Was Wonder Woman Wonderful?

wonder woman

Well, *unpopular opinion alert*, no it wasn’t. In fact, if this book had a special ability, I’d say it was in the power to send me to sleep. Before I get into all the reasons why I thought this was super dull, I do want to add that I don’t see this book as a reflection of the author and nor does it affect the respect I have for Bardugo in general.

That said, there was literally nothing I liked about this book. To me, it was a cheap cash grab attempt to jump on the superhero bandwagon. It was sadly a waste of Bardugo’s talent, with writing that was surprisingly lacklustre and missing the author’s usual flair. If it had been any other name slapped on the cover, I wouldn’t have known the difference.

The plot was tremendously predictable, cliché and uninteresting. I wouldn’t say this is thanks to it doing things wrong, it simply doesn’t do much right. There were, happily, some good throwaway lines about Spartan myths just being Athenian propaganda- yet there are better books on Greek myths that are far more engaging. Indeed, there are also far superior superhero stories. A lot of this felt like the 70s Superman movies with constant “what are you?”s- which isn’t a terrible thing in and of itself, it just added to that unoriginal vibe.

Unfortunately this wasn’t helped by the flat, cardboard cut-out characters, who were impossible to connect to. In another instance of trying to milk the reader for all they’re worth, the book feature the stereotypical STRONG women characters. Alas, I’m past the point of being easily sold on the kickass woman + female friendship = banking a pay check formula. It’s simply not enough for me anymore since everyone and their mother is doing it- which maybe we should see as progress, instead of getting mad at me in the comments for not being on board 😉 Frankly, Diana was a stereotypical Mary Sue: impossibly strong and with the only weakness of being too compassionate (which turns out to be her greatest strength *surprise surprise*). Alia was supposed to be smart, yet I never saw any evidence for that and quickly grew bored of her.

And the villain- man, that was in equal parts disappointingly obvious and lousy. Frankly, that was the LAST STRAW for me. Until that “reveal” I was gonna give it 2 bananas, but after that I could only spare…

1/5 bananas

hand-drawn-banana

Evidently that left a lot to be desired- but I wasn’t done with Wonder Woman yet and decided to *finally* watch the movie everyone’s been raving about as the only decent DC film this decade. So how did that measure up?

Wonder Woman_(2017_film)

Eh- it was okay. Better than the book (though that’s not hard)- but still not anything compared to the Marvel movies (there I said it). To me, it was a poor (wo)man’s Captain America/Thor- though not as good in exploring the concepts of myths and war.

Now believe me, I get that the mythology has to be revamped for the comics, but C’MON the background of this story was Lucifer vs God- this is straight out of the Bible not Greek mythology. Which feels like a waste and meant it failed to bring anything spectacular or *new* to the story.

There were ups and downs to this. The plot was okay, with some emotional moments, but soooo predictable. Gal Godot put in an entertaining performance, the cinematography was especially strong, yet the soundtrack was not utilised properly (it kinda came and went at random intervals). Worst of all, there were I kept joking were “pause for ideological commentary” that ruined the pacing and took me out of the movie.

wonderwomanNone of this was helped by the fact that Wonder Woman Mary Sue had no character arc. Oh, sorry, I can’t see her as an actual character, because, AGAIN SHE IS PERFECT AND HAS NO FLAWS. She’s a little bit of a fish out of water, but in the end, that’s just a surface level issue that doesn’t get in the way. Having her be so overpowered for me removed any tension and meant she had no room for improvement. To be charitable to the story, the mc doesn’t have to have an arc and you could say she inspires the people around her. Except this wasn’t satisfying to me, given the fact some of her mistakes were detrimental and simply brushed under the rug. For instance, *spoilers ahead* when she stops to save a village, she doesn’t care that this interferes with their covert op AND blames everyone else when its blown up anyway, EVEN THOUGH she was the one to make the detour and slow down the mission (also she has no idea how to be a spy). The problem here isn’t that she makes mistakes- it’s that they’re played off as everyone else’s fault (again, Mary Sue can’t have flaws, that’d be sexist!). Plus, even if she’s wrong about who Ares is, it doesn’t matter because she’s basically right in the end. This not only stops her from learning and developing as a character, but also means she’s a terrible teacher figure, and any development of other characters feels unearned. Consequently, when Steve sacrifices himself, it doesn’t feel like it’s because Wonder Woman taught him something. And it also seems illogical that Diana uses that moment as inspiration, since she’s already internalised the idea that humanity is basically good.

Overall, I felt this had some funny aspects and kept me mildly entertained, but I still thought it was massively overrated.

Rating: 3/5 bananas

hand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-banana

Alright- dare I ask- what do you think of Wonder Woman? Love, hate or meh? Let me know in the comments!

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56 thoughts on “Was Wonder Woman Wonderful?

  1. Matthew Wright says:

    I haven’t read this book (or seen the movie) – must admit, comic super-power characters aren’t really my thing… though a few years back I did co-create a kind of satire super-hero character and devise some stories, but I can’t draw and it never got beyond some sketches someone else drew. There was also the fact that the particular super-power he had came from eating a can of radioactive pinto beans, meaning that the beta-feedback I got was usually along the lines of ‘you’ve got more degrees than a thermometer, and you come up with THAT?’

    This aside, I can’t help thinking that the only really decent super-hero story I read was ‘Watchmen’, which was genius (and made Time’s Top 100 Novels list).

    Liked by 2 people

  2. malanielovesfiction says:

    i’m so glad i’m not alone w this Unpopular Opinion, my only experience at all w Wonder Woman is the movie you reviewed, and i didn’t,,,,,really like her at allllll????? AND IT MADE ME SAD. But like you said, she’s portrayed completely without flaws, which makes any character boring. I have 0 desire to read the book. now i’m just staring into the distance, feeling disillusioned about life and angsty af

    Liked by 2 people

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      Oh gosh me too!! hehehe I so get what you mean!!! I really agree with you! And yeah if I’d seen the movie first I wouldn’t have bothered (and I was already on the fence, till I saw it in every library and couldn’t resist 😉 ) hehehehe I so relate!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Angelica (TheBookCoverGirl) says:

    Wonderful reviews of both te book and movie! I haven’t read the book and honestly I haven’t really wanted to, despite my love of Leigh Bardugo. As for the movie, I definitely felt it to be overhyped mostly due to the fact that it was female centered. It’s like everyone was praising it for having a female lead and sucking less than Batman v. Superman that they for got to check of it was an actual good movie. It was an ok film at best.

    Liked by 2 people

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      Thank you! I really understand that- it was my love for Bardugo that made me pick it up and I regret that decision- better to just read her other work. And yeah I one hundred percent agree- it did suck less than Batman V Superman, but that doesn’t mean it’s actually good 😉 It’s a shame, cos it would’ve been cool to have a good female superhero movie *sigh*. Maybe next time.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Angelica (TheBookCoverGirl) says:

        Yeah they definitely picked her for her popularity. I thinks it’s the reason they picked people like Sarah J. Mass and Marie Lu to write the other hero books as well. And I’m honestly just hoping Captain Marvel doesn’t let us down we definitely need a good female superhero movie!

        Like

  4. alilovesbooks says:

    Haven’t read the book yet despite it sitting on my bookshelf for like a year. I am starting to get the feeling all of these DC hero books are failing to live up to the hype. I read the batman one and was kinda bored and gave up two chapters from the end cos I just didn’t care.

    I did enjoy the Wonder Woman movie. It’s probably my fave of the recent DC ones but like you I still prefer Marvel.

    Liked by 2 people

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      Yeah it’s a real pity, but I’m not seeing brilliant things about any of them. And that sounds like my experience with this book.

      I can understand that- would you believe it if I told you that I enjoyed it more than all the other DC movies? (well, considering the fact I didn’t like or enjoy any of the others, it’s probably not that surprising 😉 ) But yeah, definitely on team Marvel 😉

      Like

  5. Maria H. says:

    When this movie first came out, it was one of the first dates my husband took me too after the birth of our second child where I could drink… and so all it took was one beer for me to really enjoy this movie. My goal was to be entertained, and I was!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Mischenko says:

    I thought the movie was a bit predictable myself. I admit that I wasn’t super excited to watch it in the first place though. My kids loved it though!

    I have the book added, but won’t be rushing for it. Sorry it didn’t work out for you but love your review! 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Ola G says:

    Agree! I really hated the movie for its fake feminism and underlying sexism – and I rather won’t be reading Bardugo’s book. Why do the women characters are so often depicted just as inadequate versions of their male counterparts?

    Liked by 2 people

  8. suburbantimewaster says:

    I only saw the movie once and, in all honesty, I haven’t really cared to see it again. Though, I’ll admit, I find it ironic that you say about Wonder Woman what everyone says about Captain Marvel just by seeing the trailers of her movie. I just have one question, which is not bashing but more of a curiosity. Doesn’t Superman have the exact same issue, being all powerful with his only flaw being he cares too much, turning into his greatest strength?

    Liked by 2 people

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      Totally fair. To be honest, I do worry about this problem with every superhero when they seem overpowered (including Captain Marvel- though I’m holding out hope that Marvel will handle it as well as they have other overpowered characters in their universe, such as Thor). And it’s interesting that you mention Superman, cos I did compare the two in my mind (and really should have brought it up in the review at the risk of going on a bit longer 😉 ) The thing with superman is that he was an overpowered character, so much so that the comics had to introduce a weakness (kryptonite)- which wonder woman sorely lacks. But what really makes him compelling is that a good superman story takes into account that he’s vulnerable because *other people are in danger*. If you can’t have tension because the superhero is overpowered, this has to be made up somewhere else. There needs to be difficult choices (like the old spiderman movie where he has to save either MJ or a bus full of children). This puts the hero under a lot of strain and shows that they have weaknesses. The Wonder Woman movie made the mistake of having her battle Ares, whilst other characters went off to fight other battles. And every scene where she was fighting alongside other people felt totally safe, because I knew no one else was going to get hurt. And if her compassion is a flaw, then it really has to be shown. For me, it would have been better to show her straining to save the people in the immediate vicinity, WHILST also trying to stop the weapon that would destroy the world from launching AND trying to defeat the villain. Sorry for the rambling answer- I basically think that it can work, it just depends how it’s handled.

      Like

  9. hellotheregigi says:

    Love your honest review! I’m an unpopular opinion too when it comes to overhyped books!! I’m so glad I chose not to read the book. I’ve always been a fan of Wonder Woman via DC Comics and hate to say, nothing can beat the comic books.

    The movie had some great moments, but was a bit on the slow side in my opinion.

    Great review!!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Gemma says:

    I love the film although I admit when rewatching I usually stop after they talk the town and spend the night together. It was all down hill from there 🙂 Though perhaps I was just so happy it was a decent DC film at that point I’d take anything I could get!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Jia Xuan says:

    Though I loved the movie, I have to say that I hated the ending (the battle between Diana and Ares). That part of the movie (or ever since they started actively hunting for Ares), it was terrible. Especially that fight scene! Argghhh if she was that powerful then she could easily fight against Superman in Justice League! I think I’m done ranting for now 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. deborahkehoe says:

    I skipped reading Wonder Woman because I had just seen the movie and it was too much. I did read Batman and thought that was just waste also. I agree they jumped on the bandwagon and didn’t bring anything new to the table. Disappointing!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Krysta says:

    I really liked the Wonder Woman movie, but I think that’s partially because I love Wonder Woman and partially because I thought Gal Gadot was excellent. The final fight scene was boring, though, and I think we should have seen more of the supporting characters.

    I almost DNFed Bardugo’s Wonder Woman, but I kept going and largely ending up enjoying it. I think it just felt entertaining for some reason.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Beth (Reading Every Night) says:

    I actually loved the Wonder Woman film so I was really excited to get my hands on the book (and Leigh Bardugo is a favourite author of mine so that definitely influenced me!) but the book let me down too. It definitely wasn’t what I’d expected from either Bardugo or Diana Prince.
    For me the main thing was that it felt like there was nothing at stake. Diana returned to the island and no time had passed (if I remember right, it’s been a while since I read this one) which kind of made her sacrifice leaving her family and her home in the beginning meaningless. That was one thing the film did right but that the book missed the mark on.
    Great review, although I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy this book that much. 🙂 ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  15. arubunwritten says:

    I skipped over the spoiler for the film review as I haven’t seen it yet so I’m really disappointed to hear that, especially as it has such good reviews! I’m glad that it was a commercial success though because god knows that we don’t need to give Hollywood any more excuses not to make female-led films.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Lashaan Balasingam @ Bookidote says:

    Welp that Bardugo novel was flirting with me for a while but nothing really pushed me to the edge and to take the dive… and this review sure didn’t help hahahaha I’m glad I read it though, it feels like it would just reinforce my precautious-self on YA titles.

    Had a good laugh with your movie review too, but I have to admit that the movie was overblown in terms of quality. It was solid, fun and a bit more “consistent” than the previous movies but it wasn’t that spectacular. I do look forward to the sequel! Great reviews!

    Liked by 1 person

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