I did it again, peeps: I let the hype get to me.
With all the rave reviews flooding social media, the smashing of box office records, and friends telling me to get ready to cheer, cry, and generally lose my mind, I went to see Wonder Woman last night with my spirits high, and my expectations higher.
To be fair, maybe nothing could live up to all that.
And also to be fair, Wonder Woman is a good movie - no question. But to someone coming in with no real history with Diana Prince, someone who hasn't seen all the previous stinkers DC's been making (Bats vs Supes? Nuh-uh.) for comparison, Wonder Woman falls just shy of "great."
It has moments of greatness, though: a few scenes that punch through into the movie I hoped for, the movie I desperately wanted. We get to see Diana and the other Amazons kicking butt, and looking gorgeous and fierce while doing it. We get a little laughter and color, a nice change from all the "dark and gritty" that superhero flicks seem to choke on today. We get gods and World War 1 and a ragtag group of misfits taking on the world - only this time, a woman's in charge. HELLZ YES AND THANK YOU PLEASE.
But for all that, the movie drags. There's too much talking, too much flirting with the predictable - albeit adorable - love interest. There's not enough fighting. The Big Bad Guy at the end is kinda laughable. And the worst part - the WORST part - is that our Amazonian warrior goddess, the one raised in a society with no men, the one who spends an entire (hilarious) scene protesting when they put her in a dress, because "how do you fight in this?" - this confident, self-sufficient, powerful role model for girls and women everywhere - spends the entire movie in 4-inch heels.
Not gonna lie: those needless, hypocritical, impractical high heels - featured prominently in every fight scene, but surprisingly hard to find in promo photos for reasons that will soon be made clear - kinda broke the movie for me.
BONUS SIDE NOTE OF FORTUITOUS COINCIDENCE:
Preach, Mac Dictionary.
Now I'mma rant a bit. Buckle up.
Look, there's no denying Wonder Woman was made by men, for men. (Her own creator once wrote, "the secret of woman’s allure,” is that “women enjoy submission—being bound.” Um. EW.) But today we're told she is something different. Today she's been re-branded, reclaimed. Today Wonder Woman is supposed to stand for feminism and empowerment, not bondage and submission. We girl geeks rally behind her as the champion for our sex, the chief example in the comics universe we can point to and say, "See? Women can be superheroes, too."
And hey, I'm not saying Wonder Woman can't be sexy. HECK YEAH SHE CAN BE SEXY. The rest of Diana's outfit makes sense for battle, and is totally smokin'.
I'm also not saying wearing heels is bad, because rock what makes you happy, peeps. But let's not delude ourselves: heels are for looks, not comfort or practicality. Which of you straps on stilettos before going for a run? Maybe a kicky pair of pumps for Taekwondo? It's beyond laughable. Add to that Diana is a warrior who's never even SEEN a man, much less cares about attracting one during battle. Putting her in heels is practically character assassination; it literally goes against everything she stands for.
Besides, I defy you to put Gal Godot in flats and tell me she's one IOTA less attractive. So why do it? WHY?
And lest you think this was a height thing: Godot is 5'10. Chris Pine is 6 feet tall. Godot didn't need to be taller. In fact, she wore flats while filming, so she wouldn't be taller than Pine.
Because heaven forbid a leading lady ever be taller than her leading man, right, Hollywood?
Almost done, I promise.
Of course, Godot also had to wear flats while filming because even pretending to be Wonder Woman was impossible in those shoes. Gal Godot was a combat trainer in the Israeli army, you guys. If anyone could do it, it would be her. But she couldn't. That's how ridiculous Wonder Woman's shoes are.
So get this: they CGI'd them in.
That's right, they went back and digitally added in the high heels; in reality, Godot was wearing sneakers under gladiator spats the whole time. So instead of giving her flat sandals that make sense and look almost exactly the same, the producers spent extra money, time, and who-knows-how-much effort to make the pointed statement that Wonder Woman must wear impossibly high heels while fighting. (I guess we should add that to her list of super powers?)
And here I am, feeling like a traitor, because every review I've seen by other ladies is going on about how different Wonder Woman is, because it was directed by a woman. That it doesn't "serve the male gaze," and that the Amazon's outfits are so refreshingly unsexualized, and I'm like
HAVE YOU SEEN THE SHOES
HOW COULD ANOTHER WOMAN MAKE THIS DECISION
but of course I can't say that because the movie is rocking my fellow geeks' universe, and I DO want them to have nice things, and I DON'T want to be the one tinkling in the Wonder Woman Wheaties, so to speak.
[plops back down, pats hair into place]
I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "Jen, CHILL. They're just shoes."
But are they?
When Gal Godot showed up to the Wonder Woman premier in flats, the internet lost its mind.
Everyone applauded this bold statement for comfort and feminism, apparently oblivious to the fact that the actress was now better equipped to go sprinting through a battle field than her character was. Think about that. Think about the enormous opportunity lost here. About what a coup it would have been for women everywhere if "our" superhero - the one I hope will help usher in a new age of female leads - didn't have to sacrifice her own character integrity for the sake of sex appeal. Think about what an example that could be to kids, to geeks, heck, to cosplayers. (WILL NO ONE THINK OF THE COSPLAYERS??)
Wonder Woman was a good step forward, it was. I love it for every battle scene, for every roundhouse kick, for every time Diana led the charge. I love how many of you were deeply moved and inspired, and I'm beyond thrilled reading all the stories of little girls putting on capes and practicing their punches, and of grown geeks rediscovering their love for a childhood icon. I want more of that, and I know Wonder Woman will help pave the way.
But dangit, they really screwed up with those shoes.
Ok, sound off: who didn't even notice she was wearing heels? Who doesn't care? Who's had their entire feminist perspective shifted by my oh-so-convincing diatribe? [elbow nudge] Eh? EH??