A Not So Awful Explanation Of Why “Wonder Woman” Wasn’t So Awful – And Why It Was Pretty Good

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Getting past the sexiness exuded by Gal Gadot in her role as the lead, Wonder Woman wasn’t the narrative of preachy Hollywood feminism I thought it would be. In fact, the film was so much more than just a hot Amazonian showing how wicked strong female leads can be in the male-dominated genre of superhero cinema.

DC Comics has a track record of screwing up heroes. But, I believe it is safe to say that this time around, they didn’t miss the mark that far. Granted, I will contend that this wasn’t the greatest dedication to an iconic hero (at least not since Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy) – but, it was pretty damn good for the first ever Wonder Woman standalone.

Scores of critics have already called the film a victory for DC, in terms of it being the most anticipated summer blockbuster of 2017.

For example, The Verge echoed my similar sentiments of it being a “win.”

“Wonder Woman represents a number of delicate balancing acts: between humor and gravitas; angst and adventure; full-blown, unvarnished superhero fantasy and the DCEU’s usual unpacking of what those fantasies mean,” the review said.

Other reviews also heralded the film as an achievement among the other flops predating Gadot’s portrayal and the DC Extended Universe’s (EU) lead into the Aquaman story arc and November’s Justice League.

Regardless, I am not here to deliver a fanboy interpretation of fine cinematic arts. More or less, I feel it it is more appropriate to provide my commentary on the slew of political issues derived from this film’s release.

Particularly, one point of contention was the controversy over all-female screenings of the film and the apparent magnitude of sexism towards men derived from this. To me, I don’t really care. The fact that private individuals pushed for private screenings for other private individuals of similar demographic and body shouldn’t be decried. There is this thing called freedom of association – or the logic that if you don’t like a particular group of people based on gender, beliefs, or socioeconomic status, you have the freedom to not associate with them. And, with that being said, if you fell into the group of folks that saw this as a blow against men and are refusing to see the movie, then don’t see it. The glory of a free market-style economy is that we all have options.

The other point of contention that came from Wonder Woman’s release was that Lebanon banned the film because of Gal Gadot’s origins. She’s Israeli and, as we obviously know, the Lebanese don’t like that.  Due to the reasons of obviousness that overshadow me, the film’s banning was lauded by Social Justice Warriors here in the West that insinuated the anti-Israel agenda and called Gadot a member of the Zionists who kills innocent Muslims. Just the fact that pegging someone’s origins and national heritage – with a sprinkle of her 2-year Israeli Defense Force tenure – as an exemplifiable trait of someone’s character and belief is wildly outlandish.

But, as I told the clerk at my local comic book store when I was replenishing my Star Wars comics, the root of a good cultural libertarian is to respect the cultural views of people in a domestic society, and abroad.

Granted, I don’t advocate nor support Lebanon’s oppression of a superhero film, I do support the fact that opinions create divides and debates. That said, this makes our country more fervent in their views and I feel we can positively attribute that to Wonder Woman.

Outside of philosophical murmurs, the film was pretty good. Go see it. Just remember to have enough for the tax man when you buy your hot date (or your mother) that extra buttered popcorn and large Coca-cola.

Michael McGrady is the executive director of McGrady Policy Research. His work has been featured, republished and/or cited by media outlets like The Wall Street Journal, The Denver Post, The New York Post, The Daily Caller, Human Events, The Hill, and many others.

  • Robert Enders

    What makes the Lebanon ban really absurd is that most Israeli citizens get drafted into the IDF. Gal Gadot wasn’t given a choice on whether or not to serve.

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