Wonder Woman: Beautifully Joyless?

Wonder Woman


Right now Rotten Tomatoes lists Wonder Woman at 93% which gave me hyper-inflated expectations for this flick. With those ratings, you’d expect the new Wonder Woman to be the next Schindler’s List or Citizen Kane. Is that Meryl Streep? No, it’s Wonder Woman.

Will Gal Gadot just be swimming in Oscars and Golden Globes next year? Dear God. An entire WNBA team might come flog me for writing this, but I thought the new Wonder Woman was a joyless plod. Warner Bros. might have been handing out actual suitcases of money to critics at the premier, because I don’t share in their fervor.

Diana (Gal Gadot) is busy growing up in Amazonian bliss on an island no one can pronounce: Themyscira. I can’t say it either, so I just call it the “Isle of Many Lesbians.” The women gallivant about training like Spartans in their Xena: Warrior Princess finery, and everything is peachy until Chris Pine falls through a worm hole into this Sapphic dimension. Chris Pine is a US American spy from WWI, so Wonder Woman decides this is her cue to go fight Ares (as in the Greek God of war) in the human time 1918 (as you do).

I’m sure a lot of people will like the new Wonder Woman. Gal Gadot will no doubt light fire in the dreams (and loins) of teenage boys and lesbians for decades to come. There is never any doubt as to her mega-watt star quality. There were other elements I liked as well. British actress Lucy Davis (The Office) had me laughing every time she appeared as Chris Pine’s secretary. I guess I was disappointed, though, because the original Wonder Woman TV series was so FUN. It was a cheap and cheezy TV show, but at least I’d like to see it again—even just ironically.

The new Wonder Woman had a lot of battle scenes that felt like long slogs and a musical score that beats you over the head. On top of this, the dark and gloomy atmosphere of WWI Europe just makes Wonder Woman 2017 a “skip it” for me. In a tense political era that is a little dreary in the United States and the world, I personally wanted a little color and frivolity of the Lynda Carter Wonder Woman from the ’70s.

Here’s my thing about Wonder Woman—I think people wanted a bad ass chick to cheer on in this post-Hillary world. This movie succeeds in presenting that. Do I think it was a good movie? No. I hated the music. The battle scenes were cliché. And on top of this Wonder Woman herself is kind of stupid. Sure she can speak 97 languages, but Diana was kind of a dim bulb. Anyway, I am preparing myself for a lot of people to disagree with me, but alas for now I file Wonder Woman in my file for Cinematic Dingleberries. Carry on.


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