patty jenkins

Movie Review

Why is Wonder Woman so important to a 40yo Man?

A Wonder Woman Review.

I’m a latchkey kid, which to you millennial’s means that when I was nine my older sister and myself would be dropped off the school bus, and left to our own devices until our single mom came home from work. My sister and I were only a couple years apart, so we got to spend some quality time together until she reached the age of hanging with her friends, and leaving me behind. I looked up to my older sister, and followed her around like Chester and Spike, in the old Loony Toons, another reference you millennial’s may need to google. So naturally just like Spike I would get smacked, and told to shut up. This would lead to the occasional yelling, fighting and general unpleasantness in the household, no wonder my mom would go to her room, and shut the door when she got home from work.

One of the few things that would halt this blood fueled cycle of sibling rivalry, was the TV. I’m not sure if my older sister was board or just tolerated my Dukes of Hazzard, Incredible Hulk, and syndicated Batman. All I know is that when the syndicated Wonder Woman came on, this was the moment that we both bonded, and became friends of Wonder Woman. Our friendship accord lasted only one summer, after that she discovered older friends, the Rec Center, and break dancing. However that summer was filled with Lynda Carter spinning, and some crazy disco skateboarding plots that made little sense, but was magic to a couple of kids. This was the moment that I saw my sister as not just my hero, but in my adolescent brain I thought that maybe she could actually become a Superhero.   

Time makes friends with no Man, and as I aged I grew closer to my younger sister and only hoped to become that role model to her but grew further apart from my older sister, but that Wonder Woman summer will always hold a place in my heart. Sometime later my Sister would struggle with Mental Illness, and would eventually take her own life.

I often considered if a Wonder Woman movie was to be reintroduced, or a culture of strong female superheroes was as readily accessible a few years ago as they are now. Would this have made some deeper emotional impact on my sister, and helped in her struggle. I’m not sure, mental illness is a disease that is difficult to fight, and even harder to understand. What I do know is that these heroes are available to us today, and have permeated the culture like never before. This is the reason that we need to support, and raise our voices when these projects are released. Fortunately it’s not difficult to show your support for a project like Patty Jenkins Wonder Woman.

This was an amazing film, shot beautifully, and forms a secret world that draws the eye. The background is as much of a character as the actors, drawing inspiration from Hieronymus Bosch, and Monet respectively. The contrast in the beauty of Themyscira, and the ugliness of wartime Europe, is stark. Patty does a great job of drawing in the Comic Fan, and introducing this world to a new audience. The film does not lack in action, the pacing is tight, and only lulls in a couple of places. Gal Gadot is a perfect Wonder Woman for our age, and holds her own against the powerhouse acting of Robin Wright, and Connie Nielsen. Two actresses that I would love to see reprise these roles in a prequel film, it is a sight to see Robin Wright Kick butt like a young Charlize Theron, who would be a natural fit in this world.

The biggest fault does not lie in the film, but with the Studio. I’m truly disappointed in Warner Brothers distribution, and marketing. Although I did see some sold out toys at Target, and a Wonder Woman Branded Sundae at Cold Stone, there has been little else to identify the release of this film. Very little ad time, and almost no fanfare, especially for an opening, was extremely discouraging. My Family and I went to a sold out 7pm Thursday night premier, and these showings such as Star Wars, and Batman v Superman, have all been preceded with an announcement from the theater manager but the film continued like this is not the first theatrical release for a character with 75+ years of history. Not only that, but there were no Standees, or posters to identify that this film was even at the theater. I truly hope that the fans continue to spread the word, show their support, and prove to the suits that Wonder Woman is not going away any time soon.

While my family was walking out of the theater, there was a little girl around 3-4yo sitting with her mom waiting for the next screening. Wearing a fleece Wonder Woman one piece pajama suit just watching all of the woman leaving in their Wonder Woman T’s, dresses, costumes, etc. She would ooh and awe at every outfit, and all I could think of was my older and younger sister, and regardless of how this film does in the box office it will mean so much more for whole new generation.

Thanks for Reading.

Stan Garcia.