Tuesday, July 18, 2017

I Am The Very Last Person In The World To See...

And so I did.  Hot and muggy evenings, along with a need to get out of air conditioning that you're paying for, will do that to a person.

I was genuinely startled when "Wonder Woman" opened on Memorial Day weekend.   Every time I went into Facebook, another friend was posting how much they loved the movie.  Was there a big groundswell for this DC Comics character?   I must admit to knowing very well about the story.   I remember very little of the TV show except that Lynda Carter used to twirl around and end up wearing some costume that looked like the old logo for "Love American Style."

After the hordes had already checked it out, a toasty apartment was the impetus for me to see what all the hubbub was about.

And I'm still a little confused.  

Okay, don't get me wrong.   I know what some of the attraction is.   You have a female super hero and another glass ceiling has been shattered.  I get it.   Perhaps that end of Hollywood is catching up to Disney and Pixar where every cartoon has featured a girl character for perhaps the last twenty years.   And I'm sure attention was drawn to "Wonder Woman" because a big action flick was being directed by a woman, Patty Jenkins.   Well, kudos to her.  She's the friend of a good pal of mine and apparently deserves every ounce of success that is coming her way.  Not that she'll take any of my calls.   She's probably not even taking my friend's call any more.

So, "Wonder Woman" arrives on the scene with all this pre-hype and I salute all those involved for all those reasons.

I just wish I had liked the damn thing.   Because, frankly, "Wonder Woman" is a movie in search of a single genre.   Seriously, at any given moment, it looks like a completely different film.

It starts on some deserted island inhabited by nothing bu Amazon women warriors and I don't mean the kind with 2-day delivery.  We meet little Diana, fierce fighter in training with some bracelets that stop bullets and are obviously in high demand on the Home Shopping Network.   Now, if you're like me, you're wondering how a child can come to exist on an island with nothing but females.   This bugged me for about 40 minutes until the screenwriters had the common courtesy to explain it three reels later.

Well, Diana grows into an adult as played by Gal Gadot (gee, what a clever acting name) and she's the next best gladiator on the island.   But, pilot Steve Trevor (played by Chris Pine and he's the best thing in the movie) crash lands his plane when he is chased by some Germans.   Leave some bread crumbs around this blog entry so you can follow me.

The Big Kahuna of female warriors is played by Robin Wright, but she falls like a house of cards early but not before sending Diana off to slay Aries whoever the hell he or she is.  Before you can say Lyle Waggoner (he was Steve Trevor on the TV show), we're off to London and fighting Germans prior to WWI.   Jeez, this chick gets around.   At one point, there's a lavish ball and I think we've arrived at Downton Abbey.  I was hoping that Michelle Dockery would show up because her Lady Mary could really kick Wonder Woman's ass.

The cutesy-poo romantic comedy scenes between Diana and Trevor work, but also point out the large ravine in acting chops between the two leads.   Chris Pine played it light and tongue-in-cheek because he knew he was doing nothing but reacting to comic book dialogue.   The less-nuanced Gal Gadot, however, approached her portrayal with every trick she ever learned at the Anvil Acting Academy.   Everything with her is so serious you would think she was on her second callback for the lead in "The Glass Menagerie."  But, that's what happens when your main goal is to destroy Aries, who is apparently as detestable as Donald Trump Jr..

Like all movies produced in 2017, "Wonder Woman" is about 45 minutes too long but the extra screen time is needed to shoehorn in even more film genres. A lot of shit is blown up, so that's a shout out to Quentin Tarantino.   At one point during the seemingly eternal finale, you think Luke Skywalker is doing battle with Darth Vader.   And, then to cap everything off, the last scene looks like it was stolen from the final ten pages of the next Transformers sequel.  Can we pick a direction and stay with it please?

Look, I'm fine with all the inroads made by "Wonder Woman."  I just wish the shattered glass ceiling hadn't fallen as shards into the unsuspecting eyes of movie goers like me.

If you loved "Wonder Woman," good for you.   I didn't and that's what makes movies great.  

LEN'S RATING:  Two stars.

Dinner last night:  Leftover spare ribs.

1 comment:

Leotalian said...

Nothing in the movie promos interested me at all so I haven't seen the movie. Kudos to you
You made it clear in your review that this was a movie you wanted to like but didn't. Regardless, the summary at the end of the blog stating "wish the shattered glass ceiling had fallen as shards" left me wondering what cleverness was intended. Was "had" supposed to be "hadn't"?