I like watching women succeed. I like watching women kick ass. Even if there is no emotional depth, it’s still pretty fun to see. I grew up with girl heroes and witches, from Powerpuff Girls to Charmed to my ultimate favorite Sailor Moon, and I grew up enjoying just classic superhero-villain fighting and intensity from X-Men to DBZ. I love it all. Even shitty movies (like X-Men: Apocalypse which I fucking love), I find it hard not to enjoy.
But Wonder Woman was terrible. Even though I didn’t pay for it, I want my money back anyway. More than just a bad movie, my anger is exacerbated by the empty praise, dubbing it as “the best superhero movie of all time” (what the fuck, Rotten Tomatoes? Over Dark Knight? Over Logan? I think the fuck NOT, you trick ass bitch). My reasons for extreme distaste are clear: the writing was terrible, the acting was milquetoast, and this is absolutely white feminist bullshit.
Reason #1: The Writing Was Shit
The people don’t act like people. They don’t behave like normal people, and as a result, I cannot connect. There was so much unsaid that needed to be said. Why does Diana like Steve? Does she like him because he’s a warrior? Does she like him because of his dreamy blue eyes? Does she like him because he’s awkward? Why? Why don’t I see any of that? What does she like? How do we know it? Why don’t we see them smiling together? Laughing together? Fighting in unison? You know that scene in Civil War when Bucky and Cap are like a super beast ass machine against Tony? You know, when they basically breathed in unison to whoop Tony’s ass? That is love. Where was that? Steve is not a partner for her. He’s not an equal but there is no redeeming quality to him. There’s n o t h i n g that made me feel that this was romantic other than Gadot’s blank stare. And for the record, I usually have no issue liking Chris Pine’s characters in films, so it is BIZARRE for me to be so indifferent to Steve.
Also, why the fuck is Diana more torn up by the death of boring Steve than that of Antiope, the woman she’s known her whole life, who helped raise her, who literally dived in front of fucking bullets for her? What sense does that make?
Why doesn’t Steve freak the fuck out when Diana breaks through a brick fucking wall? How does Steve just know that Diana can jump like a beast? He wasn’t scared? Or nervous? Or at least surprised??? This is just another fucking day at the office for him? Why isn’t Diana surprised by her new powers? Scared? Interested in pushing her envelope? When people interact with superheroes, when people see superheroes being superheroes, even for a split second, they react with something. Where is that?
And who the fuck is Dr. Poison? Why is she disfigured? Why does she get her rocks off poisoning people? Yes, I know Ares gave her the motivation, but that’s it? I get the motivation to throw large objects at my coworkers but that doesn’t mean I just do just because it popped into my head. So she just got the idea for a poisonous gas and thinks why the hell not? I’m just supposed to believe she felt like killing people for no reason whatsoever and not question it? And the director, Patty Jenkins, says that Dr. Poison wears a mask because she tested the gas on herself because she’s sadistic. Um… were you ever going to fucking show me that? Or am I supposed to base the entire quality of this movie on… not the fucking movie?
Lastly, I understand that Diana is unnaturally beautiful. But you know what human beings do when they see beauty? They bumble. They stutter. They walk into things and trip over things and spill things on themselves. The inconsistency of half-stares (poorly acted half-stares, anyway, I stare at dogs with more intensity) made me feel like that time I read Twilight and Bella had to keep reminding us that she’s average and yet people fawned over her anyway. It was literally the exact same thing. [Man stares at Diana. Insert absolutely obliterated-by-mumbling-and-too-much-chaos-in-the-background line about how she’s pretty. Gadot blinks. Poorly executed sex joke, but we move on before any kind of reaction so moment is entirely dead.]
THEN the nail in the coffin for me was when, Diana, facing defeat from Ares, thinks back on her moments with Steve (boring, nondescript moments), and he talks about blah blah blah how he has to save them but she has to save the world, and it was just… honey described it as a conversation between two drunk people. Not only is the line absolute trash, but… why am I supposed to care? It’s been almost two hours of me waiting to care. Decent actors can save a shitty script, but I couldn’t even get that. I was supposed to feel her motivation or her inspiration or her anger or her power and her confidence but instead I felt… nothing at all. Her most powerful, shining moment and I was bored.
Reason #2: The Acting Was Milquetoast
Chris Pine is not the most amazing actor on the planet. However, he’s a decent looking white guy who makes me laugh. But I wasn’t laughing. No matter how bad a movie is, if there are comedic lines, I will at least feel like I didn’t waste my time.
Nothing was funny. There were jokes, certainly, but they all failed. Diana sees Steve naked and there’s a penis joke about how Steve thinks he’s “above average”, sigh. There was some simulated joke about how men don’t “sleep” with women outside of the confines of marriage, and it was supposed to be funny because we know and she doesn’t (but it was just awkward and boring for no reason because Gal Gadot’s signature is to stare blankly and he just met this woman and he’s already talking about sex?). There was a failed joke about how the secretary job sounds like slavery (also failed, and Lucy Davis’s charm could not save Gadot’s weak delivery). A joke about how women’s clothing does not allow Diana to fight, meh. Sameer is a bumbling idiot at the sight of her. Meh. How Steve’s crew is comprised of a liar, smuggler, and murderer, and how Steve is also a liar, smuggler, and murderer, yet she likes him but Gadot just stares.
Hippolyta is just moody and wide-eyed and on the border of crying all the time for no (apparent) reason. Just ominous. The rest of the unnamed black Amazons are aggressive for no reason (I will get to THAT in a second). Dr. Poison is this weird Igor-esque half-monster who stares off, presumably thinking about her gas, all the time for no reason. Charlie’s rendition of PTSD was flat and borderline offensive (scream-twitching for half a second with dirt in his mouth before storming off, never to come up again).
Robin Wright (who played Antiope, also known as Claire from House of Cards) couldn’t save this, and she is good. Lucy Davis was charming at Etta, Steve’s secretary, but she was so minor that it wouldn’t have made a difference if her character had never even existed.
It’s also quite confusing that, looking at the Wikipedia page, there are so many descriptions for these characters: patriotic, confident, proud, tortured, sadistic, lost his son in the war and is his motivation for his behavior, relatable, compassionate, curious, vulnerable, creative… I can go on, but WHERE THE FUCK IS ANY OF THIS? I did not see any of this anywhere. This isn’t fucking JK Rowling where you add in shit after it’s been released and I’m supposed to just be like, “Ahhhh, so that’s what you’re going for.”
Movies are visual. You show me. Don’t tell me Diana is relatable. Make her relatable. Don’t tell me General Ludendorff’s son died in the war and that’s why he was willing to kill both sides with his mustard gas. Show him crying over his son’s photo, telling the photo that he will avenge him. Show me something. Don’t make up a backstory after the fucking fact to compensate for your bad writing and milquetoast acting.
Reason #3: White + Feminism Galore
Gal Gadot calling Diana “relatable” for staring off into the distance and beating up people is laughable. Truly laughable. Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman is “relatable” because she’s skinny and pale with long, flowing straight hair. She can lift a tank and she’s scared of children dying so she’s relatable. This movie is something to root for because a white woman, written by men but directed by a woman hence why so many sex jokes but not so many crotch shots (kidding, there were still crotch shots), goes and kicks men’s butts and proves to them that women are strong warriors (rather than Diana’s whole point: war is bad).
There are seven total people of color in the entire film: the unnamed babysitter of young Diana, the angry black senator, the angry black warrior, Sameer, the thirsty Arab man, Chief–yes, the Native fucking American whose name is Chief because god forbid they get a little creative–and a black British soldier who appeared as an extra when Diana first got to London. That’s it. I counted. Why is Sameer so thirsty? I think he was supposed to be comedic relief but no, he was just thirsty. Chief made no fucking sense. According to the Wikipedia page (here we go again) he’s a demi-god. Uh, were you ever going to tell us that in the movie itself? Apparently, the actor, Eugene Brave Rock, was given creative control to make it less of a stereotype like assigning Chief a nationality but god forbid he get another name. Aaand that’s it. That’s all I can tell you about people of color in this film.
Lastly on this point, Gal Gadot was in the IDF during the military assault on Lebanon. The IDF attacked Lebanon, a sovereign nation, for shits and giggles and then gaslighted the fuck out of Lebanese people after the fact. Gal Gadot cheered on the IDF during its assault on Gaza, you know, the densely populated city of Palestinians where hospitals and schools were destroyed under the guise of “terrorism” and a disproportionate number of children died, only to find out that the “terrorism” allegation was unfounded (big surprise) but #noregrets. Again, she cheered this on. She hasn’t taken it back. She’s a piece of shit, plain and simple. Military service requirements be damned.
White feminism is making people of color an afterthought. White feminism is making a woman of color the protagonist’s caretaker and calling it “representation”. White feminism is putting a terrorist as the lead actress and still expecting all women to support it. White feminism is thinking a skinny cishet white woman as protagonist magically means universal and relatable. White feminism is seeing all the shit we had to say and still this makes it “the best superhero movie of all time” JUST because it stars a woman. White feminism is seeing all of these problems, but taking issue with her fucking shaved armpits.
Diana deserves better.