Wonder Woman, by Allan Heinberg, story by Zack Snyder
There are so many stories, plays, films about Super Men, Spiders, Avengers, Captains, Transformers, wherein the protagonists are almost exclusively – at least in the domineering capacities – male, therefore motion pictures, narratives where the plot has a Super Woman are more than overdue.
In celebrating the power, bravery, intelligence, beauty, grit, success, kindness, generosity, perseverance, vitality, integrity, spirituality, prudence, humility, creativity, modesty, leadership, open mindedness, perspective of the Wonder Woman this movie is outstanding.
Having said that, one may wonder at the astonishing reception received when considering that aside from making a woman as opposed to a man at the center of the storyline, there is not much to admire in this rather simplistic take on mythology.
The gods have clashed, with Zeus as the leader of all – Jupiter in the Roman version, or the Macron favored take on the French presidency, the young president seeing himself as a Jupiter like figure.
Zeus fights with Ares, the God of War, who will haunt this film for the protagonist thinks she needs to fight and defeat him, in order to bring peace to humanity, even if that sounds and is preposterous, if we do not think only in symbolic, mythological terms.
In other words, you either go along with the proposal, think this is a more complex fantasy tale, an allegory wherein reality can be identified in figures that represent systems of thinking, perhaps even political figures on the world we live in.
After the Clash of the Gods, the island where the heroine, Diana, lives is created, and she is now trained to become the ultimate Super Woman, able to defeat any opponent, benefiting from the expertise of Antiope, the general who leads the army and a fierce warrior.
When the two fight in preparation for what is to come, as Diana is grounded, she concentrates on the fight and her arms become something like the ultimate, magnetic, modern shield…actually, this is where it may become hard to digest for some viewers, for it feels like a fairy tale for five years old at times, complicated and interbred with a World War I thread.
Steve Trevor is the pilot who crashes into the water near the island, to be saved by the Wonder Woman, who jumps like a rocket into the sea – hard to believe? Well, of course, this is already Snow White, Cinderella and other fantasies combined.
Diana takes the sinking man to the shore, but all the women have to fight – by the way, there are only women on the heavenly territory – the approaching soldiers, who use rifles against the arrows, spears and horses of the Amazonian troops.
Steve explains why he is there, forced as he is by the magical instruments that the Amazonians possess, a rope that once around the hand or another part of the body it forces the human to tell the truth.
The stranger is a spy who has worked to discover what the Germans and their allies the Turks plan together, thus finding that Count Ludendorff and the mad chemist Dr. Maru work for the design of terrible weapons.
The scientist has been devising chemical combinations that do not penetrate yet the gas masks, but they want to get beyond that, just as the spy finds the blue book of recipes, takes it away and runs from the scene.
In classic James Bond fashion, the hero finds a plane that is about to depart, kicks the enemy, flies through the fire of cannons, even return to the scene to destroy the base…Wonder Woman needs a Super Man near her.
After this, he has crushed near the island, where he is now trying to get Diana to help him get back to his Secret Agency to deliver the plans for the bombs, hence saving millions that would be killed in combat, if the opponents use their ghastly instruments of mass destruction.
Wonder Woman agrees to help the man, but only if he promises to support her in the plan as well, which is to combat Ares, the God of War, ending destruction and enmity for all time…the usual goal for participants in beauty pageants and other contests of the kind.
To end all wars sounds like a glorious, divine idea and this is where you can either appreciate the uplifting, ethical, magical meaning, aspiration of the heroine, the movie, or just dismiss the whole thing as an exaggerated, silly endeavor.
There are some amusing moments, such as when Diana arrives amongst people, with her hunting goddess costume – granted, it is covered by a heavy coat – walks into a shop to get other, more mundane outfits, in which she wonders if it is feasible to fight…
On the boat, there are some awkward, but for some funny, exchanges between the two protagonists, about sleeping together, how humans are born, after Wonder Woman had seen the hero naked, asking him if he is…average.
The answer was that he is above average.
Wonder Woman is worthy as an exercise of admiration, awe for an extraordinary, superb woman, but there is a long way to go before a really worthy film would center on Marie Curie, Indira Gandhi…real, strong women, not fantasy, cartoon characters.