Friday, June 16, 2017

Wondering Woman

In this blog, I discuss the currently-in-theaters movie Wonder Woman, and while there are no real plot spoilers (unless you don't know which side won World War I), consider before you read this that I am alluding to plot points.

I know that one does not see superhero movies expecting 100% logical consistency. A movie based on real-life events rarely even achieves 100% logical consistency, given the narrative and temporal constraints inherent to the medium. And superhero movies have their own logic, as does any narrative in the speculative fiction category. Ironman was one of my all-time favorite movies, so I don't dislike the genre. I was really set on liking Wonder Woman. Grrl power, and all that.


I didn't leave Ironman pondering the logical inconsistencies of the story. (And again, I'm certain there were hundreds, beginning with the whole let's-replace-his-heart-with-this-nuclear-magnetic-thingie —seriously, I'm fine with that; I get that it's central to the story and to the character and is perfectly in keeping with the trope. So I'm good.) But Wonder Woman... if the dashing young man whose life she saved had been a German spy, and it was the British forces who stormed the beach of Paradise Island, then she'd go with him to fight on his side???? she speaks all these modern languages, but knows nothing of the existence (let alone the mores) of these 20th century nations????

...the Amazons invented bullet-proof armor without knowing about guns and bullets????

I could live with the little things, like numbers 2 and 3 above. But it's that first one—the sheer accident of it being a spy on "our" side whom she saves and then joins, that has me most troubled. And I know she isn't joining him to fight the Germans per se; she's looking for [I won't say whom, in case you haven't seen the movie yet—let's just say she's looking for someone who is above nationality]. But still, she'd be fighting with the Germans, and her character at that point doesn't even know about "sides" or who is fighting whom or why, so she'd be just as likely to take up with the Germans. Right?

And let's talk about killing. Diana is deeply troubled by the wounded soldiers and suffering civilians she sees as they near the front. She cannot understand the "big picture"; it is these victims of violence in front of her who capture her attention and whom she must help by...(wait for it)...killing dozens of German soldiers who of course are the equivalent of those British soldiers she was just looking at five minutes earlier. She's a warrior, yes; she's looking for [again, I won't say] who is the root of all evil [she thinks—but that's another thread that actually would be a good thread if not for the logical inconsistencies that tangle it all up]; but killing young men in order to save young men (neither of whose "sides" or cultures or countries or reasons for being in this war in the first place does she understand) just has my brain hurting.

Men wrote this screenplay. I won't blame all men for the logical inconsistencies. That would be...illogical.

But if we want a feminist superhero who can be kick-ass AND logical, I think we might need to start writing, sisters.

I'm sure we can include a part for Robert Downey, Jr.

1 comment:

  1. I left one of the IronMan movies pondering why a brilliant man who was stricken and having difficulty moving across the floor of his lab would push a mechanic's dolly out of his way. I had no difficulty with the blinky lights heart but that was a moment that causes suspension of disbelief for me.
    I believe that one could invent a material that is impervious to bullets without first knowing what bullets are. You just need to make it sufficiently impervious to projectiles like arrows. That said, I left the movie before that part. Too violent for me!