I have been an avid comic book movie fan for ages, having seen pretty much all of the films that followed the first X-men movie from 2000. 18 years and almost two dozen films later come a movie, which, having to follow the standards set by the its DC Extended Universe predecessors, is expected to implode and burst into flames. But it doesn’t. Instead it does justice to the star-spangled superhero who has been a role model for female strength for decades now. And what it does best is make us want the character on the big screen to exist in real life; isn’t that what superheroes movies were intended to do in the first place?
Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman is a global box office success, currently trending number one. It’s receiving accolades from critics and viewers alike and is rated 92% Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and 8.2/10 on IMDB. Apparently, it has also smashed the record of having the biggest box office opening for a female director. But let’s not get into those and rather discuss what makes the film so great. Spoiler territory ahead. So, if you haven’t watched it yet, here’s a short review – Go watch it, it’s badass awesomeness.
A Fresh Breath of Storytelling
If you were expecting Zack Snyder’s dark and gritty storytelling to recur in this film, you’d be horribly disappointed. The story rejects the forced ‘easter-egg’ nature of Batman V Superman, and tells an origins story, which is the perfect blend of humor, passion, action and most importantly Diana’s will to do good.
Patty Jenkins beautifully portrays the fish-out-of-water nature of the story as Diana steps out of Themyscira into the outside world with Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor as her guide through her conquests. The film takes crucial moments to develop the plot further and gives purpose to every scene’s existence, my favorite being Wonder Woman standing shield up against the downpour of bullets in the No Man’s Land scene. As an audience you just can’t stop yourself from admiring and applauding, as Wonder Woman climbs up that trench and onto the battlefield in all her magnificent glory.
Focus on Character Development
The movie does enough justice to developing each character as richly as possible. You can feel Diana grow from a fierce Amazonian, set by the opening scenes of the movie, to the compassionate, yet powerful Wonder Woman, as the film progresses. You live the journey with her, as she innocently soaks the world around her and tries to portray what Wonder Woman truly stands for. Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman gives a sense of purpose to anyone she meets, starting from the war misfits to the ice-cream guy asking him to be proud of his creation.
Even Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor is thoroughly developed as he intends to defeat the evil of humanity, in the form of General Ludendorff and Doctor Poison, whereas Wonder Woman sets out to battle the higher evil of Ares, the God of War. You unconsciously start feeling attached to each character, which ultimately almost makes you cry leading up to the climax.
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman
I have been fangiriling about Gal Gadot ever since she first appeared in Fast & Furious back in 2009. When her first photo came out in the glorious new Wonder Woman armor, fans all over the globe went crazy, and criticized the casting, until they were blown away by her performance in Batman V Superman. And today, she’s synonymous with the Amazonian Princess, and after this film, she has made the role her own, much like what Robert Downey Jr. has done with his role as Iron Man.
Given her current popularity, she might even go past Lynda Carter’s legacy of portraying the role. Gal Gadot through her indefatigable charm and brilliant acting will leave you gushing for more once the film ends. Muscle tone or not, the fight choreography she puts forth is good enough to give Hollywood’s bests a run for their money. And for God’s sake, she continued shooting for the character carrying a child in her womb. In short, Gal Gadot is a goddess in her own rights. Period.
“It’s not about what you deserve. It’s about what you believe.”
This is what Steve tells Diana towards the end of the film on the watchtower; I’m coming back to it in a bit. The climax holds one of the only weak links of the film, which is, an old, skinny Ares. And perhaps a bit more of that final action sequence? Everyone deserves a bit more of Wonder Woman in all her full glory, don’t they? But I don’t want to talk much about that. Instead it’s the more emotional aspect of the climax, which I want to deal into.
Right before boarding the plane, Steve says something to Diana, something which is inaudible to her at the time due to a deafening blast. But moments later, after the plane explodes (yes, Steve dies), Diana recalls the memory, and this time we hear what he says, or that’s what they want you to believe. I think what Diana recalls, is what she believes Steve had said to her, which was a heart-wrenching ‘I Love You’, right before sacrificing himself, for the sake of humanity.
The scene leaves you crying, inside, as Diana realizes that humanity in itself is flawed, and love is the answer to defeat all evil.
What Does Wonder Woman’s Success Mean for the DC Extended Universe?
Wonder Woman has given DC the oomph it needed after the bashing Batman V Superman and Suicide Squad received. The super-heroine, with all her majestic might looks to carry DC back into its battle with Marvel, with Justice League set to hit theaters later this year.
Wonder Woman, all in all, is ‘almost’ a perfect superhero film, and I hate to say almost. The film provides us with a strong female role model for the world to look up to. And more, the film works so well because they got the character of Wonder Woman so perfectly right – she’s the perfect amount of good, passion and power, and bears a moral compass, which we want to see in all of us.
Photo From comicbook.com