— Gal Gadot (@GalGadot) July 25, 2014
As an occasional, reluctant reviewer of new cars, I can appreciate how perspective can be in somewhat short supply when it comes to the latest and greatest of, well, just about anything. The modern media news cycle demands, nay, requires all of us to be prisoners of the moment. Whatever we’ve just experienced is the best ever or the worst ever. I mean, in the year 2017, there are no shortage of people who want to compare LeBron James to Michael Jordan, which is a comparison so foolish it requires its own article to discuss. (But, just for giggles, you want to compare a guy who’s about to be 3-5 in the NBA finals against the GOAT? Mmmkay.)
This social condition alone would mean it’s not even slightly surprising that the recently released film, Wonder Woman, starring the indomitable Gal Gadot (most recently of the cinematic masterpiece, Fast and Furious 6) has received nothing short of a virtual standing ovation from every film critic with a laptop and an audience. But there’s something else at work here, a topic so completely toxic and verboten that one can’t even mention it without being shunned, and it’s this: it has become social and professional suicide to apply any element of criticism to a product/idea created by a woman or minority. Thus, Wonder Woman, a movie that not only stars a female character who is, to the frothing delight of critics everywhere, not a MOTHER or a WIFE or even a DAUGHTER but, in fact, a weapon created by a god (it was a male god, but we’ll allow this slight against femininity for now) but is directed by a woman, as well, is completely impervious to any sort of perceived criticism.
Well, I took the fam to see it yesterday, and I’m afraid that I have bad news for y’all: it’s just okay. Let the arrow slinging commence.
First, though, I want to say how pleasant it’s been to see the arts community have to wholeheartedly accept Ms. Gadot as a role-model and champion.
Ms. Gadot is an unashamed Jew and Israeli, having served in the Israeli Defense Force in 2006 after having been crowned Miss Israel. In fact, her film has been banned in Lebanon and Tunisia, where they won’t even call it by name—they simply refer to it as “The Israeli Soldier Film.” Let me be clear about this—Ms. Gadot served during the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war, and has been openly, brutally critical of Hamas and Hezbollah, calling them “cowards who hide behind women and children.”
So watching the collective left being forced to swallow hard and praise Ms. Gadot without reservation is reason alone to go buy tickets to this movie. Recent interviews with her have been strangely and completely confined to the context of the film, which, in this age of RUSSIA TRUMP is a bit strange, to say the least. Of course, given Mr. Trump’s decidedly pro-Israel stance, and given that she participated in the Miss Universe pageant, it’s possible that Ms. Gadot might have some positive things to say about him and we can’t have that so how about that that dreamy Chris Pine, eh?
Gal Gadot forgot where she was at pic.twitter.com/MHbbyCJnCK
— Gal Gadot fan acct (@GamePhreak845) June 7, 2017
But back to the movie. Without giving away too many spoilers, the plot wanders a bit. The entirety of WWI and trench warfare seems to be resolved in about thirty seconds, and the resolution of her quest is bizarre, unsatisfying, and does little to explain any of the events that have taken place in the following ninety years. It suffers from the same over-CGIification that every superhero movie does, and it’s hard to particularly care too much about any of the characters. It’s basically a worse version of Captain America:The First Avenger.
But female director female star down with nationalism yay! Whatevs, man. It’s an okay movie. Nothing great. But if it allowed Ms. Gadot to sign a multi-film contract and gives her a platform for her pro-Israel stance, I’m cool with it.