, it became a bit of a joke at some parts. They easily could have subbed another actor for those scenes.
- NO button at any point in the credits! The same year that JUSTICE LEAGUE comes out and there’s no lead in? Not even a hint for the next WW film? What a completely wasted opportunity.
Anyone who suffered thru the BATMAN V SUPERMAN time-waster knows that WW stole the show. This proves it was no fluke. Gadot is so freakin’ pleasin’ to the peepers, yet strikes a bunch of badass poses even with her stick arms and legs—while looking way more powerful than either of her two male DC teammates. I couldn’t care less about gender-gap crap, I just want good movies that look cool. And this is one of the best DC has ever made. Jump into your invisible plane or car and catch this on the giant screen!
P.S.: How about your own WW piece for your wall or bathroom? Want to give yer goil a great gift of her favorite heroine (or as her favorite heroine?). Pascale draws hot superhero babes for a good deal. Just ask Craig here!
DISCLAIMER:The opinions expressed by Bru-Hed are not necessarily those of Wednesday’s Heroes, Mike Pascale, National Comics, feminists, Germans, Israelis, Amazons, models, geeks, fanboys, fangirls, lesbians or Olympians. Bru wants to know if the Invisible Plane has a bathroom (and if it serves booze on long flights).