Tag Archives: female superhero

Movie Review: Wonder Woman 1984

Image copied from Rotten Tomatoes

Like many I’m sure, my family sat down after our overly-indulgent Christmas dinner to watch the opening day release of a new movie, premiering concurrently in theatres and on HBO Max.  After the success of the first Wonder Woman movie, my family were all excited to see what would happen next to my personal favorite childhood heroine.

What makes this version of the Amazonian princess so special is not Diana’s powers, which have continued to grow since her discovery in the first movie that she is actually a goddess and the daughter of Zeus, but her humanity.  The Diana (played by Gal Gadot) living in 1984 is lonely; she has lost the love of her life; but she is also passionate about the truth, empathic, and is driven by her desire to help those in need.  These qualities set her apart from every other wanna-be super hero out there.

Diana uses a newly-discovered ability to create her comic-book invisible jet.

Diana’s unique qualities are especially highlighted when Dr. Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig), a brilliant but socially awkward in the extreme colleague, makes a wish that actually duplicates Diana’s powers in her, though cannot imbue her with Diana’s noble character.

This “wish magic” is one facet of the movie I had issue with; this plot device, which is actually central to the story, as it creates both of the antagonists and also returns Captain Trevor (Chris Pine) to Diana’s arms; does require some suspension of disbelief from the audience.  However, after the introduction of this device, director Patty Jenkins and the wonderful cast and writers turn this fancy into a powerful story, which includes not only a number of absurd wishes but also dangerous ones as well as consequences that truly showcase the old saying “be careful what you wish for.”

Diana’s sacrifice, first of her powers, then of her most heartfelt wish, become a necessary sacrifice to save the world, a sacrifice that momentarily seems to be in vain.  The true catalyst for change though, is when Diana’s faith in humanity becomes the ultimate hero of the story when her words, broadcast unwittingly by Max Lord, appeals to the masses to undo what has been done before the world is literally destroyed.

The plot for this movie actually was more epic than the first one, and I can only imagine what is planned for the next sequel, already in the works thanks to the early success of this holiday release.  Will the next movie also premier concurrently in theatre and digitally?  Only time will tell, but I guarantee me and my family will look forward to seeing it.

The New Hero on the Block: A Review of Captain Marvel

Move over boys, there’s plenty of room in this galaxy for the fiercest female superhero to appear in many years.  Captain Marvel, the latest addition to the Marvel universe saga, hit theaters last week and the title character, played by Brie Larson, lives up to the moniker.

This movie is set mostly in 1995, which means chronologically it predates the events presented in any of the other Marvel movie storylines except for the one detailing the origins of Captain America.  A much younger (thanks to CGI) Nick Fury is already in place as the head of SHEILD, but the organization has not yet developed its mandate to stop alien threats, mostly because it is not yet aware of their existence.

Fury, accompanied by “the new guy” Phil Coulson, is unprepared for his first encounter with the green-skinned alien shapeshifters called The Skrull, but he is smart enough to recognize that there’s more than meets the eye to the mysterious young woman who claims to be hunting them as a member of the Kree defense force.  Ready or not, Earth is about to become a battle ground between these two alien races, both previously introduced in other Marvel movies.

What follows is a story of loss, betrayal, and battles both on land and in space as Carol “Vers” Danvers has to piece together lost memories to determine who she really is, and which side in a galactic war is actually a threat to not only humanity, but the galaxy at large.  The powers she acquires, and the ease with which she wields them, prove her to be more than a match for any of the previously shown Marvel heroes or villains.

Brie Larson (Captain Marvel) and Lashana Lynch as fellow pilot Maria Rambeau in a scene from the new movie.  From imbd.com

This movie seemingly attempts to raise the quota of female characters in the Marvel franchise.  In addition to a female lead with mind-blowing abilities, there are also featured two hardcore female test pilots, a (deceased) female scientist who was actually an undercover Kree agent, a female supreme being of the Kree race, and a female Kree warrior for Carol to face off against.  Despite the occasional estrogen overload, though, the central story is more about overcoming limits and finding the hero inside one’s self.

Spoilers: those invested in the Marvel universe will be very interested in the fine details scattered about the movie, including; the true story about how Fury lost his eye, the origin of the name “Avengers,” and the fate of the Tesseract after it was sunk in the ocean during Captain America and before it appeared in the desert in Thor.

I loved this new version of Captain Marvel, and am now even more pumped for the conclusion to the Marvel epic, Avengers: Endgame, which is coming in April.  Captain Marvel is currently showing at a theater near you.