Everyone gives this movie such a bad review and cites it as the precipitous decline in the ’80s ‘Batman’ franchise that directly led to the franchise-killer Batman & Robin. I actually watched Batman Forever in a dollar theater, and pretty much hadn’t thought about it since. Well, until there was a sale on RiffTrax and I decided to check it out again. It’s actually not as bad as all that. I really don’t think it’s any worse than Batman Returns although the flaws are of a completely different nature.
or, “Batman: The Mattel Tie-In Series”
or, “Thoughts on Gendered Marketing via ‘Batman Unlimited'”
or, “My Little Heroine: Friendship is a Superpower”
or, “Thoughts on Gendered Marketing via ‘DC Super Hero Girls'”
The Main Attraction:
1) Character – As an origin story, this success of this movie is entirely dependent on how engaged the audience is with Diana and therefore Diana’s story. Shockingly this seemingly common sense bit of storytelling is lost on many contemporary film makers / studios (who then wonder why their big budget tent-pole blockbuster failed harder than the 2017 Cleveland Browns).
This movie was almost creaking from the weight of the expectations heaped upon it. From being a female-led superhero movie, to being a female directed movie, to representing 75+ years of comic fandom, to being a chance for WB/DC to finally make a decent DCEU movie, it’s no wonder my hopes for it dropped to “please don’t suck.” As such, there’s a lot to unpack with the success of the movie.
1) WB/DC can make a good superhero movie!
2) WB/DC can make a superhero movie in which the superhero actually wants to be a superhero!
3) Superhero movies with a female lead can be awesome! (Which I already knew, there just hadn’t been one to demonstrate that to the world and movie executives)
4) Major deviations from the source material are acceptable if those deviations serve the narrative.
5) That Zack Snyder aesthetic sense and love of CGI works better in the hands of a director who is not Zack Snyder.
6) A movie with a female lead, featuring an entirely female cast for the first act, can be shot without pandering to the male gaze.
7) Yes, a model turned actress who did a stint in the Israeli army was absolutely the right choice to embody Wonder Woman.
8) Etta Candy’s fourth-wall winking observation about Diana’s attempt to Clark Kent is spot-on.
9) I want a sequel. I have no idea how that would work with the timeline, but I don’t care.
10) Your move, Marvel. Why did I have to wait another two years for Captain Marvel? Where’s my Black Widow movie (and Atomic Blonde doesn’t count)?