Disclaimer: I don’t have a degree in film. I’m just a chick who loves action adventure movies, watches a lot of films and has a passion for helping women see and live their lives as a heroine’s quest.
Like many women and especially as a woman who loves action adventure movies, superheroes, and is obsessed by the heroine’s quest, I was excited to see Wonder Woman. Also like many women I long for more movies starring female action heroine’s and super-heroines. This longing is in large part why I wrote my first book The Adventures of Isabelle Book I about a strong adventurous princess.
So, when my friend Tenecia Brown invited me to see the movie last weekend with a group of other women I said “YES!” We saw it in a stadium theater in IMAX 3D. It was a lot of fun! I really enjoyed the special effects and the fact that this movie depicts a heroine’s quest. It was also a visual treat. I especially loved the scenes shot on the Amazon island of Themyscira an idyllic paradise populated by many strong, athletic, beautiful women of many hues. I enjoyed the fight scenes (again especially on the island) and the costumes (yup on the island again).
BUT there were a four things that kept me from LOVING this movie as I had expected to…
FIRST: You can accuse me of being shallow, body shaming or looksist, but this is just a matter of personal taste; the look of our lead Gal Gadot’s body. She was very pretty indeed but she did not do it for me. She was just too SKINNY! It was not believable to me that this skinny Amazon could train in secret then end up being the best warrior among all the others who had trained longer and looked way stronger! I felt distinctly like the “male gaze” was at work again. Of course she has to be attractive and feminine for the movie to sell but c’mon! Couldn’t we put some meat on those bones and some toughness in her face and still have her be sexy?? She would have been to me. There is a scene where she stands, legs spread and arms akimbo (supposed to be a tough pose) on the cliff’s edge on Themyscira in her little short tunic and I remember thinking “She’s too skinny! Why can’t we have a heroine with some muscles?” Why does she have to look like a fragile princess?
SECOND: The relationship between her, her powers, and men. She is SUPER HUMAN and could save all the men but the way they had her go about it was clearly orchestrated to not damage the egos of the mortal men. Really?! Who has time for that? I’ve never seen Superman hold back so the men around him don’t feel inferior. He’s picked dudes up and flown them through the air! She’s not a real woman who often really does have to do this in real life to cater to the male ego. She’s a goddess. Gods and goddesses do not bow to humans but the movie depicted her treading carefully maybe so the men in the audience could better fall in love with her. This left me a bit flat. I go to movies like this for an escape from real life, not to see this stuff repeated! I wanted her to just do her damn thing! Instead she often seemed to let the weak male mortals try something first, so as not to “emasculate” them, then after they failed or weren’t doing it so well she’d step in. The fate of the world is at stake and she’s gotta soft pedal super powers!? Warner Bros Please!! Ain’t nobody got time for that!
THIRD: I wasn’t really feeling the romance between she and Steve Trevor. Don’t get me wrong I didn’t dislike it (and Chris Pine is nice to look at and funny) but to me the romance can kind of slow down an action movie. What I did like about this relationship was that he was not central but more of a tool to her self growth. He played the role that the women often play to our male heroes. He’s on the side and we like him and we want her to have a boyfriend and all that but let’s get back to saving Earth shall we? In short I’m glad he blew himself up and that there’s no way he can return in a sequel. I want Wonder Woman to focus on her mission. I don’t think she has time for a long term monogamous relationship. In case you think I’m sexist I don’t really like when 007 gets too serious with anyone either. I’m like, “Yaaaawn! Get back to work!” It would add to the adventure and fun for me if she met a bunch of hot men and/or women and just dated. I know every movie can’t have everything for everybody and this is why my princess is bisexual. Yes, The Adventures of Isabelle Book II: Journey to Orphalese (coming soon) is going to heat up a bit.
FOURTH: While I dug the multicultural representation in Steve Trevor’s crew and the women of color on the Amazonian island, I wanted more women of color in larger roles. If we had spent more time on the island we would have probably seen more of this as we had been introduced to some high ranking officers and stateswomen of color. Again a good reason to not leave the island and again why sometimes we have to write our own stories and make our own films. In Book II of the Adventures of Isabelle there is a band of female warriors of all hues, colors, shapes and sizes and they are all Bad B’s!
So there you have it. My two cents. Have you seen the movie? What are your thoughts???
P.S. I can’t wait for Black Panther