The right combination of action, drama, and romance with the addition of setting and strong, well-developed, and likeable characters makes Wonder Woman the first truly successful film in the DC Extended Universe. It also reflects a powerful female superhero with a solid moral core.
The film tells the story of the Amazonian warrior princess Diana (Gal Gadot) who yearns to defend the world after a pilot, Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), washes up on the shores of her home. He tells Diana and the all-female Amazonian civilization of the dangers of WWI. After hearing of these dangers, Diana follows Steve to the outside world in the belief that she can end the war by herself. However, she soon discovers there’s more to this war than just her own objective.
This film succeeds in a multitude of areas, but one is the noticeable sense of commitment and effort from the cast. Gadot nails the persona of Wonder Woman because she not only exhibits Diana’s prowess in battle but also her clever perspectives of strategy. Gadot expertly highlights how Diana is a stranger to the customs and opinions of the outside world, especially when she disagrees with elite generals on the value of soldiers. Diana dives into this world first unaware of its complexities but gives valid solutions to some of the world’s still present issues of culture and gender. Additionally, she gradually begins to see these complexities of the world and understands how certain conflicts, especially war, cannot be solved so simply.
Steve Trevor plays a fantastic foil to Diana; he blends so perfectly with Diana that he proves to skeptics that this film fits both genders and is not a “chick-flick.” Steve is cognizant of the real world’s customs and issues as well as understands Diana’s frustrations. He values her opinions and cares about the dangers she faces while knowing that she can sometimes face her own battles. Both Diana and Steve’s well-melded relationship shows how this film not only a film involving action and drama but romance as well.
Other supporting characters such as House of Cards alumnus Robin Wright’s General Antiope and Connie Nielsen’s Queen Hippolyta play amazing authority figures to Diana and both reflect different sides of how Diana should take on certain inevitable conflicts in the plot. In addition, the film highlights characters of diverse backgrounds. One of Steve’s Algerian war buddies, Sameer, provides extra humor and heart into the film and also gives commentary to still current cultural issues.
In terms of plot, director Patty Jenkins knew how to take an old-time structured film and provide a well-developed and fast-paced plot that reveals the importance of how more female superhero films need to be created. Jenkins gave a detailed exposition to the character of Diana to both comic book lovers and newcomers alike and showed how the misery-filled impacts of WWI were a good opening for Wonder Woman to enter the outside world and for her to be surprised by the world’s wonder and horrors.
The only huge gripe I had with the film were its villains. It feels that both DC and Marvel are facing problems with creating complex and dynamic villains, such as General Ludendorff and Doctor Poison. This pair felt underdeveloped and never seemed to be an awful challenge for Wonder Woman. Another of the film’s surprising villains, while somewhat complex, did not have a well-deserved showdown.
Although the film was not capsized by the minimal significance of the villains, the special effects increased the quality of the beauty in each scene and showed off the skill and strength of Wonder Woman and her weapons.
The right combination of action, drama, and romance with the addition of setting and strong, well-developed, and likeable characters makes Wonder Woman the first truly successful film in the DC Extended Universe.
The sets were extremely detailed to the point where the film changed from an Ancient Greek drama to a war movie in the early 1900s. The film’s composer Rupert Gregson-Williams masterfully used the music to input a sense of epicness of the actions made by the film’s characters.
The costumes of the film were also utilized well. Costume designer Lindy Hemming provided the uniqueness and purpose of everything from Amazonian battle armor to early 1900s fashion and added more to the characters, especially for Wonder Woman with her battle suit and undercover clothing. The writers also formed a script that offered a balance of both quippy and serious dialogue and sincere moments of connections between characters.
Even with its lack of strong villains, Wonder Woman was able to provide a well-focused central female character with a complex male character that showed great juxtaposition. Other side characters, such as Hippolyta and Sameer, were detailed characters that were essential to the film’s plot. The combination of special effects, sets, costumes, music, and dialogue were fit together precisely to form a blockbuster film that was not only entertaining, but thought-provoking of today’s issues of gender, culture, and war. From these reasons, I give Wonder Woman an A- and recommend others to watch the DCEU’s first truly successful film.
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‘Wonder Woman’ is a Superhero Film That Matters Today: Featured image courtesy of Warner Bros.