I have a 9-year-old niece named Gabriella, who came to see Wonder Woman with us on Thursday for our private screening at Hollywood Blvd. And when the movie ended, she was practically shaking with excitement. I imagined what it must have been like for her, a young girl, to see this incredibly powerful, larger than life woman on screen in all her magnificence. I got chills when I realized that this will be the moment Gabriella looks back on as the moment she became a lifelong fan.
Patty Jenkins’ film is a masterpiece, standing head and shoulder above every other movie in the DC Cinematic Universe and really above most super-hero movies. This was the other-worldliness of Thor meets the period-piece intrigue of Captain America, all with the veneer and class of the Christopher Reeve Superman films. Here’s my quick, spoiler-free analysis:
The Tone Was Just Right
Notably, all of the DC movies so far have suffered from a serious lack of fun. That, and sunshine. Wonder Woman delivers both, and plenty of it. On Paradise Island, the movie practically glows. The Amazons shine quite literally like a beacon of hope and light and love, all while remaining some of the fiercest warriors you’ll ever see.
Things take a dark turn, though, when Wonder Women heads off to the front of the Great War (aka World War I), but unlike in Man of Steel or Batman v Superman, this tonal shift services the story. This whole film revolves around Diana’s culture clash, as she comes face to face with the darkness in the world, and ultimately becomes a source of light. Her naivety provides some light-heartedness without being silly. Best of all, the movie never falls completely into despair, while still delivering some moments so emotional I’m getting goosebumps reflecting on them.
The Action Was Incredible
Diana Prince kicks ass. Period. The dramatic use of strategic slow-motion to highlight her athleticism, the fast-paced battles, and the World War I backdrop make this a very memorable action film. She’s unleashed in all her glory, as powerful as she ever was and more powerful every second the movie goes on. Several times I literally exclaimed “WOW!” out loud. They don’t waste time showing her kick a man between the legs – something I find patronizing. No, instead she’s deflecting missiles and lifting tanks. Like she’s supposed to.
The Story – Comic Accurate, And Character True
Wonder Woman seamlessly tied in years of her continuity and multiple origins into a fast-paced origin story the doesn’t feel hamstrung by pointless exposition. Her adolescence and training comes quick, and it isn’t long before we see her in the present day.
But more importantly than reconciling her various origins and throwing in little nods to the George Perez-era comics, the movie remembers what she’s all about. Yes, she’s a warrior, but she’s a warrior for the sake of love and peace, not violence in and of itself.
This is one of the most important films because for too long superheroes and comics books have been a boys club. But there have never been more women creators, fans, and characters. This movie will go a long way to better representing our diverse fans and helping them feel as included in this fandom as they always should have been in the first place!
Honestly, by now you should have stopped reading and gone to see the movie. Don’t wait, go now!
Help us celebrate all the women who make comics wonderful during our Wonder Women Weekend!