Patty Jenkins gave a passionate interview on, as I recall, ABC’s “Good Morning America” to explain her new DC Comics action film, “Wonder Woman: Rise of the Warrior”, from Warner Brothers. She wanted to show a female heroine who was the equivalent of a Christ figure (my analogy), not “just” a Virgin Mary.
Indeed, the Amazonian society shown in the early 20th Century as the film starts seems to be all female (parthogenesis, perhaps), that doesn’t need men. The future wonder woman Diana (Lilly Aspell, then Gal Gadot as an adult) grows up as a warrior. It looks like it came right out of the Burroughs Tarzan series, with women warriors.
There is some pagan mythology here. Diana’s mother Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen) wants to protect her daughter, who is determined to become a hero worthy of a future Star Wars. The overlord god Zeus loved mankind, but Ares considered man corrupt and let man play “survival of the fittest tribe” with increasingly destructive wars. Finally, Antilope (Robin Wright) convinces Hippolyta that daughter Diana can become the comic world equivalent of a Navy Seal. (I recall Hippolyta as a name in high school. A high school friend once mailed me a huge post card of little tunes and signed it Hippolyta. I wonder if the card is somewhere in the attic.)
The story starts moving when Diana rescues a British spy Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) from drowning. There’s a little skin shown here, and it looks like the encounter with her laser-emanating “lasso of truth” costs Steve his chest hair. Steve educates her about World War I, the War to End All Wars, or The Great War.
The remainder of the plot seems to deal with a desire of the British (David Thewlis) to make an armistice with Germany to stop the war, while a villain (Elena Anaya), with a mask to cover a burn-scarred face that would scare off crows and inspire Hannibal Lecter, concocts an unprecedented deadly poison gas that dissolves everything.
So here we have alternative fact history. Wonder Woman and Steve’s interventions keep the Allies together until the Americans enter (although nobody gets into the politics of Woodrow Wilson, the draf, and his sedition laws) and in the end, England celebrates victory, only to brace for battles to come in two more decades, needing a wonder gay man (Alan Turing) to save them with “brains over brawn” (like “The Most Dangerous Game”)
This film has been popular in the gay community the week before Capital Pride.
Generally, I’m not as interested in the alternative comic book world presenting history as the real history itself.
The symphonic poem during the closing credits by Rupert Gregson-Williams was interesting.
|Name:||“Wonder World: Rise of the Warrior”|
|Director, writer:||Patty Jenkins|
|Format:||2.35:1, 3-D, Imax|
|When and how viewed:||AMC Courthouse Plaza, Arlington,, 2017/6/8, late, moderate audience|
|Companies:||Warner Brothers, DC Comics|
(Posted: Friday, June 9, 2017 at 2:45 PM)