Wonder Woman review: A true hero … who has saved the DCEU


Wonder Woman is a breath of fresh air that departs from the emotionless, dark, dank, and often jumbled stories of the DC Extended Universe.

For a long time, fans and critics have known that Wonder Woman’s greatest battle wouldn’t be against Ares or attacking German soldiers, but against the bad aftertastes of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and Suicide Squad (2016) —both previous installments in the DC Extended Universe (Man of Steel (2013) wasn’t horrible, but it was still a very mediocre film). I’m here to tell you Wonder Woman has not only succeeded in restoring faith to the franchise, but has brought Warner Bros. back to its roots of superhero optimism.

Wonder Woman shows us that true heroes still exist—the type of heroes who see the best in people and will stop at nothing to fight for the weak and the innocent. The film, like its titular heroine, doesn’t waiver in its mission. There are no grey areas. It’s a superhero film that doesn’t pull any punches—always pushing forward with bombastic entertainment, epic storytelling, and strong emotional moments.

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Director Patty Jenkins once said that she wants to be called a “great director” and not a “great female director.” She doesn’t have to wish for that anymore. In fact, she never really had to wish for that to begin with. But Wonder Woman has truly solidified her as one of the best storytellers in Hollywood today. And if we go off of that sentiment, Wonder Woman isn’t a great superhero film—it’s a great film!

Like all great epics, Wonder Woman takes us on a grand hero’s journey, with huge set pieces and eye-popping backdrops. However, at the same time, there’s a sort of sweetness and innocence to the film that makes it a small, personal story.

Princess Diana (enthusiastically and beautifully portrayed by Gal Gadot) has no dark demons. This, in and of itself, makes the character unique. Yes, you would think a perfect character would make a very boring character, but that is definitely not the case here. Diana’s perfectionism and honesty are her greatest assets, and it’s proven by the audience’s desire for her to succeed. I’m here to confirm that clean-cut characters are finally back in fashion again.

It’s this naivete and charm that has people comparing Gadot to Christopher Reeve (the late actor who became synonymous with his on-screen portrayal of Superman). In the film, Gadot never seems to be acting, and that’s because she believes in the character. Because of her complete immersion into the Goddess of Truth, I wouldn’t even bat an eye if Gadot lifted a car in real life.

The film’s strengths also lay in its messaging. It’s not a movie pushing an agenda of feminism. It’s a movie about equality. Jenkins gracefully delivers a message of equal rights—a theme that, under her direction, never gets preachy.

At one point in the film, Diana states to Steve Trevor (played humorously by Chris Pine) that man is not inherently evil and has done great things. Her philosophy of men and women working side by side (and never bashing men) is imbued in her language—allowing the audience to truly understand Wonder Woman’s pure ideas of equality and justice.

In the words of Morgan Freeman (the Dark Knight Trilogy’s Lucius Fox) during a 2014 CNN interview, the best way to fight racism is to stop continuously mentioning it. Jenkins and writers Alan Heinberg and Geoff Johns take that philosophy and apply it to sexism. They never really talk about—because it doesn’t exist in Wonder Woman’s world. In fact, the mere idea of such a term would be foreign to her. The movie is a treatise about a strong character … a strong protagonist finding her mission in life, and realizing she doesn’t need to sacrifice her views to save the world.

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Coming in at just under two and a half hours, Wonder Woman never seems overly long, and that’s a credit to its cast. Connie Nielsen’s matronly and regal Queen Hippolyta is completely believable as the leader of the Amazons—bravely charging into battle with her fellow sisters.

Robin Wright’s fearless and skilled General Antiope is both stoic and inspiring. Her stern nature and grueling training of Diana is tempered with an underlying warmth and caring—she’s strict because she cares.

Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor isn’t played to be someone who’s dumb or hyper-masculine. He’s a soldier who’s conflicted. After all, someone who makes a statement of “a war to end all wars” has to be. Because he’s smart and emotionally in tune, it only adds to Wonder Woman’s greatness when she’s next to him—it’s always more impressive for the hero to be better than someone who’s already great.

Thoughtful and optimistic, Wonder Woman has lifted the DCEU out of its rut. After three failed tries, Warner Bros. finally made not only a decent film, but an exceptional one with the last of DC’s Trinity. Like Diana leaping to the skies to fight for justice on a new day, the DCEU can now, in a way, start anew and give DC fans the superheroes we deserve.

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Production Details

Wonder Woman—Official Synopsis

"Before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on a sheltered island paradise, when an American pilot crashes on their shores and tells of a massive conflict raging in the outside world, Diana leaves her home, convinced she can stop the threat. Fighting alongside man in a war to end all wars, Diana will discover her full powers…and her true destiny."

Wonder Woman was released on June 2, 2017

It is produced by Zack Snyder and Deborah Snyder with Charles Roven and Richard Suckle of Atlas Entertainment, executive produced by Rebecca Roven, Stephen Jones, Wesley Coller, and Geoff Johns, directed by Patty Jenkins, written by Allan Heinberg and Geoff Johns from a story by Zack Snyder & Allan Heinberg, and stars Gal Gadot as Diana Prince / Wonder Woman, Chris Pine as Steve Trevor, Connie Nielsen as Hippolyta, Robin Wright as General Antiope, Lisa Loven Kongsli as Lieutenant Menalippe, Lucy Davis as Etta Candy, Mayling Ng as Orana, Florence Kasumba as Acantha, Doutzen Kroes as an Amazon / Ann Wolfe, Madeleine Vall as Egeria, Samantha Jo as Euboea, Danny Huston as General Erich Ludendorff, David Thewlis as Sir Patrick / Ares, Ewen Bremner as Charlie, Saïd Taghmaoui as Sameer, and Elena Anaya as Doctor Maru / Doctor Poison.