Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Wonder Woman, 2017

Ever since I was a small boy, I have been a fan of superheroes.  I have read and purchased comics for close to 50 years now and have watched everything from television series, to old movie serials. animation and theatrical releases for as long as I can remember. With all of that as a backdrop, I have to say, I have just seen, what is in my opinion, my favorite superhero movie ever, Wonder Woman.

Wonder Woman is in many ways a testament to the power and potential of women, from the story to the terrific direction provided by Patty Jenkins, this movie is a tour de force of story, power and beyond that, the potential for all people, be they male or female. It is also a terrific testament to the power of love and the necessity at times of tough decisions that while they may not appear as love, are needed to bring about the potential of love to overcome hate.

Wonder Woman starts in a contemporary time which has Wonder Woman reflecting over an old photo. From that point, the movie goes to the origins of Wonder Woman and her involvement in helping win World War 1.  During this timeframe we see glimpses of Wayne Enterprises, (a part of the Bruce Wayne (AKA Batman) and her own history, origins and so forth. The movie does a terrific job of weaving these time frame issues into the story and we don't return to the present again until the end of the movie when we see her writing an email to Bruce Wayne. It becomes clear, this is a set up for future movies and her introduction into The Justice League which will bring DC characters together to fight crime in much the same way we saw with characters from Marvel in The Avengers.

Gal Gadot plays the lead as Wonder Woman. This Israeli actress has been featured in other movies such as the Fast and the Furious series but for all practical purposes this is her first lead in a major motion picture as the primary actor. This former Ms. Israel is terrific in this role. Not only is she easy to look at, she is a terrific actress who handles all of the difficulties of the role to a tee. Chris Pine, her co-star plays the part of Steve Trevor. Trevor is a character who has a tendency to go rogue at times in order to do what is right. The chemistry between Gadot and Pine is not only entertaining , but at times, comical and romantic. Both actors play their parts wonderfully.

The movies plot is terrific, there is a wonderful score and sound track and as expected the special effects are terrific, but what I wasn't quite expecting was terrific cinematography in the film. The cinematography at times mirrors art you may expect from a museum and is more beautiful than many would expect in a movie like this. After all, movies like this are normally all about action, forget story and imagery except for some of the special effects, yet, on all fronts, Wonder Woman delivers a package that should thrill movie goers of all types, whether they like superhero movies or not.

Among the things I most appreciated about Wonder Woman was the terrific imagery and story   All through the movie there are references that one can see not only social significance, whether it be the role of women and the advancement of women's rights over the years, to even spiritual, where we even see Wonder Woman as a Messiah figure. We see images of her in what are called crucifixion scenes.  This is nothing new though, those crucifixion scenes are prevalent in many superhero stories and comics, including Wonder Woman. We also see terrific examples of sacrifice, sacrifice that involves the giving of one's life. I was reminded of the verse in the Bible that states:  "The greatest way to show love for friends, is to die for them."  John 15:13.  In that message of loving and serving others, comes in many ways what I see as the greatest message of the movie, Wonder Woman.

In Wonder Woman we see the power of hate, yet, we also see the power of love. It is in the willingness to come together that we see the ability to bring about change. That power comes from the collective of all involved to do what is right, while at the same time, to allow each individual within the collective to use their strengths, or as described in the movie, just as it is in the Bible, their gifts. While we see Wonder Woman struggle with the evils of war, we also see her recognizing that there are times to take action to bring about the change that may be needed. In that ability to bring about change, she understands how to bring people together and to recognize and acknowledge the gifts that each person has. We see a powerful message here that is relevant in today's world, especially with the political hatred that seems to exist.

In Wonder Woman we see that love for the whole includes involving people coming together to accomplish good. This is especially needed when so much evil exists. Of course it is not always easy to look at and determine what one believes to be evil but as is illustrated in this movie, when there are those that seek to destroy anything good, then differences have to be overcome to fight that which is, evil. It is in the coming together that we reverse the concept from evil to live. We can only live when we come together, yet we so often become so preoccupied with the things around us, our individual desires, that we forget about the needs of the collective. When and if self becomes so important that we ignore the need to come together to accomplish good then we only contribute to the evil around us. From a contemporary perspective, I couldn't help but think while watching this, what if the Trump haters, the Hillary haters, the Obama haters, the whatever haters came together to bring about good in what ways they can as opposed to continuing to find reasons to hate.

I will reiterate, Wonder Woman was for me in a surprising way, the best superhero movie I have seen. That isn't to put others down, but it is to say this is one terrific film. One I fully expect to see again, and again over the years to come. 

There are few films I consider virtually perfect but this film accomplishes that purpose for me. For the number of letters there are in the word incredible, I give this incredible film on a scale of 1 - 10 a 10.

To see the trailer for Wonder Woman, just click on the following video, if the video doesn't appear, click on the link.

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