For a comic book movie, anyway. There were inconsistencies that bugged me, but didn’t detract from the main story. Like, where is this mysterious island of the Amazons? We know that the good guy got there by stealing a Fokker E.III from the Germans in Turkey and flying out to sea, which puts it somewhere within about 100 miles of the Turkish coast in either the Mediterranean or Black Sea. But then they leave the island by sailboat, and after an overnight trip, are sailing up the Thames to London. Just magic, I guess.
It was also extraordinarily annoying that a major plot issue requires that Wonder Woman’s mother had, for mysterious reasons, refused to tell her important facts about her history that would have come in awfully handy in the climactic battle — instead, she gets them from the villain’s monologing.
Dr Maru, one of the bad guys, is seriously underserved. She’s terribly scarred, but there’s no explanation why she is making horrible poison gases. Her ending is unresolved; Wonder Woman refuses to drop a tank on her (again, mysterious reasons), and we don’t know what happened to her after that. Wonder Woman II?
The story is framed by scenes of Diana Prince working in a museum (?) in modern times, archiving an old WWI photo. That leaves an awful lot of story to be filled in, all of 1918-2017 (she looks awfully good for a centenarian), which promises opportunities for many interesting period pieces. Unfortunately, just before the movie started, we got to see the preview for the Justice League movie, which looks terrible, another dark, murky, grim ensemble story where it rains constantly and everyone is bashing bad guys at night. Please don’t chain the Wonder Woman story to that awful Snyderish mess!
I could go on, but I’ll leave it at that. There were things that annoyed me, but you can see that they were mostly peripheral to the story. Which is, basically, that Wonder Woman is a badass social justice warrior who hears about this big war in which millions of civilians are dying, and she decides she needs to leave her idyllic island paradise and end the war, which she thinks she can do, because her head is full of this mythic nonsense that leads her to believe that all she has to do is kill one Big Bad, and everyone will lay down their weapons (see maternally willful ignorance, above). She is instead going to learn that humans are miserably complicated, both good and evil, and that killing the monster she thinks is the sole source of evil isn’t going to solve every problem.
There is also much heroic charging of machine gun nests, batting away artillery shells with her shield, stabbing of German soldiers with pointy god-killer sword, crushing of snipers by hitting towers so hard they explode (hey, she’s pretty devastatingly brutal at points, so why the hesitation to smoosh Dr Maru? Probably because she has no problem slaughtering faceless mobs of men (misandry!) but sees a toxic mass-murdering damaged woman as deserving a little sympathy), and essentially turns combat into ballet with tracer fire and explosions.
So that was fun.
Undermining the comic book movie trope that beating the one big bad guy will solve all of the conflicts was also nice to see. There’s potential here for a series that contains some moral complexity, spiced up with explosions.
And, of course, the real treat was to see a woman acting heroically, with the men in this story scampering along behind, dazzled by her confidence and strength. That’s a stock role for a comic book story, but usually it’s filled by a heroic manly man.
Turns out a woman can be a hero, and do the job well. But you knew that all along.