I’ve been obsessed with Wonder Woman for years. She was the first comic that I ever read, (apart from like, Beanos and shit), and I always loved the idea of this powerful woman, breaking barriers, and fending for herself. Wonder Woman was, and still is, a hero for all ages.
As one of the first female led superhero movies ever, there was a lot of pressure on this movie to be great. So far from DC Extended Universe there have been a number of huge, big budgeted movies that have been a let-down, and so there was pressure on this to not only be the first truly great DC movie, but also to defy those who said a female led movie could never generate the big audience numbers for it to be considered a hit. This much of a burden would usually mean that a movie would have no chance but to fall flat, but Wonder Woman does anything but. The first ever female directed comic blockbuster has been a smash hit, and for good reason.
The movie begins with a young Diana watching the other Amazons training, wishing she could join in. Cut to her mother and aunt arguing as to whether or not she should be allowed, a training in secret montage, and then her real training. When Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) crash lands off the idyllic island where all this is set. Diana saves him from the water, meets her first ever man, and then a battle ensues between the women of the island and the Germans (it being set during WWI). Convinced that Ares, the god of war is the cause of it, Diana sneaks off the island with Steve into a world very different from the one she was raised in, where a woman is a lesser citizen and not respected.
There are strong feminist undertones in the movie, and it’s great to finally see such a powerful woman lead this kind of movie. Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman is fabulous, and she brings a full roundedness to the character that is sometimes lacking in superhero movies. Gadot’s Wonder Woman is strong, opinionated and not afraid to stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves.
Patty Jenkins (best known for directing Monster) does an amazing job with this movie. There is a sense of humour to the film that is lacking in other DCEU movies, and the gritty darkness that usually accompanies them isn’t there. From Diana trying on dresses she deems unfit for fighting, to emasculating Steve by saving him from people trying to kill him, and being utterly confused as to why men won’t listen to her when she talks, it’s great to see a DC movie with a sense of humour, and it’s great to see it in a female led movie.
None of this is to say that the men in the movie aren’t great too. Chris Pine’s simultaneously amazed and bewildered Steve Trevor is one of the highlights for me. While it’s obvious he is not used to letting a woman lead the way, he is willing to because he knows that she is their best chance of survival. And with the trio of Said Taghmaoui, Ewan Bremner and Eugene Brave Rock, the men in this movie do leave a lasting impression.
One of the most powerful scenes in the movie is when Diana reaches the front, and finds out that the Germans are enslaving the people in the village on the other side of ‘No Man’s Land’. Filled with rage and a sense of justice, she bursts from the trenches to go and try to save the people that are in danger. Regardless of having Steve tell her there’s nothing that they can do, she ignores him and tries anyway, and that’s a powerful thing to see. For me it was a favourite scene, and a really great thing to see onscreen.
Wonder Woman is a movie that people have been waiting to see for years. A female led, female directed blockbuster movie to show just how amazing women can really be. Young girls finally have a strong and powerful woman to look up to, and Diana is a great role model for them to have.
By Emma Morris