Wonder Woman was a powerful statement of grace, class, and pride. I felt proud watching this movie, and even so, being a man, I can’t possibly fathom the impact that this film must have had on women fans. It must have been empowering. I could feel it radiating off of my wife as she watched in awe as a woman stood against the stereotypes and assumptions so often conspired by men. Wonder Woman, goddess, princess and warrior, was a stunning example of poise, beauty and idyllic alacrity. The DCEU, finally got something right, and I wouldn’t be telling the truth if I didn’t say I was glad that it was Wonder Woman.
I may be a little biased I admit, when judging this movie, given that Wonder Woman is my favorite DC character. Still, I can’t be so objective that I am discounting the film’s merits at the same time. What really made it shine was that the writing and directing really found its way to the audience’s heart by displaying Diana’s compassion. While powerful and nearly unmatched in battle, this did not drive the movie. If it had, she may have come off as a flat character that lacked the ideals that define Wonder Woman. Given past missteps and choices with DCEU movies, I was worried that these key character traits would be squandered, but I was pleasantly surprised.
Director Patty Jenkins made it clear that she wanted us to know who Diana was, and quickly set her apart from not only the mortal men, but also her Amazonian sisters. Made of clay by her mother, Hippolyta, with life breathed into her by Zeus, Diana was a smart young lady who grew into brave woman with uncanny grace. She traveled headlong into battle with a noble ignorance, but quickly learned that while her past thoughts about the good of men weren’t completely correct, that it did not mean that she would turn from her ideals of helping those who needed it. Her personal arc shows her learning lessons, and applying them to her character like she would pieces of battle armor, and uses it to complete her mission.
Gal Gadot is Wonder Woman. She captures the curiosity of a woman entering a brand-new world, and maintains a humble grace that doesn’t betray her ferocity in the face of brash men. She looks amazing her armor, and is a picture-perfect snapshot of a classic hero. She even begins the movie by saving a “damsel-in-distress” in the form of Steve Trevor (Chris Pines). Throughout the movie he seems perpetually in disbelief of her existence in a way that lends power to her character and breeds a ground for kinetic character interaction between the two.
The movie’s feministic vibes are covert, clean, and classy. Given what she represents, there are several fitting points of laughter and lighthearted empowerment for any woman. I can’t speak to all of these moments, being that I am not a woman, but from what I’ve seen, I’m pleased and impressed. It’s the kind of thing I was hoping for. I can’t say the finale of the film was the greatest, but I will admit that this was an unexpected, interesting take on Ares. His goals were… unique, and still fitting with the character, and I enjoyed the miniscule twist.
While the movie wasn’t about the fighting, they were AWE-INSPIRING. Wonder Woman cannot miss a beat. Her pure power and grace in battle as a true warrior of the Amazon is so well portrayed I felt compelled to near tears on several occasions. Her holding the shield against the barrage of machine fire. The leap through windows with the shield. Her constantly being outnumbered and always prevailing. The lengthy scene against the Germans that reaches the climax with Trevor shouting “Diana! Shield!” …wow. Wow. Absolute perfection. The joy of seeing my hero in action was indescribable.
Overall, I think this movie was incredibly amazing. Aside from a few hang ups for my desire for more Amazonians of color and some of the extreme CGI, It was perfect. The effects weren’t bad, but heavy at times, though it didn’t take away from what the film truly represented. Never before has a movie with a woman with such power and idealism wrapped together as the lead, been done, and I doubt there will ever be a film that does it in the future quite like Wonder Woman. She deserves her respect. She is currently holding the DCEU up alone. Standing ovation for Wonder Woman, who I am proud to say is my favorite DC (if not favorite all time) hero.