Editor’s Note: This Native Nerd Review on the DC Comics and Warner Brothers feature film Wonder Woman with Gal Gadot, Chris Pine and Eugene Brave Rock contains minor spoilers.
I woke up this Saturday morning to see a 9:15 a.m. showing of the DC Comics and Warner Brothers feature Wonder Woman, starring Gal Gadot as the fearless Amazonian heroine. I was thrilled that Native American actor Eugene Brave Rock, an actor and stuntman that ran a stunt ‘boot camp’ on The Revenant with numerous other Hollywood credits under his belt, would be appearing in the film.
What I didn’t expect was to be overcome with emotion when Eugene Brave Rock’s character ‘Chief’ met Wonder Woman, who was spectacularly portrayed by Gal Gadot. Why? His first words to her were in Blackfoot. Even better, he introduced himself as Napi, the Blackfoot demi-god who is known as a trickster and a storyteller.
Screen Capture YouTube
Wonder Woman and the Native American character ‘Chief’ played by Eugene Brave Rock.
Congratulations, Indian country. We all get to share a secret moment in the Wonder Woman movie. If you speak Blackfoot, the magic will surely be tenfold.
This comic-loving Native kid turned Native Nerd has rarely seen proper Native representation in the world of comics. But here was a 3D Eugene Brave Rock, 20 feet tall, his voice filling the theater in IMAX stereo sound. I was awestruck.
Courtesy Eugene Brave Rock - Photo Ewen Bremner
Eugene Brave Rock and Saïd Taghmaoui on the set of Wonder Woman.
Brave Rock had told ICMN previously that he was permitted by director Patty Jenkins to choose what he wore, who fully respected the need for proper regalia and clothing. I was filled with pride and tears of joy as I watched him act in a way that would bring admiration and respect to his fans and the people and cultures of Indian country. His character could have exited for good at that point and I would have walked away thrilled.
Then something magical unfolded: Brave Rock continued to play a significant role of the film. I watched in awe as one of my own people continued to act heroically in an amazing movie.
DC Comics has long struggled to establish itself as a legitimate superhero movie maker. To the studio’s chagrin, a massive portion of the movie-going public has been of the sentiment that DC movies (Suicide Squad removed) just don’t quite deliver. One of the studio’s more recent attempts, Batman vs. Superman, came across a bit hokey, with plot holes galore.
But Wonder Woman excels in its female bad-assery. The Amazonian warriors were spectacular and realistic and Gal Gadot as Princess Diana/Wonder Woman held her own as a strong, confident, charismatic and 100-percent believable superheroine.
More kudos go to director Patty Jenkins for creating a project so fantastic that Warner Brothers and DC Comics are sure to be handing her a plethora of more new projects to continue to elevate and enervate the DC superhero franchise.
Look out Marvel, you finally have some competition.
In addition, Chris Pine (Star Trek) does an excellent job as Steve Trevor and the other supporting cast members Saïd Taghmaoui and Ewen Bremner are sincerely brilliant.
This Native Nerd gives the film five stars out of five, two thumbs up and a 10.0 Olympics score.
Indian country: Go see this movie!
Follow Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) – ICMN’s Arts and Entertainment, Pow Wows and Sports Editor (and proud Native Nerd.)