When Zack Snyder saw DC’s two biggest names going at it for no desernable reason, leaving a bloody trail of bodies in each other wakes and screaming the name Martha randomly, even he knew he needed something to patch the movie together and that was a job for Wonder Woman. Soon to be the first major blockbuster female led superhero movie, not counting all the other ones we’ve had; where she dates Captain Kirk and visits World War 1. Will it be any good? I don’t know I haven’t seen it, yet. But going off all the other female led superhero movies, probably not. Still this isn’t the first stab at bringing the golden eagle chested heroine back after Lynda Carters defining role. For there was also……………………..
With Marvel really starting to take off around this time and DC having ‘Batman’ an effort was made to do something with Diana Prince aka Wonder Woman. They drafted their script and shipped it around to at least five different studios all of which turned it down for being a bit shit. Fortunately for us NBC was in a bit of a bind at the time and after much whinging and whinning gave David E Kelley some money to go make his damn show if only he agreed to shut up and leave them alone.
Thus we get the tale of Diana Themyscira a successful business owner, part time crime fighter and lover of crisps and sappy love films.
Do you remember in the past how I’ve said that people often don’t seem to know what to do with Wonder Woman and that’s why we’ve got so many versions of her; diplomat, god of war, super spy, superhero and so on. Well this pilot could pretty much be the living embodiment of that notion. See she’s Diana Prince, lonely, love struck, single woman trying to make her way in the world with the aid of her pet cat Sylvester. Except that is really just her cover identity for she is really Diana Themyscira owner of Themyscira industries but see that is just a cover for she uses her millions from that to fund her life as Wonder Woman; except it isn’t much of a front as everybody knows she’s Wonder Woman and the whole company exists to merchandise and sell Wonder Woman on plastic lunch boxes, dolls and so forth.
The plot is pretty standard fare with an evil chemical company trying to make the perfect super solider and doing so through drugs and college students. Run by overly British fem-bot Elizabeth Hurley we come in past the investigating bit and just in time for Wonder Woman to declare that it’s now personal because one of said college kids didn’t actually die from the drug he was stupid enough to take and go after her. You may notice something missing and that’s an origin story. Now yes I know I always complain when superhero’s drag out the origin story to pad time yet again, re-iterating that Batman lost his folks and Spiderman got bit by a radioactive spider but I really think we could have done with something here. See she claims to be an Amazon, however she also claims to have a magical lasso of truth butut she only ever uses her lasso to choke hold bad guys, instead preferring wire taps and torture and the only time we get told about her being an Amazon is over a board meeting where they are talking about how to sell big breasted Barbie dolls. So is she actually an Amazon or not? If she is why is she called Ms Themyscira? Steve doesn’t introduce himself as Steven America, does he?
So what are my thoughts on all this. It’s not as bad as I expected given some of the reviews I’ve seen. It’s still not good but there is stuff to like. The cast is fairly decent given the dialogue they are given. The fight scenes are well shot and the action well handled. The costume looks pretty cheap and shiny for me but this is a pilot and while some of the wires are still showing and the lasso wavers as they both wait for the last drop of cgi before heading to air my copy also cheerfully announced that the pants at least would also be touched up likewise before the premier. The one piece bathing costume makes an appearance toward the end as she heads for the final fight of the episode and while looking worse than some of the cosplay out there does the job I guess. There are two major problems I have with the episode. The first is the old habit of juggling too many balls. Had they stuck with single apartment cat lady Diana Prince I could have gone for it, had they had high powered buisness lady Diana Themyscira I could have bought it but having both was one cover identity too many. Likewise if you want to do a Wonder Woman struggling being viewed as a God while being very human, then fine. You want a hero marketing themselves to pay for being themself, then again fine. That whole plot line could have been a decent follow up to Iron Man who spent the rest of his cinematic career playing tent pole for the MCU. And though you could in theory have done both, I don’t think that was within the realm of this writer.
The second problem is that none of that sounds like Wonder Woman.