“I used to want to save the world.  To end war, and bring peace to mankind.  But then I glimpsed the darkness that lives within their light.  I leaned that inside every one of them, there will always be both.   A choice each must make for themselves.  Something no hero will ever defeat.”


Well, dear readers, I’ve done it!  After a hurricane-infested month delaying normal operations from yours truly, what better way to get back into full swing than fulfilling my semi-promise of a spoiler-review for this beautiful gem of the superhero genre?

Yep, as always, it’s SPOILERS for this series.  The “non-spoiler” review for Wonder Woman, I wrote as the movie came out in theaters.  I’d recommend reading that one, if you haven’t seen the movie already.  Here, I’ll expand on the basic points of the old review—with the freedom of assuming you have seen this gem.

This past week, it came out on DVD/Blu-Ray—so, to paraphrase Doc Brown, “I figured…‘What the heck?’”

All right, folks…let’s do it.

Editor’s Note: In April of 2017 writer Eric M. Blake began a series at Western Free Press naming the “Greatest Conservative Films.” The introduction explaining the rules and indexing all films included in the series can be found here. Liberty Island will feature cross-posts of select essays from the series with the aim of encouraging discussion at this cross-roads of cinematic art with political ideology. (Click here to see the original essay. Check out the previously cross-posted entries on Jackie Brown, Captain America: The First AvengerCaptain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil WarUnforgivenHail, Caesar!, Apocalypse Now, Fight Club, Man of Steel, and Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice ULTIMATE EDITION.) If you would like join this dialogue please contact us at submissions [@] libertyislandmag.com.


To put it simply, feminazis hate it.

Don’t just take my word for it—they told us, themselves.  Gal Gadot’s too pretty—Gal Gadot’s too fit—Gal Gadot’s too sexy—Gal Gadot has hairless armpits

And worst of all—horror of horrors—Gal Gadot’s Diana doesn’t hate men!

Did we mention Gal’s Israeli?  Or that she was a combat trainer in the Israeli Defense Force?  Or that she—to this day—stands by Israel and its right to exist, and to defend itself against its enemies?  Oh, how dare she?!

Naturally, Islamists hate Wonder Woman, too.  Some countries of theirs even banned it.

In other words…with two “identity” groups sacred to Lefties tearing their hair out over this movie, it was almost obligatory for Conservatives to support it in droves!  Even if it wasn’tspecifically Conservative, in content.

Of course…it is.  Which only makes it all the more rewarding.

I should note, by the way: certain online Conservatives seem a bit…reluctant to support female-led flicks, fearing that such, by its very nature, implies feminist propaganda.  The otherwise-great Gavin McInnis argued such, over Star Wars: Rogue One and Arrival.

Incorrectly, of course.  As you may remember, I’ve proclaimed Rogue One 100% Conservative-friendly.  The heroine even quotes Reagan himself!

And Arrival?  Well, stick around, folks—I’ve got some plans for that one….

But back to the main issue.  Look, a female-led adventure film’s only “feminist propaganda” if, as Ben Shapiro’s laid out, the heroine essentially didn’t “need” to be a woman for the film to work exactly as it did—that is, were the genders reversed, we’d get the exact same film.  Or we get feminazi sermonizing in the dialogue.

Neither’s the case with Rogue One.  Or Arrival.

Or Wonder Woman.


I often use the term “pseudo-feminism” to describe the politicized nonsense spouted by the self-proclaimed spokeswomen of feminism—those who don’t practice what they preach, making excuses for Bill Clinton and Ted Kennedy while they lie through their teeth about Planned Parenthood providing mammograms and prenatal care.  (It doesn’t.)  It’s reached a tipping point with the Third-Wave types, who despise even the very concepts of femininity (“A construct of the patriarchy, to keep women down!”) and even beauty (“Another construct of the patriarchy, to keep women down!”).  Meanwhile, of course, masculinity’s “toxic”—and “man’s men” must be despised, and shunned, and even broken by society.

Of course, as one pseudo-feminist wept, whatever “appealing misandry” (her words, mind you!) may have been “promised” in Wonder Woman (by whom?) essentially vanishes the moment Diana rescues Steve Trevor.  And from that point on, whatever anti-man statements we may hear from the other women of Themyscira—and eventually, by Ares—are shown to be pretty much…wrong.

Diana’s experiences with Steve and his crew have her forming a delightful camaraderie with all of them—having fun with them, treating them as human beings.  As equals—fellow warriors, setting out to do right by each other…and the world.

Diana takes charge in the “No Man’s Land” sequence, and the aftermath in the village—and as far as the guys are concerned, she’s earned that right.  She truly is empowered, in every sense of the word.

And never once does she step on a man’s toes to do it.  She doesn’t need to.

She’s far too strong for that.


The great Camille Paglia once complained about Mad Men having too much Pretention Of Hindsight.  (That’s my term, but you get the idea.)  As she put it, she felt the show, particularly regarding how it focused on sexual dynamics “back then”, was too much of “a contemporary projection of snarky attitudes about the past.”  You know: “Oh, look at how backwards we were, back then—look at how stupid people were.  Look at how oppressive bosses were to women—look at how they talked to them!”

Except they didn’t talk that way—it’s all exaggerated, of course, so that the audience doesn’t miss The Message.  Sadly, Marvel’s Agent Carter had the exact same problem—on steroids.

But I’ve already talked about that, before.

Wonder Woman beautifully averts that anvil-icious nonsense.  There’s no “microscope”, here—after all, it’s not what the movie’s supposed to be about, and Patty Jenkins and Co. know it.

Not that the movie’s blind to it, either…but it approaches the issue in the best possible way: subtly.  If you’re looking for it, it’s there.  If you’re not, it’s just a little nudge or two—nothing remotely approaching a hammer.  A superior of Trevor’s briefly complains about his bringing a woman into the meeting.  A group of doughboys call out at Diana as she and Steve first arrive in London—leading Steve to go, “Gentlemen, eyes to yourselves….”  They comply.

Steve’s crew, upon meeting Diana, initially react rather…openly about her being quite easy on the eyes.  But almost immediately, she wins their respect “as a person”.

That’s about as far as the film goes with This Era Was Sexist.  And it’s all the better for it.

Incidentally, Etta notes a couple times that she’s a suffragette.  Never once does Steve belittle her about it—or anything.


In another life, Steve Trevor would’ve been Captain America.  From the beginning, he’s shown as a hero—saving Diana’s life in the fight against the German force invading Themyscira.  And in his recount of the events that led him to the island, we see he went beyond his reconnaissance assignment to swipe Dr. Poison’s book of records, to bring them to his superiors and try to prevent the prolonging of the war.

He’s a noble man—worthy of admiration, as Diana’s quick to realize.  And it is he who inspires her to do the right thing—no matter the cost to herself—because he’s willing to do the same:

f you will, “A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.”  And as far as Diana’s concerned, that applies for a woman, as well—particularly an Amazon.

I could go on about Steve, but to do that I might as well reiterate what I’ve said before:

The captain himself is confident, decisive, and strong.  Steve Trevor is a leader—a man among men, as shown constantly in a way that would please Howard Hawks.  “Sensitive”?  Only if that’s the modern word for “being a gentleman”.  Really, he’s everything a guy would want to be.  …And importantly, he’s the realist balance to Diana’s naïveté…all too aware of the darkness in the world.

A value of men as men, and of women as women.  Steve and Diana complement one another perfectly, in their efforts to win the war and save the day.

And as for Steve’s team, we see our boys doing their part—planning with their leader some brilliant tactics to help Diana free a town.  Steve’s their leader—the leader of the mission.  But he’s willing and eager to respect Diana’s efforts in all this, as a Real Man does.


You know the feminazis were simmering over this—not that many of them dared admit it, in their reviews.  After all, before the movie came out, quite a few of their number whined and moaned over Gal Gadot’s hairless armpits—and, rightfully, found themselves laughingstocks.  Better late than never, on that.

Regardless, it must’ve really gotten their goat, just how feminine Diana is, throughout the film.  Most overtly, it’s her aura of sweetness and wide-eyed innocence at so many things—cute moments of her being quite, well…“girly”.

She’s vulnerable, driven to tears more than once over the suffering in the war.  And she lights up with joy as the heroes enjoy moments of peace and calm, between the storms.

She flirts with Steve with a knowing smirk and a sparkle in her eye.  She demands “How do I know you’re not lying to me now?” with a posture implying hands on her hips.  Very “Hawksian Woman”, in so many ways.

And of course, she gushes over a baby.  And ice cream.

None of this is ever indicated to hamper her empowerment as a Strong Woman.  In fact, if anything…it’s all part of it.  Her caring, soft, and yes, maternal side is what motivates her to put her foot down…and stand athwart history, yelling “Stop!”

(I’d say “Apologies to Buckley”…but I’d say he’d appreciate the quote.)

Men are men in this film…and women are women.  And as far as Patty Jenkins is concerned, that’s exactly how it all should be.  Empowerment comes out of that—not in spite of it.

James Cameron, eat your heart out.


Besides her mother, Queen Hippolyta, the most formidable influence in Diana’s formative years is General Antiope—who trains Diana to be the greatest fighter of Themyscira.

Initially, Hippolyta is…reluctant to let Diana train—saying it isn’t necessary, and besides it isn’t healthy to encourage such things.  But Antiope argues otherwise—with words to make the hawks among us cheer:

Despite the uncertainty of the sequence’s end, it’s clear that Antiope is right.  Much as the Left likes to moan about our “encouraging” enemies, “moving” them to attack us with our “arrogance”…the truth is, Reagan was fully in the right with his policy of Peace Through Strength.  War must be prepared for, as though it were inevitable—and that is the surest way to ensure that no one dare attack…at least not for long.

And as it turns out, Diana needs all of Antiope’s training to save the day—especially if she isn’t to let her innocent heart get the better of her.


The film begins with a narration from Diana, telling an unidentified listener* about how her perspective of the world’s changed:

“I used to want to ‘save the world’.  This beautiful place.  But I knew so little, then.  It is a land of magic and wonder—worth cherishing, in every way.  But the closer you get—the more you see the great darkness simmering within.  And mankind? (Chuckle) Mankind is another story altogether.

“What one does when faced with the truth is more difficult than you think.  I learned this the hard way—a long, long time ago.  And now—I will never be the same.”

As she thinks back, we see Diana began with a very…utopian view of mankind, as something to be “restored”, i.e. perfected.  For most of the film, she’s 100% convinced that if she defeats Ares, everyone will stop fighting and be good again.

Steve Trevor isn’t convinced of this—and neither is Hippolyta (though her daughter’s naïveté on this is pretty much her own fault, for telling that story to little Diana…).  But again, Diana had to learn the truth the hard way—brought to despair over the harsh realities that Steve already knows, and tries to tell her amid her despair:

Even Ares eventually explains, he may give mankind weapons…“But I don’t make them usethem.”

The knowledge shakes Diana to the core—but as the climax goes on, and Steve’s last words to her finally register in her mind…she learns that one doesn’t have to be “utopian” about mankind in order to stand by it.  Society may not be “perfectible” in the “Progressive” sense…but that’s no reason to be nihilistic (or worse).

Diana learns to accept humanity as it is, not as she’d like it to be—and to love it, all the same.  And in so doing, she rejects a “Progressive” view of the world…for a Conservative one.


There’s something to be said for Diana saying “mankind”, among other things.  As the great Carlin pointed out, so many feminists have a bad obsession with changing the language to make it “gender-neutral”—“They want a manhole to be a person-hole!”

Thank Hera, Wonder Woman doesn’t give a crap about that.

One of the most amusing whines of the pseudo-feminist critics concerns how all the Amazons are thin and fit.  Never mind how, well…warriors are kinda supposed to be in prime physical condition…right?!  At any rate, one pseudo-feminist said something about how football players can be “bulky” and there isn’t a problem.  All I can say is…she clearly wasn’t paying attention.  Early on, there’s a prominent shot of a black Amazon shown to be invulnerable to being clubbed with things—and wouldn’t you know it, she’s pretty much built like a football player….

There’s a nice moment where Steve talks about chivalry, marriage, and being a gentlemanabout sexuality—all in a quite socially conservative sense.

The notion of “peace at any price” also takes it on the chin, as the attitude leads to a brief roadblock in Steve’s efforts to get his mission underway to thwart Ludendorff’s operation (much to Diana’s intense frustration).  Ares later invokes it as part of his plan, “an armistice they cannot keep” leaving London vulnerable to attack.

The Blu-Ray’s bonus features include a segment “Warriors Of Wonder Woman,” about the training of the actresses playing the Amazons, and “The Trinity,” about Wonder Woman’s place amongst the “Big Three” with Superman and Batman.  Various moments in both segments invoke the notion that men and women are—could it be possible?!—different, even in such things as physical training and strength-building…and what the “ideal” is, heroically.

I know…shocker.

Another feature involves Patty Jenkins as the director—and it begins with the emphasis that the execs made sure they hired, first and foremost, the most qualified for the job, “man orwoman.”  If the film’s any indication, they chose…wisely.


I’ve loved the DC Cinematic Universe (formerly “DC Extended Universe”—coined by a random reporter and used until Warner Brothers recently corrected it) from its beginning, with Man of Steel providing a new, rich sense of heart and soul in its depiction of Superman.  Then Batman v. Superman—Ultimate Edition only, mind you—broadened the canvas, with deep and intricate strokes nonetheless.  Suicide Squad—well…I’ll get back to you, on that one.

Regardless, all three of those films have suffered some divisiveness among audiences and critics—for a long variety of reasons.  Despite the “steak-dinner” richness at the DC-CU’s best, it really needed a boost—a film that would unite the en masse reaction, positively.  Preferably, it’d have to happen before Warner Brothers pulled out all the stops, with Justice League.

Well…it did happen.  Wonder Woman killed it at the box office, having a lot of staying power as moviegoers (myself included) went back to see it again, bringing new viewers with them.  And the critics?  Well…at long last, a high score on the Tomato-meter!  (“For those of you in Rio Linda”, that’s Rotten Tomatoes….)

It’s a shot in the arm the Cinematic Universe needed.  And we can pretty much thank one woman for it.


As noted above, the director of the first good female-superhero film being a woman was almost incidental—a happy coincidence forming a great visual icing on the cake.  Regardless, watching this film, it’s hard not to marvel at how wonderfully Patty Jenkins masters the scope and style of all this.  It’s a mark against Hollywood that she hasn’t done much in a while.

Supposedly she was set to direct Thor 2, over at Marvel—but she left after a disagreement over exactly what story to tell.  Apparently, Patty wanted to explore the romance between Thor and Jane Foster (Natalie Portman’s character)—which, as even the most vehement MCU fans know well, has been tragically underdeveloped.  At any rate…the “sans-Patty” movie we did get isn’t exactly one of the MCU’s masterpieces.  Bet Marvel’s kicking themselves—especially now that DC’s “converted” Mr. Avengers himself, Joss Whedon**.

But I digress.

Arguably the big Female Director today is the great Katheryn Bigelow, she who restored war films to box-office viability by daring to cut Lefty politics out of it.  She also directed the original Point Break—which means she can handle exciting, entertaining action, easily.  The sooner shedoes a superhero film, the better.

Patty Jenkins doesn’t quite have the prestige as Bigelow, but she’s high-quality, nonetheless.  And unlike Sofia Coppola, there’s nothing pretentious about her Art (COUGH—Lost In Translation—COUGH).  One look at Wonder Woman, and it’s clear she approached it with genuine enthusiasm and passion—and love.  There’s nothing self-conscious about this movie being Made By A Woman.  What’s clear, however, is that the movie’s made by a fan—and an artist.  Someone devoted to getting things right.


Gal Gadot isn’t Oscar-caliber as of yet—but that hardly means she wasn’t a perfect casting for Diana.  Some may have wanted this actress or that (even if they’re already “claimed” by Marvel), but I myself have no complaints.  Gal definitely brings a fully convincing physicality to the role (as befits an IDF combat trainer), amid her “model-thin” build—but it’s more than that.  There’s also a sweet innocence to her Diana, in any situation—the tears in her eyes at the sight of civilian suffering, the angst over whether she’s caused harm to Antiope…the charm of her curiosity over seeing a man for the first time—the list goes on.

One thing she’s not is “wooden”.  Especially when we contrast Diana’s innocence in this film with her world-weariness in Batman v. Superman.  Gal does indeed have a range.  And in time, we’ll come to discover more of it—as she will.

In the meantime, her performance in the famous “No Man’s Land” sequence is truly something to behold.


It’s not uncommon for someone to remark, with this, that it’s a shame William Shatner didn’t play Steve in the old Lynda Carter Wonder Woman series.  At any rate, our new James T. Kirk seems to be going full Shatner when the Amazons interrogate him over the war effort:

Throughout the film, we buy his connection with Diana—their fascination developing into a delightful chemistry, bonding, blossoming into romance.  They connect over their devotion to their ideals, to fight for what’s right—their integrity, and desire to end the war.  And as they dance amid the slight trickle of snow…it truly does warm the heart.

In so many ways, Steve is to Diana what Lois Lane is to Superman—the personification of everything good and noble about humanity.  The proof that the people of Earth are worth saving, whatever their flaws.


A lot of folks have drawn comparisons between Wonder Woman and Captain America: The First Avenger.  Honestly, it’s more-or-less superficial: Set during a world war, the heroes joining up with a band of crazy-fun roguish types…

But that last thing actually brings up a contrast, too.  You may recall: the Howling Commandoes in Captain America were fun and charming…but be honest: do we remember any of them as individuals, per se?  What characteristics each of them had were slight, and on the surface.  One was Very British, and the leader had a bowler hat.  But really, we knew and loved them as a group.

The team in Wonder Woman is different.  Each one is a character in his own right.  Charlie’s a Scottish sniper with a fondness for drink (and as it turns out, song)…but riddled with PTSD, suffering nightmares—and an inability to shoot if he can see the target’s face.  Sameer is a flamboyant actor and wannabe Casanova—and though his “wrong color” has led to disappointments in his career, he’s got the stuff within to enjoy life, wherever it takes him…and even put his skill to use in espionage.  Chief serenely accepts his lot in life, as well—but in a solemn, seen-it-all fashion, coolly pointing out to Diana the complications of history and war via the example of the White Man versus the Red.  (Actually, according to the comics, he’s a spirit/“god”, himself—which explains his quick connection with Diana.)

And of course, there’s Etta Candy—Steve’s bubbly secretary, who surprisingly seems able to wield Diana’s sword with little real effort.  Tough gal, Etta—“principles”, indeed!


Lily Aspell plays little Diana.  We can believe her charming all the ladies of Themyscira as she runs through the city…because she charms us too, with her adorable enthusiasm and delightful sense of adventure.

Robin Wright—known to all either as The Princess Bride or as Claire Underwood in House of Cards—brings the full force of her charisma and inner strength as General Antiope, Diana’s mentor in the ways of war.  Her role is comparatively minor—but significant, and we feel a great deal when she’s taken from the land of the living….

Connie Nielson plays Queen Hippolyta, authoritative and proud, and yet filled with pathos.  She doesn’t want to lose her beloved daughter…but comes to accept she may have to.  And Nielson channels the tragedy to full effect, as she at once banishes Diana and bids her good fortune in her efforts to save mankind from Ares…or from itself.

David Thewlis, recognizable to Harry Potter fans, is Sir Patrick, Trevor’s superior—and as it turns out, the real Ares.  People have complained about this—but I actually like the twist, the reveal that the enemy Diana’s been looking for is not the aggressive type she thought he was…but a subtle, intellectual manipulator, who nudges people into evil through suggestion—not overt control.

Danny Huston brings menace in his admittedly simplistic role as Ludendorff—especially when he waxes eloquent on war to Diana.  Elena Anaya is more complex as Dr. Maru, aka Dr. Poison: While sadistic to the point of giggling at people dying from her gas…there’s a moment of vulnerability as Trevor, posing as a German officer, reaches out to her.

Lucy Davis brings bouncy charm to Etta Candy.  We can never get enough of her—or of any of Steve’s crew, be it Charlie (Ewen Bremner), Sameer (Said Taghmaousi), or Chief (Eugene Brave Rock).


Yes, color can exist in the DC-CU!  See, I love Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel and BvS (Ultimate Edition) as much as, if not more than, the next fan, but even I admit I wish he’d used a more natural, beautiful color palate.  I do understand the dramatic purpose, though: The world’s supposed to start out “grey” and dreary-looking…almost as though it’s symbolic of a world in need of heroes to “clean things up”.

Lo and behold, Wonder Woman seems to channel that symbolism to full effect.  Themyscira has a bold, almost eye-popping color palate—the ocean a deep royal blue, the sky every bit at rich, the grass a solid green, and so on.

As Diana and Steve arrive in London, she makes a point to remark about the “hideous” look of the place—and wouldn’t you know it:

It’s the greyed-out “permanently cloudy-sky” look we’re familiar with.

“Yeah, it’s not for everybody.”

Color and pastels, channeled to dramatic effect.  And for what it’s worth, Justice Leaguepromises a “return” to color—symbolizing the “age of heroes” returning to Earth, at last.


Wonder Woman’s composer is Rupert Gregson-Williams—no one we’d know, unless I’m missing something.  However, it’s a beautiful score worthy of comparison with Howard Shore’s work for The Lord Of The Rings.  That was certainly my thought upon hearing the music swell amid the fight training on Themyscira.  Epic, emotional, Romantic…heroic.

For good measure, of course, we hear Hans Zimmer’s rock-n-roll theme for Wonder Woman, too—to the cheers of all.

Inspiring A Hero:

Steve Trevor sacrifices himself to save London from destruction—blowing up a plane filled with bombs…and himself along with it.  He’s flown it up far enough for no collateral damage…

Except the despair wrought upon poor Diana’s heart.  And with Steve’s last words to her initially drowned out by the ringing in her ears and the confusion of the situation…she’s all too vulnerable to Ares’s taunts.  And she snaps—venting her blind rage onto the German soldiers, in a manner reminiscent of Luke Skywalker in a certain powerful moment in Return Of The Jedi.  Ares fills the role of Palpatine, goading her on—finally telling her to finish off Dr. Maru.  Diana picks up a tank to flatten the slimy weasel for good, and finish her revenge…

But then, her mind clears…and the last words of Steve come rushing to her, at last.

Like Lois for Superman, Steve personifies all the reasons for Wonder Woman’s love of humanity.  And realizing why he sacrificed himself, the rage vanishes.  Diana can once again be the hero she was meant to be—destroying the real enemy…and perhaps even saving the world.


Diana’s question about whether Steve considers himself “typical” of men—and Steve’s response that he’s “above average”—is a cute nod to, of all things, Barbarella.  Jane Fonda, you will never live it down.

Dr. Poison’s a major villain in the Wonder Woman comics.  One wonders if Diana sparing her life means we’ll see more of her in the future….

Respected online film critic Jeremy Jahns theorizes that the “strength” gas Dr. Poison concocts for Gen. Ludendorff might be an early form of the “venom” that super-strengthens Bane—whom we all remember from The Dark Knight Rises.  It’s extremely painful—“For you.”

Speaking of Ludendorff, historically he survived the war—supporting Hitler.  But then, Diana’s presence obviously changes things.  Sadly…apparently not enough.

Supposedly, originally none other than Linda Carter—of the classic Wonder Woman series—was offered the role of Hippolyta, Diana’s mother.  Appropriate, huh?  Alas, she was unavailable at the moment—probably because of her role in the Supergirl series.

The bonus features include an epilogue where Etta gathers Steve’s crew for a mission regarding a certain box-shaped something that’ll prove very important in Justice League.  Why Diana’s nowhere in the sequence is anyone’s guess.


* (Yes, it’s the convention of narrating to the audience, but until something proves otherwise, I choose to believe Diana’s telling the story to Lois Lane, to comfort her over the events of BvS.  After all, Diana knows exactly what it’s like to watch the man she loves die, completely helpless to save him.  If the DC Cinematic Universe does nothing to explore that bond between our two heroines, I’ll be really disappointed.)

** (Incidentally, Joss wrote up a Wonder Woman screenplay, way back when!  Supposedly, it stank—I know, hard to believe, considering Joss’s passion for Strong Female Characters…but that’s how it was.  Hopefully, he’s since improved his take on the princess, what with Zack Snyder handing the “pickup”/“postproduction” reins of Justice League over to him—Diana included….)


Buy the movie here.  And stay film-friendly, my friends.