“I will fight for those who cannot fight for themselves.” – Diana Prince
Is Wonder Woman the best superhero movie out there? Not really. Is Wonder Woman the best superhero movie DC has released recently? Yes. Directed by Patty Jenkins and starring Gal Gadot and Chris Pine as the leads, the movie earned a little over 800,000,000 dollars, making this movie the biggest success of DC’s film studio since 2014.
The film is a retelling of Diana Prince aka Wonder Woman’s origins, using elements from the comic books and tweaking them a bit to satisfy the modern audience. The film starts with scenes from Diana’s homeland, Themyscira, which resembles an ancient Greek city with only female warriors, training to protect the Earth against the God of War. Diana is the daughter of the Queen, and even from the beginning, we can sense that Diana’s destined to do great things. The plot really starts to move when an American spy ( Steve Trevor – played by Chris Pine ) stumbles upon the secret island and that he reveals that there is a war going out there – the First World War. Diana must now choose between going to the “Man’s World” or staying with her fellow warriors, and because this is a superhero story, she decides to dive straight into the unknown with Steve Trevor. Diana wants to kill Ares, the God of War, since that’s the only way to stop a war according to her and Steve wants to go after the German General and his sadistic chemist Dr. Maru who kind of looks like a cartoon villain with her Phantom of the Opera-esque mask.
With a rough outline like this, Wonder Woman can seem like your generic superhero origin movie but it is the details that makes it a good watch. Unlike other DC movies, the punchlines and the jokes often land, the movie has it’s lighter moments and isn’t always grim and dark. For example, director Patty Jenkins shows the difference between Diana’s island and the “real world” by saturating the island with vibrant colours and soothing sounds while desaturating scenes that take place in the real world, trying to show that mankind has ruined their land. Gal Gadot’s Diana even remarks that Britain “is hideous.” when she first sees it. The director also makes sure that the audience feels the consequences of war, instead of glossing over the violence and the slaughter of innocents, we can see rotting corpses, orphaned children and people suffering from trauma throughout the movie. The action scenes are really good and quite different from other superhero flicks, Diana fights to stop war instead of creating conflict and her fighting really shows that.
It’s only the film’s final half hour where things start to feel a bit generic. Diana finally faces the villain she’s been going after the whole movie in a big showdown. It’s a bit cliched and the CGI Ares looks and talks like pretty much any other villain you can find in a Marvel or DC movie. Things get a bit more interesting when a side character decides to “save today so Diana can save the world” by sacrificing himself though it’s not the first time we see an American named Steve ‘dying’ on a plane in a superhero movie.
Even so, it would be an injustice to say that the movie wasn’t good because of that, especially since it got so many things right. It had its faults but considering DC’s recent movies, WW is a big success and pointing out flaws would just be nitpicking at this point. If you’re new to superhero movies, this movie is definitely a good movie to start with, and if you’re already into superhero movies but haven’t seen this one for one reason or another, it’s a must watch. Wonder Woman certainly proved to the studios that the audience wants more solo female superhero movies and we shall certainly see more of them in the upcoming years.