Wonder Woman

ww2

In this — the age of the Hollywood Heroine — we are making effervescent strides on our journey to unanimous feminism. People are waking up to the idea that maybe, just maybe, women are of equal value and importance to men. What a concept! That is why we need female leads to ditch the damsel in distress role and charge headlong into the fray.

Now, more than ever, women have stopped taking “no” for an answer. Wonder Woman could not have come at a better time, but the ball has been catastrophically dropped. The subject matter of the comics reflects the era in which they were created. That should have been updated for the times, and it wasn’t. I’ll explain later.

Diana, AKA Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) was sculpted from clay and given life from Zeus, the God of Sky and Thunder. As a little girl living on Themyscira — an island secreted away for the protection of its inhabitants — Diana spends her days admiring the combat skills of her fellow Amazons. Her mother, Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielson), has forbidden her to have any formal training, but aunts are around to spoil kids with things their mothers won’t let them have. General Antiope (Robin Wright) is not only a cool aunt, but she sees the necessity for Diana to learn how to defend not only herself, but their pristine paradisiacal home from the ever-present threat of Ares, the God of War.

giphy

When a German plane plows through their force field and into the crystal clear water below carrying a dashing pilot by the name of Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), Diana rushes to his aid. He only has moments to marvel at her perfect face before German soldiers burst their bubble and storm the beach.

Steve fights with the Amazons to ward off the onslaught only to be left the subject of an interrogation.

After a thorough Lasso-of-Truthing, he reveals the nature of his business and Diana learns of World War I and decides she’s going to end it. Together, the two venture to London where Steve will deliver highly sensitive information to the Supreme War Council that could save thousands of lives. With Supreme War Councilman Sir Patrick Morgan’s (David Thewlis) monetary blessing and his recruits — a spy named Sameer and a marksman named Charlie (Saïd Taghmaoui and Ewen Bremner, respectively) — Steve and Diana will work together to stop apocalyptic events from unfolding.

giphy1

I mentioned earlier that the source material that the movie is based on is wildly outdated. I’ve voiced my concerns to comic book traditionalists who’ve explained to me that movies rarely deviate from their origins. However, I feel this movie could have greatly benefited from doing so.

Starting with the gratuitous focus on how beautiful Diana is. Yes, she is breathtakingly lovely, but that should not be so ubiquitous. Everyone she meets is just taken with her. I hear that’s how it was in the comics, but it becomes pretty tedious. It mimics Barbie culture in that it projects a beauty standard that is nearly impossible to live up to.

One particularly wretch-worthy scene in which Steve is buying her an outfit to, and I quote, “make her less… distracting,” he searches the shop for an item that will help her appear more homely. He ultimately reaches for a pair of glasses.

Excuse me?

I understand that Clark Kent wore glasses as a disguise and it’s supposedly a nod to that. I vehemently disagree. She wears them for a total of about 2 minutes before they fly off and are smashed by her boot in combat. Utterly pointless and likely heartbreaking to any bespectacled kids.

I also didn’t need Chris Pine completely nude, cupping his junk. I wanted to take my 13-year-old niece to see this and I’m relieved that I didn’t. Call me prude, but these movies draw a younger audience. I certainly could have done without the love story as well. It felt wholly unnecessary. So much of this felt like filler in place of what could have been a more substantial plot.

The argument has been made to me over and over again, when I’ve expressed my disdain for Wonder Woman, that people were simply aghast at this movie because so many other DC movies, well, suck. So is all of the hype legitimate? Or are fans just happy because this movie was better than certain other DC films? Is Wonder Woman a great film… in comparison to crappier pictures?

As a cinephile, a woman, and a non-comic book reader, I am underwhelmed

Ultimately, the message of the movie is that love conquers all. I don’t mean to be a wet blanket and bum everybody out, but there are tragically missed opportunities here. This is new territory — a female superhero film — and the waters are choppy. Perhaps, given some time, the franchise will move in a more progressive direction. For now, I’ll just be over here wearin’ glasses and kickin’ ass.

ww1

 

 

Advertisements

47 Meters Down

MV5BNDk5NzM2MzItZjljOC00MTc1LWEwYzctNjU2NTg5YTY1MjY5XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNjU2NzkzOTc@._V1_

It would seem that every year, Hollywood tries to instill in us the fear that the original Summer Blockbuster did. You know I’m talkin’ about Jaws. We get movies like Shark Night, The Shallows, Deep Blue Sea, Sharknadoes 1-4, and the classic Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus, wherein, a huge Great White bites the Golden Gate Bridge. Apologies if that was a spoiler.

8facbfb7578b2e5ce9f13c4659f06b66_8268

 

See?

These films partake in the same time-honored tradition that still draws gore-hungry fans to the theater; they’re all about wildly aggressive sharks with the shared modus operandi of terrorizing beaches, boats, and, sometimes, even outer space.

I very rarely — if ever — include spoilers in any of my reviews. That said, there will be a light dusting of them here. I will not include anything that could possibly ruin the movie-going experience for you, because that’s simply not possible with this film.

Lisa (Mandy Moore) and her sister, Kate (Claire Holt), are on vacation in Mexico. Lisa was supposed to be there with her boyfriend, Stuart, but as it is swiftly unveiled, he split because she was “too boring.”

Now that you know literally everything you need to about the back story, let’s get right to the good stuff. There isn’t much, so bear with me.

After Lisa’s harrowing revelation about her breakup, Kate suggests the two go dance the pain away. They meet a couple of tall, dark, and handsome locals. The guapos invite them for a shark cage dive with their illegitimate outfit that includes but is not limited to:

  • a floating apparatus that one might call a boat
  • a rusted over cage that is a series of tetanus shots waiting to happen
  • crew that address the girls’ very valid concerns by calling them gringas while they very illegally chum the waters

Captain Taylor (Matthew Modine) — a maybe bad guy — gives a quick lesson on SCUBA since nobody really checked to see if they were trained outside of someone asking, “You guys have been diving before, right?” to which the girls reply by side-eyeing one another before nodding and smiling.

3FCC32CD00000578-0-image-m-120_1493616534699

Lisa’s apprehension to enter the cage is quelled by her sister’s excitement, and the two venture into the waters below against her better judgement. Once submerged, Lisa is taken by the Deep Blue SEAnery, while Kate’s cheerful demeanor spirals downward into panic.

A rattly ruckus from atop the cage spooks the sisters, and Taylor’s voice comes over their headsets. He announces he’ll be bringing them back up with worry in his voice.

Are you sitting down? Because you are not going to believe what happens next.

The winch holding the cage up breaks and they fall. Now, I’m sure you’re probably wondering how far they fell. I was pretty curious myself. Seemed like a long way. Turns out, it was 47 Meters Down that they sank. Do you know how I know that? Because they say it. A lot. I’m daft, so I appreciate the repetition. I can’t be expected to watch for sharks and remember what movie I’m watching.

Once at the bottom, Lisa and Kate discover that the walkie-talkie system in their helmets is just out of reach from Taylor on the boat. Apparently 47 Meters Down is just enough Meters Down to have to leave the friendly confines of their rusty tomb to swim far enough toward the surface and communicate that they didn’t die yet.

47-Meters-Down-review

For the next hour or so, Lisa and Kate will both take turns leaving the cage for various reasons. Eventually, they’ll obtain a new winch, almost escape, and drop again due to some flimsy rope.

The second time they fell, the theater erupted in laughter.

A few highlights:

  • Lisa swimming somewhere to do something, very nearly becoming shark food, and uttering the phrase, “The shark almost got me”
  • Kate trying to lift Lisa’s spirits while they sit at the bottom of the ocean, running out of breathable air, by saying, “On the bright side, imagine if Stuart could see you now”
  • Lisa getting her leg stuck under the cage the second time they fall and eventually shooting herself in the hand with a spear gun

47-meters-down-social

Ladies and gentlemen, I won’t spoil the end of the movie for you. I’d never do that. That said, I’m pretty sure M. Night Shyamalan came in to direct the last 8 minutes of this because there is a twist. Oh, buddy, is there ever a twist.

All in all, my disdain for shark related films stems from their inability to showcase a shark in its natural habitat just doing shark stuff. They’ve always gotta be these monsters, and they’re not. Truth be told, sharks are the ones in danger, not us. But that’s another story for a different day.

The film had shoddy dialogue, a shaky plot, and too much tetanus for me. Not only did these dingbats get on a boat with strangers after lightly mulling over the possibility of being murdered, one of them drops the camera and the other can’t hold onto a flare to save her life. Literally. So, this movie should be call The Butterfinger Sisters and should be about dropping the ball in every conceivable way.