5 Ways to Prep: Wonder Woman
By George Rose
June 1, 2017
2) Catwoman (2004)
Surprisingly, Wonder Woman isn’t actually the first female-led superhero movie. Before the DCEU and the MCU were formed, Warner Bros. beat Marvel to the punch again and tried launching a female superhero movie before their arch enemy could. DC spent $100 million bringing Halle Berry and Catwoman to the big screen. The results were… historic. The film only earned $82 million worldwide and a 9% positive review score on Rotten Tomatoes. It was widely accepted as one of the worst superhero movies ever and brought shame to everyone involved.
However, most lovers of movies don’t just love good movies. I often find joy in train wrecks. Halle Berry is horrible yet stunning to look at, Sharon Stone as the big bad boss of a cosmetics company is perfectly campy, the action is cringe-worthy and the plot is beyond bananas… but I CAN’T STOP WATCHING! Sometimes bad sex is better than no sex, and Catwoman is a great example of how I’d rather watch a woman kick butt in a terrible movie rather than not watch a woman headline a movie at all. It’s a very, VERY low bar to set for strong women in cinema and it’s a great way to guarantee you enjoy yourself during Wonder Woman.
3) Elektra (2005)
Not only did the DCEU beat the MCU to the punch with Wonder Woman kicking butt as the first cinematic universe superwoman, DC comics beat Marvel when they released Catwoman a year earlier than Elektra. This was, however, years before Disney purchased Marvel so technically Elektra doesn’t fall under the Marvel umbrella. 20th Century Fox is solely to blame. Where Catwoman is “so bad it’s good, at least to a gay man who would kill for a torn up leather outfit and diamond claws,” Elektra finds itself in the “so bad it’s… bad, like really, really awful” territory.
Most people hated Daredevil when it came out in 2003. I didn’t. I quite enjoyed it because it was during the birth of the Marvel movie movement and they could do no wrong in my book. However, after Daredevil received a critical lashing, it came as a great surprise that a spinoff starring his love interest was announced. I won’t even summarize the movie because it’s so freaking bad. This recommendation isn’t like Catwoman, where the camp-factor can barely keep it alive. This recommendation is solely because I believe in checking out the competition. Since the MCU has no female-led movies yet, Elektra is the closing thing we have to a Marvel heroine leading her own feature. It’s so God-awful bad but watching it is sure to help enhance your Wonder Woman enjoyment level.
4) Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
There are a few things I hate more than sexism in Hollywood. One of those things is homophobia in Hollywood. Another thing I hate is when women complain about not being equal in Hollywood, because gays probably have it worse than women sooooooooo yeah, there’s that. Lastly, I hate historic cinema. I hate World War 1 and 2 movies because real war is tragic and sad and boring and where are the aliens?!?! Since Wonder Woman is 3,000 years old, it’s no surprise they took her back in time for her origin story. While she may be the first heroine to grace us on screen, she isn’t the first to go back in time.
Marvel has not only done the impossible by creating a cohesive cinematic universe that others may envy forever; they also made history interesting. Since Captain America was frozen in the past and wakes up in the present, it made sense to have his origin story start things off during World War 2. Marvel took their least interesting hero with the least interesting powers and stuck them in the least interesting time period I could imagine… and it was AMAZING!!! It proved that with the right amount of superpowers and action set pieces, even my least favorite genre can become entertaining. Despite its lack of estrogen, it is the closest film in the MCU to compare to Wonder Woman and a good way to prep for how these stories can successfully go back in time.
5) Monster (2003)
No, Monster is not the villain that one of the MCU or DCEU heroes has defeated. In fact, it’s not a superhero movie at all. Shocking, right? Sure, Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot gets major points for being the one bright spot of BvS, and everyone is pumped to see her star in her own movie; and sure, the DCEU gets credit for allowing a woman to star in her own superhero movie and for hiring a woman to direct it. Everyone gets their credit where it is deserved but nobody will deserve more of the credit for the critical and box office success than its director, Patty Jenkins.
The DCEU has made nothing but crap movies, so when I noticed that Wonder Woman was sitting at 93% positive reviews online I immediately turned my head to Jenkins as the most likely reason for this unexpected reaction. It makes sense since her prior works include Monster, which Jenkins wrote and directed. It won the Best Actress Oscar for Charlize Theron, who transformed herself to become Aileen Wuornos, a white trash serial killing lesbian that killed the men who hired her for prostitution. It’s a dark movie, for sure, and a big departure from the lighthearted action surrounding Wonder Woman, but it’s a great movie and a good way to introduce yourself to the directing talents that Jenkins brings to the already well-reviewed Wonder Woman.
And with that, my friends, you are ready for the girl power that’s about to take control of the world this weekend with the release of Wonder Woman. Check back next week to see how you can best prepare yourself for The Mummy. If you can’t wait that long, follow me on Instagram (RoseByAnyName) to check out pics of me at the movies watching Wonder Woman or the many exciting pictures I plan on taking at Philly Comic Con.