Being either a brave independent spirit who refuses to bend the knee before the tyranny of the Hollywood commandments, or alternatively just a lazy sod who takes forever to get around to doing things, either/or, delete as required, your author has only recently managed to view the Gal Gadot starting movie, Wonder Woman.
It was rather good… to a point.
Let’s get the historical errors off our chests first, shall we? Let us ignore that Fokker Eindeckers should not have been in front line service in 1918. Let us ignore that you can also chase a fleeing Eindecker in a ship. Let us ignore that you can sneak into a top secret weapons factory with the Pour le Merite hanging around your neck and still look inconspicuous. Let us ignore you can sail from wherever Amazon Island is meant to be to Tower Bridge in London during the space of a nap. Let us ignore that Ehrhardt armoured cars did not have cannons. Let us ignore that by November 1918 there was a thing known as the ‘Hundred Days Offensive’ where the Allies were advancing so steadily that the heavy siege artillery could no longer be moved up and emplaced before the front line moved east again and trench deadlock was effectively over. Let us ignore that the real Erich Friedrich Wilhelm Ludendorff had a moustache.
Seriously, suspension of disbelief here kids. They gave Ares a moustache. Was it too much to force Danny Huston to do a little bit of extra make up each morning?
Gal Gadot was exceptionally good as Diana. She filled the role with enough honestly, warmth and moral duty that you perfectly accepted she was a demigod who had spent years of her life training herself into a skilled and butt-kicking warrior. The movie gave her grand hero moments where she could claim the instant and be utterly awesome. While deflecting minenwerfer shells with her shield. Badarse.
No, that is not the problem. There were great many things the movie, screenwriters, and director – Patty Jenkins by the way, who for some reason seemed to upset people because women directors are some sort of aliens – did very well. True, Lucy Davis’ character Etta Candy felt underused, Ludendorff didn’t have a moustache, and the British tank in the village scene should have been a Mk V by that stage of the war, but they also avoided the urge to shoehorn in too much comic relief or allow sub-plots with the supporting characters overshadow the main star. They didn’t even overplay the entire feminist angle too heavily. There were a few ‘Ha Ha Women Can’t Vote’ and ‘What is this woman doing here?’ moments, but for the most part Diana and male lead Steve Trevor worked with each other in a complimentary fashion. He got to be brave. She got to be badarse. So far so good.
What they did do is take a strong independent female character, in fact, in many ways THE strong independent female character, and effectively make her nothing without a man and some old-school True Love.
Diana falls emotionally a tad for Trevor. Fair enough. She is allowed.
Movie-goers and fans like a bit of romance, which is why Slash-Fiction is a thing. What they did do was to ONLY release Diana’s true and full power during her God Fight with Ares after Steve Trevor had first declared the Power of Love and blown himself up in the German gas-bomb filled bomber.
In short, where did Diana, demigod and the title character in her own movie, get her powers from?
A Man, and without a man she would never have released her full powers.
Wonder Woman. Fighting for our rights using the power of a man.
Out on a limb here, but given the title of the movie, that may slightly be missing the point.
Also the Ludendorff moustache. Not letting that one go.
Photo by Illumistrations