It took me a while to watch Wonder Woman because it came out just as I was heading for Japan so I didn’t have time to watch it in England and I couldn’t be bothered to check if Japanese cinemas would show it in English. Then one fine evening in October my best friend and I decided to have a movie night and I thought, let me finally see this movie.
Now, I was most gassed to watch this movie because I believed it would fuel my feminist drive. I have been super into critically analysing films since my urban culture module last year and my geopolitics module this year. These modules have taught me to look at the impact films have beyond entertainment value, how they represent certain people or ideas, failure to represent or misrepresentation, political affiliations, etc. As intellectually stimulating this practice is, it has kinda ruined (ish) movie watching for me. Now, I watch The Avengers movies partly in excitement, and then partly disgusted at the ethnocentrism that Hollywood action movies just can’t seem to shake (it’s so old). Nevertheless, I was super excited to watch Wonder Woman because I ‘knew’ it would depict and celebrate non-American (even though still all white lol) women, something different from the action movies I have watched recently. I was so wrong.
From the very first sentence I was already agitated, I didn’t really understand why they spoke English in Themyscira. I got over that when Diana explained they spoke however many languages, and I figured it’s best for an audience to listen rather than read. Besides that, those earlier scenes were all adequately entertaining. I cried when her aunt died, was relieved by the fact that the gyaldem were victorious in battle, and excited when Diana said she was leaving to save the world! That moment signalled to me that the plot was about to get real and I could not wait to see a lady shake it up!!!! Wow, this movie really really really omg REALLLYYY let me down.
So, Diana left her homeland to follow some spy man, whom she did not love (thank God) to save the world from the evil Ares! She got to London and was surrounded by men, apart from the spy’s secretary who was a little ditsy. At this point I was offended. Tell me I am taking things too seriously, but of all the movies to be androcentric they really had to choose Wonder WOMAN????? I get those times were dominated by men but the movie certainly could have gone beyond Wonder Woman being the only woman with agency. The underrepresentation of women was such a joke.
But, indeed there was another woman, the evil German doctor, who spoke English… At first, I thought this was to appeal to the audience’s laziness until Wonder Woman started speaking (I think it was) French and they added subtitles. From that point, the movie was condemned; this might honestly be the worst EVER Hollywood action movie I have seen. The evil doctor was indeed rather powerful and I liked that she was in charge despite her officially being a subordinate. So yeah, there were 2 powerful women and one ditsy secretary. Of course, I appreciate that the film was set in a WWI warzone, but it isn't like the movie is historically accurate anyway, more could have been done!
When Diana and her boys went over to Germany, I enjoyed watching men get behind and support a woman, especially given the state of gender relations back then. Then lots of action happened and Wonder Woman saved the world and her spy man gave his life to help her and then she cried. Because she fell in love with the man. It wouldn’t be Hollywood action if the female lead wasn’t attached to the male lead, would it? They couldn’t let us have just one movie where a woman does amazing things and saves the day and cried cos her FRIEND dies. No no, they just had to give Wonder Woman to the boys.
My blood boils, because these guys had a chance to make a movie that empowered women BEYOND the character of Wonder Woman, but instead the conformed to the misogynistic standards of that decrepit film industry. And they had the audacity to hold women only screenings for a movie dominated by, and frankly centred around, men (only men were on Wonder Woman’s mind: Ares and that spy guy). I defended those women only screenings because I thought the movie would really empower women and we should have an opportunity to celebrate a Hollywood action movie for us by ourselves. But it wasn’t for us at all, it was just another patriarchal Hollywood movie. A waste of my time and my friend’s time. So embarrassing that I actually made her watch it with me, she went to bed before it ended, it was a train wreck.
Plus, it was BORING as hell.
Thanks for reading, I do hope you enjoyed it!
PS, sorry if the movie facts are not 100%, I checked the one's I wasn't certain on but might have missed some stuff, forgive me and correct me xx