Why Wonder Woman failed us

Movie review



This image released by Warner Bros. Entertainment shows Gal Gadot in a scene from "Wonder Woman."

Samantha Kinnaird, Staff Writer

Like many other DC Universe fans, I was exhilarated at the notion of a Wonder Woman movie, especially after Diana’s brief appearance in Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice.

The last female-led superhero movie, Elektra (which came out in 2005 and was produced by Marvel), was by far a huge flop. Since then a female superhero movie has always hung on the back burner for most Hollywood producers. But after the diversity of the cast seen in Suicide Squad by DC and the announcement of Black Panther from Marvel, both companies seem in a race to give us the diversity we asked for.

As a hard core comics fan for both Marvel and DC, I rank Wonder Woman pretty high on the list of top superheroes. Who wouldn’t love a sword-wielding superheroine who is the daughter of a god? So, I was rather disappointed when I came out of the movie theater, half-eaten popcorn still in hand.

My biggest issue? Her armor.

I’m not one of those people who are opposed to superheroines showing some skin because it over sexualizes them. What I oppose is armor choices that would kill even a god.

In the movie, Wonder Woman is not fighting a single bad guy, she’s fighting an army. An army that is consisted of almost entirely gun men. I doubt the fact that her shield and armor are entirely bullet proof, seeing as the Amazons on Themiscryia knew nothing of guns until the invasion in the first act of the movie. But for the movie’s sake and comic book lore, we could be led to believe this armor was crafted by the gods with magic or just some mythical and super strong metal (like Vibranium). Even if her armor is impenetrable to bullets, what about the recoil? Or the half of her body not covered?

About half way through the movie, Steve Trevor and Wonder Woman are on the front lines in the trenches. No Man’s Land lays between them and the enemy side. Steve tells Diana, “No man can cross it.”

In one of the movie’s most iconic scenes, Diana Prince pulls an Eowyn: “I am no man.” She strolls into No Man’s Land with her shield ON HER BACK. It’s not until a mortar is fired at her does she use it to dodge the blast.

The second she popped her head above the trenches she would have taken gun fire and as Steve Trevor so nicely points out, “There are a bunch of Germans pointing machine guns at every inch of this place.” Thus, there is no way she was able to block every bullet shot her way with her bracers or shield. Someone would have shot out her legs from beneath her.

I can already hear the arguments brought up by this. But what about when she’s fighting up close? Doesn’t the armor give her flexibility? Maybe if she had a full set of knight’s armor of whatever material the shield and bracers are made of, she could take the sustained gunfire in that scene. For smaller missions, though, that armor she’s wearing would give her the flexibility to fight.

Alright, let’s address that starting with flexibility. You got me there. Without heavy metal cuffs protecting her joints, she has a much easier time doing some of the jumps and flips we see superheroes often use. This would give her an advantage in speed and agility.

But let’s look back at the main showdown at the end of the movie. Ares is wearing full armor. Since he is a god, we can assume it is made of the same thing as Wonder Woman’s armor or better. Her sword literally melts in his hand. If she had taken that sword against it over and over again nothing would have happened, not even a dent. In the end, it was the power of her bracers and magic attached to them that defeats Ares. But had she went against him without it, she wouldn’t even have stood a chance against him.

Even if we look at how her flexibility and speed ranked against other DC heroes, she falls short. The Flash would run circles around her in a fight, metaphorically and literally. All he has to do is aim for one of the armorless areas and she’d be down.

Green Arrow could easily put an arrow through one of her appendages, neck, or head. Unlike most Greek armor, Diana’s ensemble doesn’t include a helmet. A bullet or arrow from long distance would take her down in a heartbeat. And I’m sure Batman has some contingency for her as well since we all know he has one for every hero in the Justice League (including himself).

Oh, and the breast plate would be flat.

Flat? But then it wouldn’t curve to her chest and create more snug of a fit, you say.

Exactly. As cool as it looks, that form-fitting look would get any Greek soldier killed. The reason it’s flat is to disperse the weight of an attack. When a sword hits the flat surface it doesn’t all go to one point, it spreads across the entire plate. On Wonder Woman’s armor however, the weight would hit her directly in the chest where the armor curves down around her breast. It would shatter her sternum and leave her gasping for air on the ground.

I’ll admit, her armor makes her look like a real superheroine. It’s both commanding and stunning. However, in a real battle, it’s just not practical. She would have died in the No Man’s Land scene before she even had a clue who Ares really was.