Confession time. I told a friend I would go with her to see Wonder Woman, fixed a time to go five days after its release, then couldn’t wait. That freaky theme music from Batman v Superman kept screaming inside my head. I love that wild electric cello sound, and anyway, when I like a film, I go see it twice. This one was just as fun the second time around—not an easy feat to keep me impressed twice the second time. The glaring problem of what happened to the German ship unloading soldiers to chase Steve in his downed plane continued to perplex, (probably edited out to save time), but everything else was so much fun, I blew it off. Or as some say, gave it the hand wave. For me, I was more interested in what was done differently.
At Cannes, Jessica Chastain made headlines when she censured the film industry for its treatment of women, consistently presenting women as secondary characters. I’ve always viewed it as keeping women in their place to act as the obligatory adjunct requisite for masculine enhancement. Not so in this flick, boys and girls. The men quickly learned how to follow the female leader, and what I loved was how it made them more, well, manly. Nothing turns any intelligent female off faster than male posturing. Men who have ego issues may get off on it, but women yawn. My favorite bit was when Steve (Chris Pine) hollers out in the middle of a skirmish where a desperate act is needed, “Shield, Diana!” Oye, my heart went pitty-pat, and you’ll have to see the movie to find out what that was all about. And perhaps I’m biased or ga-ga, but I’ve had such high hopes for Pine ever since The Finest Hours. I like the new Star Trek stuff, but he was so splendid as the self-effacing, courageous, and resolutely honorable Coast Guard hero.
Next difference—use of women over forty. Hollywood mogul types may need to sprinkle films (or cram them down our throats) with females meant for male menopause relief, but demographics have changed. When I look around in theaters today, there are often more silver-haired heads than younger generation types. When the Amazon warriors come charging on to the beach, the general in the lead is enough to make hardened soldiers think about a new strategy.
Robin Wright is superb. Nuf said.
Next comes the music portion. Many filmmakers think battering-ram music scores will cover up the fact that they’ve invested in a piece of schlock. I avoid films with rap music and not just because I’m not a fan. If a film requires that kind of loud, in-your-face score to help the pacing and lack of storyline, stay home and buy the music from the film. The only one I recall seeing where that enhanced the action was in the first Terminator. Its pulse-pounding, clanking metal score worked. In this version of Wonder Woman, I was surprised by the symphonic style, which enhanced the film and never distracted. Very clever but my favorite is still that electric cello and crazy drums theme introduced in Batman v Superman, which, to be sensible, could not have been used throughout.
The film is getting tons of good reviews and breaking records. You don’t need another content review. It’s the differences that made Wonder Woman more delightful for me. Maybe somebody in the LA portion of the industry will move beyond their tiny ego-centric mindsets to notice what the public already knows.