A lot of times these days, I think a movie is okay while I’m watching it. But then after the leaving the theater and pondering it afterwards, I realize what empty calories it was.
Wonder Woman is the exact opposite.
To be sure, I really enjoyed it while it was ongoing, but wasn’t sure it quite lived up to the hype of its reviews. But as I began thinking back on it I found myself liking it more and more, and now wanting to see it again.
The movie has a powerful message. A powerful Biblical message, actually, although that is likely unintentional given the pagan Greek mythology it’s steeped in.
However, the villain Ares is essentially Satan. He teaches Diana human nature may be capable of great things but it is not basically good. We are easily temptable, despite the fact we’re made in God’s image, for we wanna be.
A lesson that undermines one of the core tenants of progressivism, which is that human beings are basically good. Diana naively believes this at first, but learns otherwise. Then she also learns the only true antidote to the darkness inside of us, which is modeled by the Christ-like gesture of another.
Along the way there is truly empowering femininity in the film, and the fight scenes are really well done. Yes, it depicts racial/ethnic/gender social injustices that were considered normal at the time. Yet it also shows the real reason for these injustices isn’t some lack of enlightenment but rather — as Diana herself says — all of us “have been corrupted.” In other words, Diana acknowledges that all are like sheep and have gone astray.
The movie also does an excellent job with Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor, in that it manages to let Diana be the feminine hero without diminishing his masculinity. Unlike the post-modern take on gender role-reversal that occurred in Iron Man 3.
The best thing I can say about Wonder Woman is it’s a movie with heart. She’s not the hero we deserve, but the hero we need.
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