The Wheel and Axle

The Wonder Woman, Part 3: Get Us Out From Under

by on Jun.09, 2017, under Film & TV, Geeky, Queer

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Continued From:

The Wonder Woman, Part 2: Stop A War With Love

*** SPOILERS ***

Despite how much I loved Wonder Woman, there were still a few things I didn’t quite like. Mostly minor, to be fair, but could’ve been better in these areas.

1. Etta was severely under-utilized. In many ways, Etta is Wonder Woman’s Jimmy Olsen. However, she is so much more. Aside from a couple of periods wherein she was unused, she was even more actively involved in Diana’s heroics across varied interpretations (sorority girl, lounge singer, soldier). So it was sad that her role was significantly diminished.

Don’t get me wrong: Lucy David’s Etta was one of my favorites in the movie. But that’s also it – we didn’t get to see her as much as we should have. I had high hopes when Etta was assigned to coordinate the mission, but all we got of that was a short scene where she was on the phone with Steve. We needed more Etta! I hope they find a way to have her time travel to the present and be in the sequel. Kicking some ass. Woo woo!

2. As my prior speculations indicate, I really wanted Ludendorff to be revealed as classic WW baddie The Duke of Deception, one of Ares’ agents. It would’ve been a treat. That said, I understand why they didn’t go that route. It would not have aligned with the theme of humanity being responsible for their choice to do good or evil if the antagonist directly driving destruction were a supernatural entity.

Still, Dr. Poison was already there, and she would’ve fulfilled the “corrupted human” aspect nicely. Then again, having two “whisperers” could be deemed redundant. Oh, well.

3. I think David Thewlis as Ares was a terrible miscast. Oh, he was definitely perfect as Sir Patrick, and David Thewlis is a master thespian. However, when transformed into Ares, he didn’t “click” for me because underneath the helmet was still… Sir Patrick. Who just doesn’t exude the aura of a Greek god, especially not the god of war. It would’ve been better if they had just shrouded Ares’ face in the dark under the helmet (ala Perez version) and had David just do motion capture and voice. I generally saw not Ares but Sir Patrick. Or Remus Lupin.

Also, Ares’ armor seemed a little clunky. But that’s fine.

4. There was no “Contest.” The traditional WW origin has Diana competing in a contest against her fellow Amazons to become their champion who would go into Man’s World. I understand that they likely decided against this to streamline the story. It would surely have added a good amount of screen time to have a Contest sequence. Still, it is a pivotal part of her origin, in my opinion, as it showed that she was truly the best among the best of the Amazons. That said, the film origin does have precedent – the “steal the weapons and armor” alternative was used as her origin in the JLU animated universe.

5. Using the Zeus-as-father New 52 origin is just truly awful. This is only my true major complaint, and I can go on and on in probably a separate full article just to completely discuss why this is just a slap in the face of the WW mythos. Suffice it to say that from the very beginning, Diana’s clay origin was such because it was a feminist commentary: that this was a woman whose spirit and source was independent of a man.

However, the movie not only makes Zeus her father, but it also diminishes every other female deities traditionally involved in Diana’s creation. Or in the creation of the Amazons. Not only are there no goddesses directly named, the whole conflict was basically Zeus vs. Ares. The destinies of these Amazons were basically being shaped by two men – which is antithetical to the roots of Wonder Woman.

I doubt comic book Hippolyte or Antiope would be happy.

Additionally, I never liked Diana being a demigod or a god. Although an immortal Amazon with powers, she was still human – and her story was always of human empowerment, that we can achieve power if we strive for it. That’s not so easy to push if you’re a god who is basically powerful to begin with.

Of course, none of these affected my over-all view and love for the movie. It’s still the best superhero movie ever in my book right now, and Wonder Woman did manage to “get me out from under” the few things I didn’t like.

Continued In:

 The Wonder Woman, Part 4: Stop A Bullet Cold

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