The Wonder Woman movie finally came out, after years and years of waiting for it. I was worried. For one thing, I have hated almost ever DC movie I’ve ever seen. The most recent, Batman Vs. Superman and Suicide Squad, were exceptionally awful.
And yet, Wonder Woman was incredible. Gal Gadot was the perfect actress for the role, playing Diana Prince as a powerful warrior whose kindness and compassion are her strength. Chris Pine stole hearts and subsequently broke them as Steve Trevor, who is an actual nice guy who respects Diana and believes in doing the right thing. The movie was populated by well-rounded characters, many of whom were also strong women, and it showed the pain of war as it affected communities and individuals. This is mostly thanks to Patty Jenkins, the movie’s director who fought for years to bring the Amazon’s story to life.
It’s one of those movies that made me want to fight the patriarchy with my own bare hands, and a movie I’ve been looking forward to for a long time. The same thing can be said of Cars 3.
In the third installment of the franchise, Lightning McQueen is getting beaten more and more by newer race cars. Other veteran racers are retiring, but Lightning refuses to quit before he’s ready. When he wrecks horribly, it looks like he might not have a choice. He doesn’t want to face the same fate Doc did, but since he’s not there anymore, Lightning can’t ask his advice. Instead, he goes to the places Doc trained on, the dirt tracks and the forest roads, and meets those who inspired him.
Initially, it looks like the message is the typical millennial-hating garbage of the older generation: newcomers ruin everything. Actually though, it’s the opposite: the message is that the older generation has to adapt if they want to stay in the game. Lightning gets to continue doing what he loves because he’s willing to learn new things to do it.
Lightning has a lot of character development, but my favorite part of this movie was Cruz Ramirez. After being told all her life that she’s “not a race car,” she’s given up on the dream. When she learns to believe in herself – and Lightning takes her under his wing – she proves them wrong.
If Wonder Woman made me feel like fighting the patriarchy with my bare hands, Cars 3 made me feel like dismantling it brick by brick. They talk about the history of racing, both the good and the barriers outsiders had to break down themselves. By looking at their history they were prepared to move into the future. Nothing is given to them freely, but they understand why it’s worth fighting for.
Both are empowering movies and worth supporting for the messages they share and the characters they bring to life. They’re great if you need a pick-me-up. So head to the movie theater and get ready for Feelings.