Wonder Woman (2017)

She speaks her name like Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride. I am Diana of Themyscira, daughter of Hippolyta. As though there were no doubt of victory or a chance of defeat. Matrix style, she fights her enemies gracefully in a seamless dance. Her movements the choreography of true conviction in slow motion. “What I do is not up to you,” she says, eyes bright and burning, voice sure. And when we cheer her onward, we are also rooting for the quiet hope in ourselves that still remembers we can choose to be free.

Wonder Woman is magnificent because the emphasis is not on the fact that the women in the movie are fearless and powerful—the emphasis is on what it looks like when women believe they are. It’s about the thrill of seeing someone realize their own strength with clarity and passion. Of this point, I was thoroughly skeptical at first. I read a handful of reviews before coming to the theater tonight, all of which praised the feminine distinction in particular. How terrific that the hero is *finally* a woman, how great it is to see her slay like a warrior and be as gorgeous as a goddess. And I kept thinking: All right, all right, okay. Enough already. We get it.

…but when you see Gal Gadot in all her formidable glory on the silver screen reacting to peril with gravitas and absolute no-nonsense badassery — it’s stunning. Truly. It brought tears to my eyes. So in the end, I suppose I join the masses in admitting that no matter how impartial you think you are, there’s something deep-down satisfying about seeing a woman take care of herself. If this reason is enough for you (as for me), Wonder Woman wins on all counts. It isn’t perfect, of course — you’ve got the heightened visual contrast that’s a bit much at times, the predictable good vs evil simplicity, the occasional bad accent, and a third act that goes on too long with villains who aren’t fully fleshed out beyond the typical surface levels. But these are nit-picky complaints in comparison with what can be gained.

Bottom line: It’s wonderful and wonder-full, kids. Godspeed.

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