Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Yes you *can* film a Wonder Woman movie

Repeat after me: yes there can be a big budget Wonder Woman movie.

But I'm willing to bet it wouldn't look half as cool as the short I posted above, a film made by folks with vision.

The filmmakers obviously have a solid grip on the character and what makes Wonder Woman different from the stereotype.

Yes, the stereotype.  In one of the classes I'm teaching, we're talking about gender images in the mass media.  One stereotype I regrettably consume with gleeful abandon is that of the "fighting fucktoy." That's not my term, but one generated by a media theorist interviewed in the documentary Missrepresentation (great doc, if you consider yourself a feminist then you owe to yourself to see it.)  Anyway, the "ff" is a female character that, on the surface, seems very empowered.  She kicks ass and takes names.  However, the character's appeal would be all but lost without her scantily-clad, sexy appearance.  The horrible live action version of Aeon Flux comes to mind and sadly so does Rose McGowan's character from Planet Terror.  I say "sadly" because I really love that character and that movie, but then again it's all meant to be played for kitsch.  But I digress...

Wonder Woman is none of these things.  Yes, she is a warrior first and foremost and she is often portrayed as being sexy as all hell.  However, she is also a character who is a leader and is possessed of a complex personality (case in point: the remorse-yet-defiance in her killing of Maxwell Lord in OMAC Project #4.)  The makers of the short film above obviously get that...including the "sexy as hell" part.

The film starts out looking like a Tom Clancy opus, like something from Splinter Cell or Ghost Recon as these special ops guys move through a dystopian urban landscape.  They come across Wonder Woman and obviously have a problem with her.  The sad little bastards don't stand a chance.  Cut to Paradise Island where we see the more mystical aspect of the character's nature.  Diana and her fellow Amazons face off with monsters that look to be straight out of Lord of the Rings.

I know that as a Wonder Woman movie languished in the loblolly of "development hell," one of objections was that you couldn't do the film with her iconic costume.  It's not only charged with being sexist but it's also impractical in a fight.  While I might argue that her outfit in this film could do with coverings for her legs for protection, I must say that it looks very respectable.  It is in no way laughable while at the same time it retains its original, basic design and ties it to her Greek origins.

I'm not sure if Hollywood and DC Comics will ever get a full-length Wonder Woman film out into theaters.  But after seeing the stunning quality of this piece, I rather hope they don't.  I doubt it could compare.

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