#WonderWoman has been out for about 2 weeks now and I’m finally getting around to my review. But don’t worry! I had a lot to process with this film.
Wonder Woman tells the story of #Diana (Gal Gadot), Princess of Themyscira. She is trained along with the other #Amazons preparing for the fight with Aries. Her world is forever changed when #SteveTrevor (Chris Pine) arrives on the island after his plane is shot. After a brief battle between Germans pursuing Trevor and the Amazons, Diana feels a strong need to help Trevor stop World War I. She leaves the safety of Themyscira to enter the world of man where her morals and thoughts are
I remember starting out really optimistic about the #DC Extended Universe (#DCEU). But when I finally saw Man of Steel, it was “eh.” Not bad, but not good. Then there was Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Yup, it was a dumpster fire. Actually, calling that movie a dumpster fire is an insult to dumpster fire. Then #SuicideSquad; which is the film I enjoyed the most. And the more I thought about it, the less I liked it. So, I stopped thinking about the flaws and idiocy of it all. I wrote more about the state of the DCEU here. Basically, this Wonder Woman film looked great but I’ve been fooled more than once. I described this film as the Tinder date of films; you hope the person looks half as good as they look in the photos.
And guess what? This film totally knocked it out of the park. It was the film that fans of Wonder Woman earned and the one DC needed. This film was done so beautify, with such care for the central characters. It truly understood who Wonder Woman was, what she stood for and what we needed from this film. #PattyJenkins has truly created not just a good comic book film but one of the greatest comic book films of all time.
How did this treat Wonder Woman? Well, it all has to do with DC heroes in general. DC heroes are all about being gods and how those gods react to our world. What makes them interesting is how they deal with the problems of humans. They aren’t usually ordinary people given powers; it’s usually people either born with these god like powers.#MartianManhunter, #Batman, Wonder Woman and #Superman are examples of this. Whereas #Marvel heroes are about ordinary people dealing with the powers they acquire, DC is the modern Pantheon of gods.
That’s what made Wonder Woman so interesting. It was exactly that. She is a warrior goddess and she must confront the world of man. Is man worth saving? Can man be saved? Why should Wonder Woman come into this world and what can she contribute? This is illustrated perfectly when Diana’s mother told her that the world of men doesn’t deserve her. That illustrates how Diana does not see herself as above mankind; she sees herself as a protector of mankind and the world itself.
What this film also did very well was dealing with the villain. While Aries himself was not very interesting it was the underlying theme that caught my attention more. It is a theme that deals with hope, love and mankind’s inner evil. Will the hero believe in us like how we want to believe in ourselves? That’s the struggle that Wonder Woman deals with. She is fighting this idea, this figure known as Aries when she is really fighting humanity and what humanity represents. That’s what makes this so much different.
These themes of hope and love is what we needed. We live in a country that is full of anger, dissent and fear; we are afraid of our neighbors, angry at our family and we yell at each other instead of trying to understand each other. We allow the worst part of us to be corrupted, forgetting that we are good people and that, for the most part, we all want the best for each other. This film does that. When Wonder Woman is finally confronted with a choice, she decides to believe that man is capable of good and she chooses love.
This is why Steve Trevor is so important and why that relationship needed to work. Trevor was the window into the good of humanity and he is who affirms Diana’s convictions and he shows there is a reason to protect man. Their chemistry is amazing and you follow them on their journey. You become invested in their relationship because it feels so real; people from different worlds coming together to love, care and understand each other. This is illustrated and SHOWN to us when they are on the boat heading to Britain, when Diana saves Trevor on the streets of London, and when they are celebrating saving a town from the war. The climatic moment of the film was also the climatic moment of their relationship. It is so satisfying and so wonderful to be a part of, it is one of the more memorable parts of the movie.
This film’s feminism themes are done so well and strike such a balance. In so many movies that deal with a strong female character, the film usually needs to tell you how strong the woman is or have her go very clichéd and over the top about feminist themes. In this film, it is shown. Wonder Woman does not hit you over the head with it and Wonder Woman also displays how strong she is. And everything she does is completely character driven; the humor about the dress, stepping out on the battlefield, calling out the generals, all of that is displayed from her character. Even on the island of Themyscira, the women are being warriors and real characters. They are not talking about their looks or are obsessed with melodrama or talking about men. They are warriors and they have their own interests, politics and culture. This film deals with these themes in such a balanced, strong and subtle way.
The levity and the humor is done well because it is situational. It is not forced (“is she with you?” “I thought she was with you”) and fits with the character. The color and the levity is done so well.
This film is just epic. It is an epic war film. Sure it does not have the blood and gore of a Hacksaw Ridge or Saving Private Ryan but but it has such an epic feel to it. It is paced super well and it is drawn out in a wonderful way.
Even though the supporting characters are not very well developed that’s fine; not every character needs to be developed really well. And these characters are more support for the mission at hand. Also, this isn’t their story. This story is about Diana and Steve Trevor. This is about them; these characters are vehicles for that and they do a fine job fulfilling their roles. I wish I could get to know them more.
The villain was weak but, again, the villain is more what he represents that who he really is. Though a better twist would be for Aries to never exist or to just be able to draw power from war that would have worked better. That’s a small bit. The last fight was the weakest part of the film but that doesn’t mean it was bad by any means.
What makes a great superhero film? It has great action, a full story, creates a new lore and has deeper themes. The films that do this are Avengers, The Dark Knight, Superman, Logan and now Wonder Woman. This film has brought this character to the forefront of American culture and has shown that having hope and love can make a successful comic book film. This film is a war film with a superhero, again pushing the boundary of the genre like Dark Knight and Logan. This is a great film. It is the one that DC needed and the one the fans deserve.
Rating: Watch it ‘til you memorize it
What did you think of Wonder Woman? What was your favorite part and least favorite part?