I am a movie buff; I love seeing movies. I go to the movie theater all the time, often by myself, because I just so much enjoy watching movies.
Summer time is always fun because that is typically when Hollywood pumps out many anticipated films.
I have seen many movies this summer (King Arthur is entirely underrated by the way, that is a very good movie), but none have pleasantly surprised me the way Wonder Woman did.
Going in to the movie, I thought I knew what to expect: a beautiful protagonist, a witty and talented co-star, exhilarating fight scenes, and a cheesy, anti-christian, Hollywood worldview. That essentially accurately describes every new movie today.
But Wonder Woman was much more than that.
The quality of the movie, worldview aside, was very good. The acting was superb all around. While Gal Gadot and Chris Pine worked especially well together, almost every character in the movie was convincing.
The plot of the film was intriguing, the tie in to the rest of the D.C. world was creative, and the ending was satisfying. The writing was not too cheesy, but it still had the “superhero movie” feel to it.
I thought the C.G.I. was lackluster; the movie looked very video-game-esque to me. It did though have some gripping shots, and exciting action scenes. It was a little hard to take seriously the women warriors from time to time, but that passed quickly.
All in all, it was an entertaining movie, and very well put together. However, it was the worldview that causes me to recommend it.
Hollywood has been ramping up the heat in cramming non-Christian worldviews down people’s throats. They are even trying to indoctrinate the children. Many Christians were forced to boycott Beauty and the Beast because of its outright LGBTQ agenda and feminist interpretation of Belle. Even the new Power Rangers movie included a pro-homosexual message. I recently saw Alien. Although it was very pro-life (I think by accident) it was also very anti-faith.
Movies today love to take the opportunity to make bold statements about whichever secular issue the social justice warriors are throwing a hissy-fit about. And Wonder Woman had all of the ingredients to put that methodology on steroids.
Wonder Woman could have been the feminist dream. Even I would have been tempted to turn it into that. In a world of superheros which are predominately men, Wonder Woman is one of the few female superheros. She is strong, powerful, and takes it too a lot of men. This very architecture just screams for a loud and bold feminist propaganda film. But the movie was very tame in that regard. It did not go out of its way to be political, and shove any feminist mantras down our throats. It was very well done.
Unfortunately, the feminists are not happy about that. This is not surprise, they were even protesting before the movie was even released because Wonder Woman did not have armpit hair.
Gal Gadot is tall, thin, and extraordinarily beautiful. And that comes with a cost: she has to “conform to societal standards of beauty”, and a true feminist would never do that. The very fact that Wonder Woman was a beautiful, well-kept woman, and not a stereotypical butch forced the social justice warriors into a frenzy. Never mind the fact that Gal Gadot is actually a soldier, which makes her character far more believable. Women can be beautiful and strong it seems.
But, according to some, a woman needs to have armpit hair to be a true female heroine.
There were a couple scenes that got political. One in which Wonder Woman was undercover in a meeting room where high ranking officers were discussing military strategy (the movie took place during WWI). She was the only woman, and the men mocked her ideas, and even her very presence.
However, I think that those of us who do not identify as Feminists, and who actually think the current wave of Feminism destroys womanhood and murders feminitiy, need to be careful we do not over-correct.
In a culture filled with such passionate social wars, and with such hard sides created from them, those on both sides can bunker into their positions so that they refuse to be fair on issues, because maintaining party credibility is far more important.
I do not believe this short and minor scene was feminist propaganda. There were actually, and still are, cultures where women are mocked and treated unfairly.
The Bible is not a book for Feminists, but it is a book for women. The Bible does not treat femininity the way most 21st century Americans would like it to. Howver, it does treat femininity in a radical way which is contrary to many cultures today, and was contrary to many at cultures of the times the letters and books were written. Thus, we as Christians need to not be afraid to recognize that women are often times mistreated, and stand up for them biblically
The talents, ideas, and strengths women have belong nearly everywhere in this world. Thus, this particular scene from the movie simply recognized a day and culture where women were in fact mistreated in many ways by the men of the culture at large.
The same thing can be said for a very short scene where a minority soldier states that he wanted to be an actor, but his race prevented him from pursuing that. Again, that one small line ought not to be interpreted as Black Lives Matters propaganda or race-baiting. It simply is true that there were many times and cultures where that circumstance was the reality for many people, and the movie is free to express that.
Overall, Wonder Woman did a great job avoiding the politics. And that made a female superhero enjoyable to watch.
What stood out far and above from the rest of the film was the worldview it presented, specifically in regards to the nature of man. Wonder Woman presented a worldview closer to Christianity than any movie not intended to be a “Christian film” in recent memory.
Wonder Woman essentially made five claims, all of which are contrary to the secular worldview most movies promote, and very close to biblical Christianity:
Human beings are inherently wicked.
Evil supernatural forces exist which aid the evil of men, but are not to blame for the evil of men.
Human beings do not deserve forgiveness or rescue
Human beings are more than just evil.
Love will win the world.
Throughout the plot of the movie, Wonder Woman is deceived by a Greek myth that Aires, the rebellious god of war, had captured the hearts of men and forced them to do evil. She is convinced that if she could defeat Aires, then the hearts of men would be freed and there would be no more fighting.
When Wonder Woman finally confronts Aires she learns this is not true. She learns that, although he aided and tempted men, they were wicked all on their own. She learned that even destroying him would not end evil. She even gets into a fight with her love interest, and in what was the best scene of the movie, he admits that evil is who humans are, and he even blames himself for the war.
This is a biblical view of man and of Satan.
Satan is wicked, and he certainly aids the evil of men. He tempts (Gen. 3: 1-15), and he destroys (Job 2: 1-7), and he devours (1 Peter 5:8). However, Satan is not the scapegoat for human evil. Satan is not compelling anyone. We are perfectly wicked all on our own (Romans 3; Romans 5: Ephesians 2). Because of our wickedness we do not deserve anything good from God.
Wonder Woman agreed with this assessment, yet, she still chose to have pity on one of the movies antagonists, and when she had the opportunity to kill the evil woman at the end, she showed her mercy and grace. When she was told that the people do not deserve to be saved, she responded in agreement, saying “It’s not about deserving.”
This is the biblical model of salvation. It is out of love that God saves us (John 3:16), it is not on the basis of works (Ephesians 2: 8-10). We do not deserve to be saved. We do not deserve God’s favor or kindness. But He is gracious and merciful. And mercy and grace cannot be owed, they must be unmerited (Romans 11:6).
There was one triumphant moment where Wonder Woman recognizes that man is wicked in his very nature, however, she claims mankind is “so much more than that.” This may have been a line Christians are tempted to believe marks the departure from the biblical view of man, but I do not believe so.
The image of God was tarnished at the fall, not erased. All human beings still bear God’s image. They are still unique and precious to God, and it is God’s image in us that makes us valuable, and far more than just sinners.
If we were just sinners, nothing more, then abortion would hardly be so horrifying. Sure it would still be a capital crime, but it would not be awful on a moral level. It would just be the extermination of a little clump of evil.
Abortion is so horrible because those people being slaughtered are image-bearers. They bear God’s own image. So while we are “children of wrath” by our very nature, we are still significant and valuable to God.
The movie ends with a little bit of cheese. Wonder Woman claims that “It’s about what you believe. And I believe in love. Only love will truly save the world.”
This is where the movie took a turn from a clear, biblical worldview.
We as Christians do believe love will save the world. But not some sentimental feeling between wicked rebels. The world will not be saved by the unlikely event of sinners holding hands around a campfire.
Love will save the world, but love has a name. Jesus is love. And Jesus came into the world to save it (John 3: 17). It is Jesus who will reconcile all things and make heaven and earth new again.
So Wonder Woman is right. Man is wicked. Man does not deserve rescue.
But God is love. And Jesus will rescue. He is our sovereign King, our Hero, and our Lord. And one day, all the earth will recognize this, and bow their knee to Him in worship (Philippians 2: 3-11).