Review By KRISTIN WALD
With the gorgeous posters, dramatic previews, and all-around hype surrounding the blockbuster “Wonder Woman,” it is tempting to throw caution to the wind and bring children to see this woman-directed, woman-centered superhero film. But should you?
Common Sense Media recommends the film for children 12+ and it is rated PG-13. Adhering to those guidelines cuts out a lot of very excited girls (and boys) from seeing the film on the big screen. So what is a concerned, but equally eager parent to do?
Listen, you know your child, and you know how s/he has responded to different films in the past. Some parents may want to attend a screening prior to bringing their children, and, for most viewers, “Wonder Woman” will definitely hold up to two (or more) screenings. The positive messages of powerful women, questioning norms, empathy, and choosing love over disgust may also balance out some challenges of what is, at its core, a typical big budget superhero movie. Hopefully the caveats that follow will help you decide what is best for your family.
As with all superhero films, there is a good amount of fighting violence, but “Wonder Woman” is set during World War I, and that adds an element of wartime violence as well. There is little gory violence, in fact there is surprisingly little blood considering the use of arrows, swords, bombs, and bullets. However, there is a high body count in several scenes, and some of the deaths are particularly realistic. Towards the beginning, an Amazon swinging off a cliff to attack soldiers is shot, and her body swings lifeless on the rope. In war scenes, women and children are shown suffering in a muddy bunker and later killed by gas.
More graphic, there is one scene that shows a soldier with a mangled leg, although it is not close-up or particularly gory, especially when compared to what we are used to. There are many horses used in the film, and during fight scenes they are seen falling or getting hit by bullets and debris. My understanding is that most of this is computer graphic work, but sensitive animal lovers may be disturbed.
The sexual innuendo and use of alcohol is minimal. The main issue some parents may have for younger children is a briefly naked Steve Trevor, shown from the front holding his genitals as he walks down from a bath. There is also banter about reproduction versus “pleasures of the flesh” and a kiss that later implies an intimate night spent together. There are a few scenes where characters are drinking, and one in particular becomes very drunk. Consequences of the drinking are alluded to, but not elaborated upon.
For children sensitive to sound, this film may feel very loud in parts. With explosions, Ares-generated lightning strikes, and tanks being thrown, there are several sections with potential for children to react strongly to noise. The same goes for flashing lights and fast edits.
Overall, children 10 and older will find “Wonder Woman” enjoyable. Younger children who have enjoyed films like the Star Wars or Harry Potter franchises, or any of the Tolkien inspired films will probably take it in stride. Try watching the previews with children prior to deciding whether or not to see “Wonder Woman” in the theater or whether to wait until it can be watched on the small screen.