Listen: Ben McEachen’s take on ‘Wonder Woman’
It’s got a few of the ‘ridiculous’ elements typical to superhero movies, says Ben McEachen—but the first female-led blockbuster from DC Comics still gets a big thumbs up from the seasoned film critic.
The Big Picture host believes Wonder Woman will put DC movies more firmly on the blockbuster map alongside their rival, Marvel. The movie, about the Amazonian warrior princess Diana who saves the world from certain ruin in the middle of World War I, has attracted both praise and loathing from critics.
Not typically a comics-and-superpowers fan, Ben was surprised at how thoroughly he enjoyed it.
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“It’s one of those cases of the same old thing, but packaged differently, and the packaging is what makes it stand out,” he told Katrina Roe. “Any time a superhero gets introduced on screen you pretty much have the same old story—where did they come from, why have they got superpowers, how did they end up in the world trying to defend us? That’s nothing new. But the backstory of Wonder Woman is – although silly, it’s interesting.”
The performance Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman is impressive. In Ben’s view, the actress and supermodel does a great job balancing both the naivety and the ‘you-go-girl, warrior-princess’ qualities of the role.
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And although the World War I storyline has been panned by some, Ben reminds us it’s a fantasy film after all. “I don’t think it’s trying to destroy the memories of World War I or even treat it without seriousness.”
It’s the perfect flick for parents to take their teen girls along to, with plenty to inspire young women.
“Particularly the way she stands up against men trying to dominate women, and flying the flag a bit for female empowerment,” Ben says. “That happens in quite subtle ways. It doesn’t punch you in the face with it, but it makes a stand for women steadily throughout the film.”
Refreshingly, it doesn’t carry an anti-male message either, but reveals the darkness in the hearts of both men and women alike.