Other Media Review

Movie Review: Wonder Woman


This is as non-spoilery as I can make it, but there may be spoilers in the comments. If there’s interest, maybe we can put up a discussion post this weekend.

We are on the record as saying that we’ve been looking forward to Wonder Woman since Diana Prince was BY FAR the best part of Bats Vee Supes.  Anxiously. Not even patiently. Y’all, Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot did Diana justice, and there was heart and a plot and a fantastic guitar riff we first heard in Bats Vee Supes that should go on your “getting shit done” mix right now.

This is the origin story of Wonder Woman – Princess Diana of Themyscira, molded by clay by Queen Hippolyta of the Amazons and brought to life by Zeus. She trains as a warrior, and one day, a plane crashes off the coast of her island. Diana rescues the pilot, Steve Trevor (Chris Pine, marking movement on the Chris List), who tells them that the War to End All Wars is happening out in the world, and since the Amazons are supposed to be protecting humanity from Ares, the god of war, Diana’s like, “Fuck this, Ma, I gotta go.” She goes out and finds herself in the trenches – literally – of the Western Front, and finds her purpose while she tries to stop Ares from plunging humanity into war without end.

Diana, in her full Wonder Woman guise, striding across no mans land. It's a big deal, and she is very serious.

Let us take things in order: first, the plot. THERE IS ONE. There’s a reason the Amazons are on Themyscira.  There’s a reason that this movie is set during WWI. There’s a reason for every beat in the movie. You can have a big superhero movie and have a plot! I would like to stop settling for the idea that “well, it’s a summer action movie, why are you worried about plot?” BECAUSE WE ALL DESERVE TO HAVE PLOTS THAT WORK.

Gal Gadot: She’s perfect. She’s tall, and strong. Seeing Diana striding across no man’s land (“no man can cross that!” and Diana all but says, “Hold my beer”) was one of the highlights for me.

She’s funny and hits all of the marks of someone who’s educated but exceedingly sheltered taking a crash course in how the world works (shopping for real clothes is particularly a delight). I just loved every minute of it.

Steve stopping Diana dressed in a suit from grabbing her sword and shield and going out the door saying Yup that's not gonna work

Chris Pine: He knows full well this isn’t his movie, and he is FINE WITH THAT. The guy can have chemistry with a brick wall, but the delightful rapport between Pine and Gadot is GREAT. There are a few times where he needs saving, and a bunch more where his role in an action sequence is to support whatever Diana is doing. As a friend of mine said, “He’s not a doofus, he’s just outclassed.”

Once Steve Trevor figures out his place in all of this, he’s all in. He’s not the hero, he’s a sidekick. It’s his job to say, “Do not do this brave thing!” He’s there to support the female gaze (Do you know how much male nudity you can show and still get a PG13 rating? You will!).

I also liked how this guy who’s been fighting in WWI for four years is still playing it fairly happy-go-lucky, but you can tell that he has seen some shit, and he’s not actually okay. He is charming as fuck, though. Charming. As. Fuck.

Steve, Sameer, and the Scottish dude, all in various expressions of DIANA NO

All of the supporting players are well cast, as well. Connie Nielsen as Hippolyta, and Robin Wright as Antiope, Diana’s aunt who trains her in the arts of war, were particularly good. I get a little verklempt at the idea of Princess Buttercup preparing Princess Diana to go out into the world, I admit it.

Diana, bursting through a window shield first.

There are things that could have been done better. The lack of major players being Women of Color is one. Yes, the crew that Steve has to smuggle behind enemy lines is multi-cultural, but they’re all dudes. There are a number of Amazons who are WoC, and some of them even have enough lines to qualify for a SAG card, but they’re not really making any movement on the plot. I did like that it was clear that the Allied army wasn’t just a bunch of white dudes. But we can do better than this, we really can. We need Hollywood to do keep going and do more when it comes to diversifying casts.

What this movie makes clear is that Diana is protecting Mankind because of her heart. She believes that people are inherently good, despite having lost the way. It’s her job, and her calling. It’s love that drives her, and love that keeps her upright. We can all use a little love right now, and a soundtrack that keeps us going.

And to people who, when Gal Gadot’s casting was first announced, sniffed and said that she’ll “…never be my Wonder Woman!” I say that’s fine, she doesn’t have to be.

But she’s hers.

A very small girl in a wonder woman tutu looking up at a movie poster of gal godot as ww

And hers.

Gal Godot posing with a young girl in a wonder woman costume, arms crossed

And theirs.

The cast and director surrounded by small girls of different heights and colors all dressed as wonder woman.

Did you see Wonder Woman? What did you think?

Wonder Woman is in theaters now and tickets (US) are available at Fandango and Moviefone.

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  1. Darlynne says:

    Thank you and whew! I hesitated to read your review in case … you know. But it’s all the things and how I wish our theater had been brave like Alamo Drafthouses around the country because that would have been awesome. Can’t wait to see this because Plot! and Heart!

  2. Ellen says:

    Dude, in that No Man’s Land part, I *almost* wanted her to say that she wasn’t a Man before she wrecked shit.

  3. cleo says:

    I’m seeing this tonight. Very excited. I may have gotten tears in my eyes looking at those little wonder women photos. Awwwww.

  4. Overall, I enjoyed the movie, but I was also a bit disappointed.

    Gal Gadot and Chris Pine were really good, and Robin Wright was fierce. I enjoyed all the training/battle scenes with the Amazons, and the time in London, but the last 1/3 of the movie fell really flat for me.

    I wished we had gotten more of Etta Candy and Diana’s relationship with her. Etta going on the mission would have been great. And Diana’s choice at the end seemed to be more of a result of what Steve said to her, rather than her thinking back over all of the good/bad that she had seen of humanity so far. So I was also a bit disappointed by that (as well as the lack of a Lynda Carter cameo). I also wished that Diana would have talked a bit more about the good/bad in herself at the end. And I did not remember who the villain was supposed to be when he showed up.

    WW wasn’t a home run for me like some of the Captain America and other Marvel movies have been. I had the same problems with WW that I’ve had with the other DCEU movies, including way too much CGI. So I think the DC formula just doesn’t work as well for me as the Marvel one does.

    But it was great seeing WW on the big screen. Several folks in my theater were cheering at certain points (like during the trench scene when Diana is really WW for the first time). And I hope that WW paves the way for a Black Widow and other female superhero movies.

    I’m going to post a review on my Facebook page tomorrow, if anyone is interested: https://www.facebook.com/JenniferEstepAuthor/

  5. Msb says:

    I saw it last night and thought it was very good. Have to admit I tested up at those tough, brave Amazons riding, running and rappelling to denied their home. And Gadot & Pine are great. Solid casting all around, in fact. I love who Buttercup grew up to be.

  6. Christine says:

    I saw it yesterday and really loved it too. I was obsessed with the Lynda Carter version as a child and spent countless hours of my childhood fashioning homemade versions of her costume and running around with my (admittedly homely) Mego Wonder Woman doll. (If you ever become a celebrity only let Mattel or Jason Wu make your doll).

    I thought the movie was generally wonderful. Gal Gadot was perfect, Chris Pine was supportive yet strong and so so moving as Steve Trevor. Robin Wright was FIERCE as Antiope. As another review pointed out, when was the last time you saw a 50 year old woman commanding the screen as the fiercest warrior/General?

    Diana reminded me a bit of Chris Evans as Captain America/Steve Rogers in that you believe she is just intrinsicly good but it never comes off as cloying or too sweetly sentimental. (I will give Chris Evans the slight edge here as he is playing a poor orphan guy from NY who is tiny and bullied his whole life while still believing in good and trying to do right. Diana is the super gifted daughter of the Queen and the much beloved and only child on a perfect island. Having never personally known cruelty it’s easier for her to be optimistic).

    I highly recommend this movie and was really pleasantly surprised by all the men who were there at the showing I attended. I am an early bird and was pretty shocked for the first twenty minutes after I arrived I was The only woman. Men came together, they came separately then finally the male-female couples and women together came. I’m so happy it’s not just beeing seen as a “woman’s film” and that then men are coming to see a great action film!

  7. cayenne says:

    Thanks for the review, RHG!

    Christine said: when was the last time you saw a 50 year old woman commanding the screen as the fiercest warrior/General?

    Hoping we’ll see more of this in “The Last Jedi”…

  8. Emily A says:

    I loved this movie. I went in not knowing much about it or Wonder Woman (honestly didn’t know she was in Batman vs. Superman).
    Not only does it have a plot, but it has a lot of plot. AND IT MOVES. The movie never drags. Like there never seemed to be a moment where you were waiting for them to get end the scene and move forward. (Yes an action movies can drag.) The plot moved from thing to the next seemlessly and every time they changed it seemed effortless.

    The only things I wanted was more women in the WWI scenes. I also thought Linda Carter deserved a cameo. And I thought the words “mankind” were tossed around a lot.
    That being said I really loved Wonder Woman and Steve and the actors did a great job. The training was glorious. I felt the CGI was blended in well to the story if occasionally breaking it up visually.

  9. Francesca says:

    I was in a comic book store this morning (yes, I live across the road from a comic book store!) and the two guys who run the shop were talking to another male customer about it. Both were like, “Don’t spoil it, but…” It felt so good to hear 3 adult men so excited about this movie asking stuff like, “Do the Amazons do this?”

    I saw it last night and had a few, small quibbles, but, finally, we have the female hero comic book movie we’ve been waiting for. Also, Patty Jenkins will be back for number two!

  10. greennily says:

    I was waiting soooo haaard for this review! ‘Cause I loved the movie! And at this point I’m just having additional fun by reading all the positive reviews! And they are almost all positive!
    I hoped so much that this movie would be good. And it was a fantastic feeling – to not be disappointed. I’m grateful to people who did it just for that.
    Even though there is space for growth, as they call it, Wonder woman has so much energy, so much strength, she’s so passionate and the movie takes her seriously with all of that! It’s a miracle in blockbusters’ world.
    So now I want more movies like that! MORE! MORE! MORE!

  11. Quizzie says:

    I’m off to see it in half an hour. My mum bought me a Wonder Woman costume when I was six. If anything was in danger in our quiet cul-de-sac I would put it on and run off to rescue it. (Usually a bemused cat that needed an emergency petting). I’m all giddy to see the film.

  12. RT says:

    One small correction: the theme isn’t a guitar riff–it’s a cello. And cellist, Tina Guo, is a badass.


  13. Hope says:

    Saw it last night with my 10-year-old daughter and we LOVED IT!!!

  14. The Other Kate says:


    The dialogue between Diana and Chris was great, worthy of a true romance. I had no idea there could be conversations like that in a superhero movie! And the scene where she charges across No Man’s Land, then inspires others to follow her, was glorious. I kept thinking that THIS is what superheroes are all about. Diana is genuinely heroic. She rages, weeps, has flirtatious banter, and is a real three-dimensional person. The last action movie I liked this much was Fury Road, but Wonder Woman has far more plot and dialogue and general story. Highly recommend!

  15. Gigi says:

    Taking my girls to see it this week and leaving the boys at home for now. I grew up with the Linda Carter WW as my hero and wore out my WW underoos so the fact that this movie was made is doing so well makes my heart sing.

  16. Rebecca says:

    If it’s not a spoiler, how does the movie handle the whole “multicultural crew smuggled behind enemy lines” thing? Because while the Allied armies in WWI were NOT all white, they WERE segregated AF. The famous Harlem Hellcats had to fight like hell just to get INTO combat, and while they won medals and admiration, the US army definitely remained segregated. The British were so worried about “colonial” troops fighting against Europeans that they stationed West Indian volunteers on reserve duty in Egypt and only took lighter skinned volunteers for fighting units. I believe the French were relatively generous about using Senegalese troops as cannon fodder (if you call that generosity), but they were very much the exception. It was the Labour MP E.D. Morel who wrote the infamous pamphlet “Horror on the Rhine” protesting against the French use of Senegalese soldiers in Germany at the end of the war, because “bestial” Blacks were raping pure white German women and children. (The pamphlet is remembered now because the novelist and poet Claude McKay wrote an impassioned response. Otherwise it’s one of those pieces of history the British left would very much like to bury.) So while I’m all for representation in historical drama, I think you’d need to lampshade an interracial unit somehow, or else deal with it through the presumably naive perspective of Diana’s character, who would have no modern conception of “race” and would probably be legitimately puzzled by the whole idea.

    It’s tricky, because on the one hand it’s better to not white-wash history by making people of color invisible. On the other hand, implying that everything was integrated (except maybe in the Deep South of the US) and that things were just hunky-dory is another form of more insidious white-washing. I realize this is a fantasy film, so maybe that’s just part of the fantasy. But in a movie that tries to deal with good and evil….I’m not sure. Does anyone who’s seen it have thoughts?

  17. ChefCheyanne says:

    As little guuurrl geek who loved comic books I remembering hiding them to read&enjoy. Sososo glad this one–my total favorite!!–turned out so good and CANNOT wait to see it. Kudos to all! xxoocf

  18. Ren says:

    Going to see it tomorrow! Whee!

  19. Belle Benson says:

    OMG I loved it! I loved everything about Themyscira, I loved all those strong ladies, doing all the strong lady stuff. (I seriously need to get to the gym) Robin Wright, next to Gal, nailed it to the wall! Honestly a stunning unexpected (and too short) performance. Gal as Diana was life giving, I will always have a place in my heart for Linda Carter, but Gal is the WonderWoman we need. Chris Pine, was a delight as the heroine, and that too was a excellent, generous, performance (and damn that boy’s eyes) he really did let Diana hero the crap out of all the things.

    Now lets talk about the fight Choreography. The fighting style they gave WonderWoman, was just glorious, the spinning kicking, lasso wielding, bullet deflecting, shield foo, and tank punching. She kicked all the ass, with all the style

    Sadly I did not like the “hit” song for the movie. Love the soundtrack, but the Sia song didn’t really steep my tea.

    So when are we booking our trip to Themyscira

  20. Crystal F. says:

    YAY! It gets the SBTB Stamp of Approval!

    (I hate being so far away from a movie theater.)

  21. Joy says:

    My husband and I saw it last night and really liked it. Neither of us are much for superhero movies and getting through the previews for one after another after another summer blow-em-up movies was a pain. They were so LOUD and you would think it was smellovision from the testosterone coming off the screen. What a relief the Amazon island was after that. Some of those women were really fierce looking and seeing kick-ass women of color was great.

    A PLOT, yes a PLOT! It was somewhat thin but way more than expected. I got a little tired of the length of the final battle with Aries but I guess 10-20 year old boys need something in a big budget movie. Me, I loved the clothes. The clothes shopping scenes as Diane tried to move in a skirt were fun.

    Everybody go see this so we get more movies by women movie makers. Hollywood only cares about money making so lets vote for this with our movie ticket purchases.

  22. Lostshadows says:

    Just got home from seeing it. It was great. It even brought me to tears a couple of times without feeling manipulative about it.

    The thing that did bug me was that nobody, even in the background, seemed to have the flu. There was a bit of a outbreak at the end WWI. (Yeah, yeah. Summer blockbuster. Comic book movie.)

  23. Crystal says:

    I saw it yesterday with the family. The girlyspawn and I were both wearing Wonder Woman shirts. We fangirl like so.

    I loved it. I can unreservedly say that it is probably one of the best comic book movies I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen a lot of them. What was interesting was that, depending on what part of the movie you were in, it hit a lot of different genres. At different points, it was a war epic, a romance, a badass action film, and a charming period comedy. I straight up teared up when she strode into No Man’s Land, and started wrecking shit. And I know why. It sounds silly, but the badass female heroines when I was growing up? Few, and far between. I was an adolescent when Dana Scully came along, and had graduated high school already when Buffy hit the scene. Yeah, there was Leia, but she never got to fight with a lightsaber. But Diana was always there, and she was always getting it done. It is a crime that it took this long for Diana to get on the screen. My daughter is growing up with so many badass female role models, and I love it (and Wonder Woman is probably her favorite, but she loves the hell out of Kara Zor-El, Rey, Barbara Gordon, and Gamora too). But better late than never, and better now, and have it done well, than someone do a half-assed version. I loved Gal, I loved Chris, and I need more Lucy Davis, but I figure we’ll see more of her in the next film. Because we know there is going to be one.

  24. Heather Greye says:

    We saw it last night because I wanted my $ to be counted for opening to say FU, a female superhero movie can make $ and because I couldn’t wait any longer.

    I loved it. Like others have mentioned, she was fierce and smart and naive and amazing. The Amazons were AMAZING and Robin Wright rocked! The music from the no mans land scene almost made me cry on its own.

    It reminded me of the first Captain America movie – it had heart and a plot and was about the characters more than the action.

  25. J says:

    I agree! It was a lot of fun! Frankly, I liked it a lot better than the first Captain America and both Thor movies.

    My only complaints were that some of the battle scenes made too much use of animation and that I wish we’d seen a bit more of Doctor Poison.

  26. Katie C. says:

    My mom, mother-in-law, husband and I saw WW today. I liked it, but mom, MiL and Mr. Katie C. LOVED it like to the point that my mom and MiL were crossing their arms WW-style and making fighting sounds when we got home – so cute! I loved Gal Gadot – she was awesome and I thought the villain was perfect too. For spoiler r reasons, I can’t say the part I didnt like but I am sure if I was into comic books, I would have already known that part going in. Highly recommended!

  27. Emily A says:

    @Rebecca I would say the movie deals with your concerns (not telling how) in a way that deals with the reality of the way women and PoC were dealt with back then. I don’t want to say more, because hopefully people will see it for themselves.
    I will say it’s not too historically accurate in that it’s a super hero movie where she has supernatural abilities and they affect the plot.
    I recommend seeing this movie. I was sitting in a theater with people of many races (black, hispanic, white, and maybe others?) and everyone around me said they loved it as we were leaving the theater.

  28. Ellen says:

    I absolutely felt like compared to some movies it was making a real effort to include POC, which shouldn’t be so remarkable, but here we are.

  29. Brussel Sprout says:

    I reviewed with spoilers here http://www.thatreadingwritingthing.com/home/2017/6/3/wonder-woman-spoilers.html.

    I really liked it up to a point. I would likely rewatch this over other superhero movies because Gadot’s action scenes were brilliant, but there were clunky cheesy bits that did irritate me. Thought Chris Pine was terrific, and I definitely want more Etta.

  30. Linda says:


    I ADORED this flick. It was fun, yet full of heart. I loved how important Steve was without being made the hero – I mean they didn’t make it secretly about the guy. He was totally her supporting character – and yet at the end his sacrifice was totally earned, which in turn made Diana’s change of attitude totally earned. Gal Gadot was stunning in every sense of the word – not just beautiful, but strong and smart and funny and all the good things.

    And can we have a moment for Lucy Davis’ Etta? OMG, loved her so much! And Sameer and the rest of the gang were incredible. Like, they were supporting characters but they clearly had an inner life, their own motivations, their own stories only the edges of which we got in this movie. They weren’t just there to showcase Diana.

    5 thumbs up, 10 stars, going to see it again soon!

  31. jimthered says:

    I thought it was a great superhero movie: strong plot (even if I guessed the two “surprises” early on), great action (I even liked the slow motion moments), and terrific cast. Full review at http://thearmchaircritic.blogspot.com/2017/06/wonder-woman.html


    Literally the ONLY reason I went to see it last night was because it’s about a woman kicking ass. Dear Hollywood: You got my money AND my ass in a theater seat BECAUSE! IT’S! A! SUPERHEROINE! Take note.

    Though, I do have a question for peeps who’ve seen the flick!



    Ok so, someone riddle me this; Why did Steve have to die? I mean, other than the obvious “Diana totes needed a super strength charge to defeat Ze Bad Guy?” Like, he had control of the plane. Couldn’t he have…you know…JUST LANDED THE PLANE!!?!?!?!

    Hub seems to remember the movie saying something about the gas being on a timer, so…was that why? If he landed the plane, it’d still have gone ‘splodey?

  33. Linda says:


    Jacqueline – it was on a timer and would have gone off wherever they landed. He figured out that if he blew up the plane/burned up the gas it’d keep it from killing people.

  34. Ariadna says:

    @Rebecca The integration in Steve’s team is pretty much handwaved. I got the sense that the general chaos of the war ~distracted~ anyone in charge from asking Steve why he’s hanging out with POCs.

    I don’t recall any other POCs in the fight scenes (aside from the Amazons who were WOC in Themyscira.)

  35. Ariadna says:

    I lurved this movie to bits. My quibbles (MORE ETTA!! MORE ETTA + DIANA HANGING OUT!!!) were surprisingly few.

    As a matter of fact, the only thing that bothered me about the show I went to was that the audience was super quiet. I’m thinking that a lot of the people weren’t sure whether to trust that this was going to be a good movie or not?

    For those who haven’t seen this movie, please keep in mind that it does showcase some of the grimmest parts of war.

    In the end, I totally *_____* at Diana and cried a lot of happy (HELL, YEAH TO DIANA’S KICKASSERY!!) tears and a few sad ones too. A+ movie and a must see for every woman. 😀

  36. Sabrina says:

    – Spoilery comment –

    I loved this movie!! It felt like a religious experience. It’s also just top notch quality – a great plot that moves, a killer soundtrack, excellent cast and good script. It is violent in a way that we don’t often see in superhero movies, where whole cities are smashed, but no one person is ever hurt by the hero. Spoiler alert, Diana kills people, and she pretty much takes it in stride because she’s a warrior and she’s trained her whole life to fight. She’s drawn to battle, she’s talented at it and she’s not scared. But she’s also never blind to the cost of violence and is motivated (to fight) by a desire to protect people. I like that it’s complicated.

  37. HelenM says:

    Just got home from it, and I absolutely adored it. THIS is the Wonder Woman I wanted, needed to see. I welled up multiple times, always the sign of a good film in my book.

    I had a few quibbles, but I will hand wave them, because the film was that good. The only one I won’t forgive is the lack of shout out to Gail Simone, although I know that Patty Jenks has aknowledged the debt this film owes to Simone. Simone’s Diana is my Diana, and this felt like her.

    Keep faith.
    Trust to love.
    Fight with honour.
    But fight to win.

  38. Ann T says:

    I saw it and quite enjoyed it for all the reasons you said in the review. Watching WW do the right thing was so empowering.

    The only thing I didn’t like was the battle at the end when WW was just too…much. With all she did before, I didn’t think they needed her to do some of the things she did (like fly).

    As far as her doing what she did for love, I totally agree. Someone mentioned that she didn’t come through until Steve said what he did but while she was disheartened, she watched those three friends hugging each other while they waited for death and that reminded her of the love, the heart, she had for life. That’s what I got out of it. Very poignant and fabulous.

  39. My household saw the movie on Saturday night, and while I had some small quibbles with it, what quibbles I had were small indeed. I otherwise adored the hell out of this film.

    I teared up twice during the movie. Chris Pine is now certainly my favorite of the small sample set of versions of Steve Trevor I’ve seen. And most importantly, Gal Gadot was a complete delight to watch, from start to finish. <3

  40. Patricia M. says:

    The NYT reviewer had a very good point when he wrote that, because of where and how she grew up, Diana never sees herself as lesser than a man or restricted in what she can do. It is wonderful to see such an attitude and belief in herself. As someone who has fought a long time to be taken seriously in a formerly almost exclusively male profession, having to fight the limiting views you absorb without knowing it growing up, as well as to fight the outside world just doubles the effort it takes to succeed. Women growing up now I hope have fewer limits internalized, but I know it is still an issue.

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