Wonder Woman - A Rant before the Rave (Review)
Cathartic. Probably not an adjective you generally use to describe a movie. Maybe you need to understand the day I had. The After an early start with customer phone calls, my otherwise productive morning was interrupted with the below message.
Firstly I have no idea who this guy is (note the lack of his name), or how he found my number without having certainty of my name. My "sound like a dude" text message strategy mercifully did elicit a "Shit, sorry mate" apology. Ah well.
I read a bunch of Tweets on lunch about how Hollywood had taken a gamble on Patty Jenkins - when she was pretty much the safest director you could trust with a property as legendary and iconic as Wonder Woman. I had a two friends ignore my tech advice, and instead take that of another male in a project. Despite the fact I work in technology and had direct experience with the solution, whilst he is a self-professed luddite. I attended meeting after meeting in rooms full of men. Normally none of this bothers me. A stressful day and a combination of all and they each become painfully apparent.
On such day then, I messages a (male) friend (Hi Jordan!) about how excited I was to see this movie. He gets it. Then he regrettably brought up the ridiculousness of the outrage of a Women's only charity screening. Well, of course. If you put something Females- only there's going to be outrage from idiot 'meninists'. People inevitably bite back on social media and give them more attention than they should get. It becomes the story. No one wins.
Jordan asked if I was attending one of the screenings to support the cause. Bless him. Thinking I could wait an extra day, let alone a week, to see a movie I've been longing for. Longing for since the Justice League animated series I watch as a five year old girl as I pushed a Batmobile hot wheels car around in front of the TV. Prayed to the gods for through the Megan Gale led film rumours; the live action pilot that never took off. Through good Batman films, phenomenal Batman films, terrible Batman films, decent Batman TV series they branded as 'Green Arrow'. The one in the holy trinity who was deemed never able to lead the film or TV series. An outrageous claim to anyone who saw the 2009 animated film.
So as a super-fan of all things comics, completely dumbfounded that it took me this long to hold a cinema ticket to the third tent pole character of the DC Universe's first film; let's instead talk about how there were ZERO midnight screenings of the film in South East Queensland. Zero. Assuming positive intent, maybe there was a limit on when they could show the film in Australia. Please someone tell me this is the case and restore my faith in humanity.
Alas, when I inevitably spoke to the three local cinemas I usually rely on for providing a midnight screening to rock up to dressed in my finest colourful costume on the back of a Batman motorcycle, I got a horrifyingly similar answer. It was some form of..
We didn't think there'd be demand
1. Because usually only men turn up to midnight screenings
2. Because it's not like a Guardians or Thor
Okay, okay, so the second point may be referring to the very valid opinion that the DC Cinematic universe tends to be far less welcoming to the casual superhero-observer than that of the Disney-Marvel persuasion. Anyway, I'm jaded right now so let me double down on my doubt. Particularly when I see the below..
Seriously? Baywatch gets an event and donuts, a film called Rough Night gets champagne and topless waiters. State of Origin I understand trumps this film - no arguments from this footy fan. But Wonder Woman? Nothing? NOTHING.
It makes sense which is horrific. Relative to EVERY OTHER SUPERHERO MOVIE RELEASED THIS YEAR, Wonder Woman has had a pretty shocking marketing effort. Aside from posters which belong equally in the louvre and my living room, the trailers were terrible- emphasising the dark and gritty feel of the DC extended universe rather than the bright compassion and hope which is the strength of the movie and character. I spoke to six people today about seeing this tonight because I was biting my tongue and trying to be professional - three or them told m the trailers looked terrible. When you saw them anyway. The trailer, release date and marketing was later than any other blockbuster and nothing on the scale and prevalence of the usual onslaught usually accompanying any Marvel or DC flagship property.
The test? I had to bully my Mum into taking my little sister on the day of the opening. She proactively reached out about Guardians of the Galaxy. If my mum is aware a movie I will be crazy obsessed about exists, this means you've done your marketing well. Wonder Women's marketing was not.
I just wanted a movie that proved that I could be Wonder Woman. Because it meant I could be Batman. Or Superman. Or any hero who was respected because of their strength, bravery and strategy. Not a Daphne who dressed pretty and got rescued everytime. Not a Velma, a smart girl that would disappear for 3/4 of an episode while everyone else has an adventure. Thank Hera girls finally have someone to emulate. Zeus knows that's all I wanted growing up.