Professor Marston and the Wonder Women Review

One of the great success stories of 2017 was Wonder Woman. People were doubtful of it being good because it was DC who had been very inconsistent in their films before. But it ended up being a great surprise when it was not only good but great. Seriously, it was the best superhero movie of the year and that was a tough task considering Thor: Ragnarok and Spider-Man: Homecoming was also released last year. So as you’d expect, interest in Wonder Woman is the highest it’s ever been so it makes sense to make a movie about how she got made. But is that movie, Professor Marston and the Wonder Women any good?

William Moulton Marston (Luke Evans, Dracula Untold) is a psychology professor at Harvard who works with his wife Elizabeth (Rebecca Hall, Vicky Christina Barcelona). In order to continue their research they hire student Olive (Bella Heathcote, The Neon Demon) and when they all fall in love with each other, they engage in a controversial polyamorous relationship.

So hello comic fans expecting to see how the genesis of Wonder Woman, you find that out but you may discover that you didn’t want to find it out. This is actually a kink movie about how wonderful it is to have a three-way relationship and that bondage is also great fun. Yep, this is a film that is much closer to Fifty Shades of Grey than any superhero movie I’ve seen recently. Basically, the movie is about how brilliant it is to have two strong female partners. Also, bondage. Can’t really forget the bondage. This does eventually lead to the creation of Wonder Woman so don’t worry, you haven’t ended up in the wrong room and are watching some guy live out his sexual fantasies, but it might be a disconcerting to some who were expecting a film that was a bit more tame.

So how does Wonder Woman play into this? Well Professor Marston is the creator of Wonder Women and the film is framed through an interview of him by the Child Study Association of America who are set to ban his comic book because of all the sexual themes in it. Yeah, the bondage isn’t just in between the three-way relationship but also in the pages of the comic book because as this movie tells you, Wonder Woman was created because Marston wanted to show the world how bondage proves his disc theory. It’s really really heartening to know that a feminist icon was made because of a guy’s kinks. Thank god for Gloria Steinem I suppose. But I have to say, it’s certainly an interesting thing to learn about such a famous character and I do have to thank the movie for telling me about it.

But the main focus is not on the superhero but on this three-way relationship between Marston, Elizabeth and Olive. This is certainly fascinating stuff. Instantly, all three know that it would be the wrong thing to do to get together as a threesome. Much of the movie is about them all denying their feelings until they finally all admit they want to bang each other, so they do exactly that. Then the movie is about the three trying to live a normal life together which they some how manage. Seriously, for years they manage to live in a suburb and raise kids without their secret coming out, that’s amazing. And with this being based on a real story, though it has been refuted by the Marston family, that must have happened. All three share great chemistry together that almost makes you root for this bizarre relationship. When a movie makes you sort of like the fact this is a threesome couple, it’s doing a good job of making likable characters.

And if we have to talk about the kinky stuff, let’s do it towards the end in a paragraph you are probably just skimming over now. If you are worried you might end up watching a porno, don’t be. While there are certainly some scenes which show some rather sexual stuff going on, it doesn’t get too far and there’s no nudity that I’m aware of. Basically, you see less than Fifty Shades of Grey and you barely see anything in that. But it is certainly there and it does lead to a really weird scenes. The three learn about bondage in a lingerie shop and Elizabeth is not happy with it, so she runs out and is chased by Marston so they can have an argument. It happens quite a bit in this movie. They then return to the bondage room where while they’ve been gone, Olive is dressed in some lingerie and holding a whip, leading to Marston seeing Wonder Woman in her. It’s a bizarre movie at times this and I’m not sure if I love or hate it about it.

The major problem I have with this movie is that I’m not sure what the point was. Maybe it was merely just telling the story of how Wonder Woman was created, but then again they skim over the many troubles that Marston had in getting the character into print and keeping true to his vision of making sure there were characters bound in rope on every page. Is it that we should accept more three-way relationships? Well considering there’s usually someone that’s really angry in the relationship at all times, it doesn’t exactly make the best case. Is it bondage should be more accepted? One of the best selling books of all time is Fifty Shades of Grey, we’re over it. I’m just not sure what the director Angela Robinson (D.E.B.S) was going for other than mixing all of these elements together.

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women is certainly a weird one. You go in expecting a story about the creation of an iconic super hero and instead get a movie about three people tying each other up. Even though the movie isn’t quite sure of the message it wants to pass on, it is still well worth a watch. There are some great performances from the likes of Luke Evans and Rebecca Hall and it’s certainly a turn up for the books to find out how much kinkiness was involved in the creation of an iconic super hero. One to watch even if it isn’t perfect.

Former Head of Movies for Screen Critics. Film Reviews now hosted on Medium.

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A Guy Who Talks About Movies

A Guy Who Talks About Movies

Former Head of Movies for Screen Critics. Film Reviews now hosted on Medium.

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