To say that there is a lot riding on the success as Wonder Woman would be a mass understatement. This is the first female fronted superhero movie with a main character little girls can look up to (yes, I realize Catwoman and Elektra exist but they tanked and sucked). Studios have been trying for years to make a live action movie or TV show based off the character, and they always wind up restarting. Most importantly, this may be the final opportunity to show that the DC Extended Universe can actually be successful after three lackluster releases in a row. Luckily, Wonder Woman works – in every possible way.
Diana (Gadot) is princess of the Amazons, and spends her days on the hidden island paradise of Themyscira. While her fellow female warriors are preparing for the inevitable return of Ares, the God of War, Diana is forced to disobey her mother Hippolyta (Nielsen) and seek training in secret from the tribe’s fiercest warrior Antiope (Wright). When American spy Steve Trevor (Pine) crashes on the island, he warns the Amazons of the war to end all wars (World War I). Fearing Ares to be responsible, Diana chooses to go with Trevor back to Europe and put an end to the war and the God himself.
The general consensus to anyone who saw the mediocre Batman vs Superman is that, even though her appearance was brief, Wonder Woman was by far the best part of the movie. Making the next DC standalone movie focus on her was a no-brainer, and it was a brilliant decision. Anyone who follows any entertainment website has heard of the troubles surrounding the DC properties. They desperately needed a win, and Wonder Woman has given it to them. With it being a success, they can finally get on the right track (hopefully).
The fact that it has taken so long to get the property to the big screen is baffling. We’ve had three different Supermans, five different Batmans, and a single (and terrible) Green Lantern. The character had a cult classic TV show in the 1970’s, but since then nothing. Wonder Woman is just as well known as Supe and Bats, with the added advantage of being appealing to women as well as men. Was the 30+ year delay due to the fact that the powers that be assume women plus superheroes are a bad combination? Quite possibly. In any case, she has finally made it and the results are wonderful.
Not only is Wonder Woman the best DC movie to date, it may very well be one of the best superhero movies period. Origin stories tend to be a somewhat mixed bag. Watching a regular person slowly learn they are special isn’t exactly exciting, and things don’t perk up until the action starts to kick in. Wonder Woman get right into the action, and it works more than I ever would have thought. Maybe introducing the character in a previous movie helped move things along, but in any case I loved every second the heroine was on screen.
Gal Gadot didn’t have much of a cinematic resume before being cast as Diana, appearing in a handful of Fast & Furious sequels. She proved she could hang with the boys, but didn’t show any signs of being able to carry a film on her own. Yet the former beauty queen defied the odds and has done the impossible – she does so well in the role that she may actually make people forget about Lynda Carter (unless you still have her poster on the wall, like I’m sure some of you do). She absolutely owns the role, to the point that everyone else is stuck in her shadow. Gadot really is one of the most beautiful actresses on the planet, and watching her kick ass is a pleasure.
Of course, if there is one thing that most current superhero movies suffer from it is bad, poorly written villains. Wonder Woman is no exception. The main bad guy, Ludedorff, is really nothing more than a generic German jackass. His “minion”, Dr. Maru, fares slightly better but there is no reason given for why they do what they do other than the fact that they are evil. That being said, there is a twist with Ares that I did not see coming, but it would have worked much better had it not been introduced so late in the film.
I hope everyone realizes it is 2017, and not going to see a superhero movie just because it doesn’t have some manly man flying around saving damsels in distress is just straight up stupid. Men finally have a superhero movie they can take their wives, girlfriends or daughters to. Women have a heroine they can call their own. Little girls finally have an action hero they can look up to in a movie besides Star Wars. Most importantly, we all got the hero we deserve AND need.