In the past we may have said a few bad things about the DC Extended Universe, but “Wonder Woman” is definitely making us eat our words.
So here are 10 Things We Loved About “Wonder Woman”
#10: It Might Have Saved the DC Extended Universe
Given the success of Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” trilogy, it’s understandable why the DCEU went for a more adult tone. But, “Man of Steel” and “Batman v Superman” were so focused on the gritty that they fell short in the fun department. This motivated the studio to shoehorn some comedy into “Suicide Squad” at the last minute, but this only added to the film’s identity crisis. But fourth time is the charm, as “Wonder Woman” gave this franchise a much needed win. Aside from earning almost universal praise for its focused plot, well-developed characters, and refreshing sense of humor, it also left audiences feeling infinitely more optimistic about “Justice League.”
#9: It Did the Origin Story Justice
Wonder Woman’s origins have undergone some notable changes between the Golden Age and the Modern Age of Comic Books. In virtually every incarnation, though, she’s a princess that was raised on an island populated by Amazon warrior women. While that might sound silly on paper, “Wonder Woman” stays true to Diana’s backstory and treats it with respect and class. Just like Greek mythology, it takes a seemingly preposterous tale and makes it feel epic, grand, and somehow relevant.
#8: It Didn’t Pack in a Million Cameos
When you’re building a cinematic universe, the occasional cameo is a welcome addition. When the whole movie is nothing but fanservice, however, it takes away from the narrative. “Batman v Superman” had the Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg, but those introductions felt unwarranted in a film where the conflict between our titular characters was underdeveloped. While “Wonder Woman” isn’t without Easter eggs, it doesn’t force a plethora of them into the equation. Rather than being another “Justice League” preview, “Wonder Woman” stands out as a compelling and genuinely entertaining blockbuster that never forgets who this story is supposed to be about. After all, Diana Prince is more than capable of carrying a movie on her own.
#7: Diana’s Dynamic with Steve Trevor
Step aside Clark Kent and Lois Lane – Diana Prince and Steve Trevor are the power couple in this universe. Gal Gadot and Chris Pine have natural chemistry together, developing an on-screen relationship that ranges from funny, to poignant, to truly romantic. It also helps that they’re given strong, well-written characters to work with, who have thoughtful conversations about war, humanity, and what it means to be a hero. In many respects, Diana and Steve couldn’t be more different, as one’s a mighty demigoddess and the other’s a mortal soldier. Nevertheless, they both treat each other as equals, sharing a common goal of creating a better tomorrow even at the expensive of their own lives.
#6: Wonder Woman’s a Great Role Model
Superheroes might fight crime, but that doesn’t mean they automatically have a positive impact. Superman destroyed an entire city, Batman made a habit of branding criminals, and the Suicide Squad – well, do we really need to explain why they aren’t role models? But this film’s depiction of Wonder Woman is a figure we can all look up to. When people are in danger and the risks are high, Diana doesn’t need to think twice before leaping into action. Although she ventures into the outside world with a simplistic outlook on humanity, Diana ultimately finds that people are more complex than she initially realized. Nevertheless, she continues to fight for truth, justice, and the American Way.
#5: It’s a Superhero Movie Directed by a Woman
Although Hollywood has no shortage of talented women behind the camera, many of them have gone unrecognized or been sidelined. They are rarely given the opportunity to direct a multimillion-dollar blockbuster. Hopefully that’ll change considering the recent strides director Patty Jenkins has made. With “Wonder Woman,” Jenkins not only became the first woman to helm a tentpole superhero movie, but also claimed the biggest domestic opening ever for a woman director, dethroning “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Having made the critically acclaimed “Monster,” it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Jenkins turned in another gripping, dramatic, and powerful flick. Jenkins caught everyone off guard with her knack for colorful action.
#4: The Colorful Action
While the previous DCEU films weren’t without problems, they all delivered at least one awesome action set piece. “Wonder Woman” is no expectation, showcasing stunning visuals that leap right out of comics and into the cinema. What separates this DC film from its predecessors is that there’s an undeniable genuine emotional investment. We care about all of these characters, which adds an element of peril to every fight. The No Man’s Land sequence is a particular standout, as Diana charges into battle and reveals the iconic Wonder Woman outfit. It was a moment fans had been waiting to see on the silver screen for years.
#3: It’s the First SUCCESSFUL Female-Led Superhero Movie
There are plenty of female superheroes that deserve top billing in their own movie. Alas, between “Catwoman” and “Elektra,” it looked like Hollywood was never going to get it right. That’s not to say superhero movies have been completely deprived of strong, interesting women, but they’ve always been part of an ensemble. Seriously, where’s Black Widow’s solo movie already? Agent Carter, Jessica Jones, and Supergirl have taken huge steps forward on the small screen, but Wonder Woman has taken the biggest step of all on the big screen. Standing center stage, Diana Prince proved once and for all that female superheroes can be every bit as engaging, kickass, and marketable as the guys.
#2: Diana’s Training
Some of this film’s best scenes take place on the secret island of Themyscira, where we see a young Diana blossom into a warrior woman. Queen Hippolyta has forbidden her daughter to train with her fellow Amazons. Regardless, General Antiope sees the potential in her niece, training Diana in secrecy. Unlocking her powers, Diana soon discovers that she’s not like the other Amazons. Perhaps the most crucial moment in her hero’s journey occurs during the invasion of Themyscira, when Diana rescues Steve from a plane crash and German soldiers soon follow. While the Amazons win the battle, their victory doesn’t come without a heartbreaking sacrifice, sending Diana on the path towards becoming Wonder Woman.
#1: Gal Gadot IS Wonder Woman
Even before seeing a movie, comic book fans can be viciously critical of casting choices. Sometimes the filmmakers see something nobody else did, like Ben Affleck as Batman. Other times, well… the debate continues long after the film’s released, as was the case with Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman is another casting choice people questioned. But Gadot made clear that she embodied everything that made Wonder Woman great, becoming synonymous with the character. Having served as a military combat trainer, Gadot was obviously physically inclined for the role. Yet, it’s Gadot’s humor, optimism, and passion that made audiences everywhere believe that she really was Wonder Woman.
Do you agree with our list? Tell us why you like “Wonder Woman” in the comments below!