A Tiny Flaw in Wonder Woman Can’t Take Away The Movie’s Greatness!

Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman 2017


Wonder Woman may be the best superhero film of the year.  That’s saying a lot because this is also the year of Logan and Guardians of the Galaxy 2.  Nevertheless, I’ll stand by this idea because it’s done what’s never been done before.  Yes, we finally have a successfully done female superhero movie!

The Greatness of Wonder Woman

I wasn’t going to do a review of Wonder Women because so many people have said it already.  You can read many articles about women crying during the fight scenes – especially during that powerful scene of Wonder Woman in No Man’s Land.  (For the record, yes I teared up as well.) According to director Patty Jenkins, that sequence was nearly cut by by the suits at Warner Brothers.

I love that story, because it shows the sharp understanding Jenkins has of building a character’s story in a visual way.  Diana Prince fully embracing her power as Wonder Women was a deliberate decision.  When she sees what needs to be done for those people, she steps up into her full power to so.

The scene is breathtaking.  Nothing forces her to this but her sense of justice and concern for the unfortunate civilians.  Her utter confidence and determination is something all people would like to have.

If all Wonder Woman had going for it was that scene, it would be worth it.  However, Jenkins has shattered the idea that a woman can’t direct a 100 million dollar blockbuster. Wonder Women has done well critically and financially.  With a 228.3 million dollar world-wide take for its opening weekend, Wonder Woman more than made back that 150 million budget and it exceeded it’s own good projections.  It’s expected to dominate the box office this weekend as well.

Another thing I particularly appreciated about Wonder Woman is best expressed by this review: To All The Little Dianas Of The World, Stop Hiding.  Author Shana Lieberman discusses the fact that Wonder Woman teaches girls it’s okay to like being physically strong and that there’s nothing wrong, “in enjoying kicking some ass every now and then.” Amen!

Here’s a real-life antecedent of that phenomenon occurring.  I went to see Wonder Woman with my film-buff buddy Roy. Upon leaving the theater, he pointed out several little girls coming out doing the Wonder Woman pose!

Wonder Woman

The One Tiny Flaw in Wonder Woman

Was there anything about the movie that bugged me?  Well…there was one thing.  I know there’s been some talk about whether the casting of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman was right or not.  Personally, I thought she did fine.  The only unfortunate casting I wish were different was that on the isle of the Amazons they gave young Diana a black nanny.

In the D.C. Comics universe, the “nanny” is Philippus.  She is traditionally black – and also the captain of the guards who ends up training the young princess.  In the film world of Wonder Women the captain of the guards and trainer of Diana is Diana’s aunt, Antiope (Robin Wright).  (Again this is far from the comics.) Hence, we get Philippus as…the nanny.

The change works for the story though.  To make up for Philippus’s role being usurped, the D.C. character of Artemis (boxer Ann Wolfe is brought in as another black character.  The role has little to do with the comic book version (thus far) other than being portrayed as being an incredibly strong fighter.  Also adding to the sense of black women being powerful is that two of the senators, both briefly seen with Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen), are also played black women. Senator Timandra is Danielle Lewis and Senator Senator Acantha is Florence Kasumba.  (Here’s a fun aside. Kasumba has a small role in Captain America: Civil War and a larger one in the upcoming Black Panther – both are Marvel Comics films!)

Unfortunately, all of these other roles appear on screen after the scene where young Diana is running away from her nanny.  It’s just a small moment in the beginning of the film.  I suppose if you know the comics well Philippus being black there will make sense.  Still, I was far from the only one in that New York theater who groaned at the sight of the nanny/tutor.  I mean, they changed so many other things about her character. Couldn’t they have tweaked her race as well?

The Wrap Up

I enjoyed the movie Wonder Woman for many reasons.  For one it looks great and it’s well-structured story. Diane’s journey of child-like belief to understanding the ways of the world is something everyone can relate to.  Aside from the greatness of its main character, both its villains and what becomes Wonder Woman’s merry band are done to be seen as complex beings.   (The reveal of Ares is fabulous. No, I’m not listing the person. Go see the movie!)

The reminder to our culture that women can be strong and heroic is something that is dear to my heart. I also loved the film’s overall message about each of us making choices on who we want to be, and the power of love.

It’s not about what you deserve.  It’s what you believe.  And I believe in them.

– Diana as Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman’s ideals are something the world needs right now.  Standing up for what’s right, because it’s right – not because who a person is – seems lost these days.  I watched Wonder Women see the horrors men can choose to do to each other and despair.  Then I watched her decide to save them anyway.

Do we still believe that people deserve to be cared for, just because they’re people? Do we practice this belief? That’s a question each individual should think about for themselves. If the answer is yes, think about how you can be a bit more like Wonder Woman in your everyday life.  I’m sure you’ll find you can be more of a hero than you imagined.

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