After reading a lot of gushing, glowing reviews on social media from people who had been to early screenings of Wonder Woman, I had high hopes and expectations going into the movie. I wanted Wonder Woman to hit a home run. I was rooting for her to hit it out of the ball park. I wanted her to rock my socks off. Sadly, two and a half hours later, I came out of the theater... unmoved.
Don't get me wrong. The movie is good. But it ain't that good. Certainly not up to the level of greatness that people and critics have talked it up to. The plot, for one, is basically a retread of Captain America: The First Avenger. The only difference is that Diana Prince didn't need to be genetically re-engineered and manipulated.
In terms of acting, I am particularly perplexed by the rave reviews that titular star Gal Gadot has been getting for portraying the Amazon warrior goddess. I mean, did we watch the same film? Although she certainly looked the part, I found her stiff and unengaging, almost robotic, in most of her scenes.
The attempts to inject levity into the proceedings also fell flat. The interactions between the characters felt forced, and the chemistry between Gadot and co-star Chris Pine was virtually non-existent. I literally balked at the scene where she realized her love for Pine's character, Steve Trevor, which allowed her to overcome her self-doubts and finally triumph over the bad guy.
After a troika of critically-panned DC Extended Universe movies (2013's Man Of Steel and 2016's Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice & Suicide Squad), I think people were just desperate for a win for the DCEU, leading them to cheer in unison and heap effusive praise upon Wonder Woman after it turned out to be not as terrible as the other three movies that preceded it. It's akin to giving trophies to everyone just for showing up at the race.
I think it does a great disservice to feminism to handle this movie with kid gloves the way everyone has been. Female empowerment and the fight for gender equality are at the very core of what Wonder Woman represents, and we have to measure the movie's merits according to those same principles and nothing less.