Finally, the DCEU (Detective Comics Extended Universe) has gotten its film universe right. Or at least that’s what a certain group of fanboys are saying. The more recent DC films have gotten a lot of flak up until the premier of Director Patty Jenkin’s Wonder Woman. I however, defended the comic universe since its start with Man of Steel. However, compared to the MCU (Marvel cinematic universe), this shared universe is oddly conjoined. But after the release of this film, they are finally starting to make sense.
Patty Jenkins’ female lead super spectacle is great not because its a female starred and directed summer blockbuster but because it’s simply a well put together movie. So much creativity is put into this film. Although it’s a straight forward origin story, the directing done wonderfully, no pun intended. It starts off almost like a Disney movie following little princess Diana as she hopes to be a warrior like her mother and the rest of the Themyscura Amazons. During this time, we meet a great bunch of characters starting with Robin Wright (who hasn’t changed a bit since she was Forest Gump’s’ Jenny), Connie Nielson (who looks as royal as she did in Gladiator) and boxing champ, Ann Wolf in tip top shade. We also meet Steve Trevor, a world war one pilot, awesomely played by Chris Pine. During this time, Trevor is a fish-out-of-water as he’s the only man on the island. Eventually Steve informs the amazons of the impending doom of the war. It causes he and Diana to venture off to end the war of all wars.
While in this early 1900’s era of France, Diana finds herself in a fish-out-of-water situation and learns the potential of who she is meant to be, the “God Killer”. Diana thinks it’s a sword but it’s her. Jenkins does her job with making the audience think it’s the sword but dramatic irony tells us otherwise. The film’s disposition smoothly goes from a ‘Maltese Falcon’ type with its elegant adult banter to the an invincible-type ‘Captain America’ war epic then to a ‘Casablanca’ love story. There is a scene where Diana and Steve share a moment and say goodbye to each other. Its beautiful because amidst the sounds of war and the haze of haunting memories you cannot hear anything they are saying. It was tastefully dramatic and a well-placed example of scenes from that early era of film. Each version was
well fitted for the time and each moment was seamless in its execution. There were also a few Superman references to the Richard Donner era. These older themes are what made this film stand out.
Probably one of my favorite aspects of the film is that it felt like a human story instead of a woman-human story. During a time where male superheroes dominate, this film manages to not sink to the level of defending womanhood to the point of attacking males. There were the occasional feminist statements but that’s normal for a movie surrounding women. It was true to an intellectual woman’s character without being condescending. It’s also important because she stands tall next to Bats and Supes. They both have had movies since the 60’s. Diana has had a few shows and made for tv movies but nothing on this scale. Her story deserves to be taken seriously. In the years to come these ‘hero’ stories will struggle of find their individuality. This year especially carries many possible game changers of the genre on the horizon. I’m confident when I say Wonder woman will stand tall among these game changers.
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