You’ve probably heard by now that Wonder Woman is a good movie. Better than good. In fact, I gave it an A, which is a grade I don’t readily hand out. Director Patty Jenkins finally delivered a proper superhero flick to DC, but the next big question PARENTS will ask is, “Can my KIDS see Wonder Woman?”
There are a handful of factors to consider before taking your youngsters, so let me break them down for you.
Wonder Woman is the origin story of Diana (Gal Gadot), the Princess of the Amazons. She is compelled to leave her island home after pilot, Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) crashes there and tells of a terrible war to end all wars. This is how Diana ends up on the front lines of WWI, fighting what she believes is a battle waged by her arch nemesis, Ares.
Wonder Woman is rated PG-13 and offers the same type of bloodless violence we see in modern superhero movies. It happens during an actual conflict though, so kids will see realistic images of battlefield horrors. There are mistreated animals, abandoned children and dying soldiers, which might be tough for sensitive viewers. There are also some very emotional death scenes, which my 9-year-old and I both cried through. The most questionable scenes for me though, happen between Diana and Steve. Diana has never seen a man before, and is wildly intrigued. She has countless questions for him, which gives Wonder Woman a higher level of sexual innuendo than I recall from other DC movies. There’s even a nearly-naked Chris Pine scene, when Diana finds Steve taking a bath. A strategically placed hand keeps this moment from an R-rating, but my 13-year-old thought it was hilarious. No lines are ever actually crossed in Wonder Woman, but they are definitely danced upon.
Kids are far more likely to take positive messages away from Wonder Woman, of which there are too many to count.
Diana and the Amazons have a clear cut idea of Good and Evil, plus they’re fierce warriors. Their grace and nobility are inherently beautiful, but there isn’t a pretty waif in the bunch. It’s a refreshing take on femininity, and one that’s rarely seen onscreen. The rag-tag team assembled by Steve Trevor is also a unique look at soldiers. They are men with no countries, who have lost their battle-field strengths, but they still want to contribute to the cause. There’s also the notion in Wonder Woman that mankind is inherently good, even though we are flawed and often make the wrong choices.
I think that the Wonder Woman experience is enhanced by knowing more about Gal Gadot. My daughters loved hearing about her years as a combat trainer with the Israel Defense Forces and how she was in law school when she started acting. Gadot is a motorcycle enthusiast, performs most of her own stunts and she’s also the mother of two little girls. Honestly, I was rooting for another actress to play this part but I think Gadot’s background helps her embody the role of Diana in a way no one else could. She is the reason that Wonder Woman is AWESOME and a superhero you will want to share with your kids.