God’s Gift to Men
Wonder Woman is a very simple, soft, “relatable” lady. She adores babies and ice cream and snowflakes. She is sweetly oblivious to her own beauty and its devastating effects on those around her. She has absolutely no problem with men. She loves men! In fact, once she’s left her Amazon family behind, she barely bothers talking to another woman for the rest of the movie. Gadot has real presence and charm as an actress—one longs to see her in something worthier of her talent. But the imperative to eradicate any hint of bossiness or anger from her character weighs heavily on the film, threatening to turn it into one long, dispiriting exercise in allaying male fears about powerful women.
.. Diana is a stranger in a strange land, perpetually and adorably perplexed by the ways of men. (The film’s screenwriter, Allan Heinberg, apparently took his inspiration for her fish-out-of-water predicament from Disney’s Little Mermaid.).. She doesn’t know that it is improper to ask a man questions about his anatomy while gazing coolly at his naked form in the bath; she is unaware that an invitation to sleep with someone means something more than sleeping next to them... it’s Steve who has the tactical sense and the job of mansplaining the true nature of their mission. (She’s under the impression that if she manages to kill Ares, she will end war forever.).. At the climax of her final, set-piece battle with Ares (who is not the German general she had initially fingered, but a British politician posing as her and Steve’s friend), Ares tries to persuade her that human beings are too corrupt and nasty to deserve her help—an idea initially proposed by Antiope... Like so many recent girl-power extravaganzas that seek to celebrate what a long way we’ve come, baby, it ends up illustrating precisely the opposite... It merely propagates the unhelpful myth that if a woman is nice enough, pretty enough, feminine enough, she can do such things without ever causing offense, or being called a bitch. Really, if you want feminist inspiration, you’re better off skipping Wonder Woman and going back to watch the wiseacre heroines of the 1940s: the ones played by Bette Davis, Katharine Hepburn, Rosalind Russell, and Barbara Stanwyck. They were wittier and gutsier and not half as worried about busting balls.