Now, before I begin reviewing this movie and talking about its female heroine, I would like to preface with a confession: I am not a DC Comics fan. I’ve been a Marvel girl since the day I found an old Spiderman comic book lying around the house and read it with fervor.
There is something about the characters in the DC universe that I never quite connected with. Batman is a rich, white guy with a chip on his shoulder because his parents died when he was a kid. Superman is an immortal, white dude with laser vision, the ability to fly, super strength, the worst “I’m not really a superhero” costume ever, and one weakness: a super rare space rock from his home planet that all of his enemies just happen to have on them when they fight. And Aquaman…well, Aquaman can talk to fish, which is cool I guess. At any rate, these superheroes were just super boring to me. I have yet to watch any of the DC franchise’s films that have come out showcasing these bores, so imagine my surprise when I found myself not only watching but enjoying the newest installment of these monstrous, money-making endeavors.
I don’t want to give too much of the film away because it did just come out today, but it’s an origin story for one of DC’s most recognizable heroes: Wonder Woman. (It’s also being used as a setup for The Justice League, which comes out in November of this year.)
From the research I’ve done since watching the film, it seems that they’ve tried to stick to the same basic origin: she’s an Amazon with a strong sense of justice. There are some things that are less fleshed out in the film and other things that are changed all together (like, how she’s so good at speaking English when she’s an amazon from Ancient Greece), but the film, in true 2017 meta fashion, pokes fun at these missing or changed details in a way that does not distract from the storytelling but would also, I’d imagine, serve as a good callback to fans of the original Wonder Woman character.
I’ve seen a lot of superhero films, but one thing I really liked about this one is that it is very funny. Yes, Marvel has done wonders with humor in its films (see Deadpool and Guardians of the Galaxy), but what makes this different is that it’s led by a female superhero who is also funny. In most of the superhero films I’ve seen, women rarely have the opportunity to be funny on their own. They’re too busy having to be sexy or badasses or tough or having to be all three at once while chewing gum. In this film, there were plenty of opportunities for Gal Gadot to be funny AND ALSO be sexy, a badass, and tough. No gum chewing, but hey, there’s always the sequel.
Again, I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone who wants to see the film, but one instance of great humor is when Diana and Chris Pine (I don’t remember his character’s name to be honest, which I’m choosing to see as a good thing because it means that his character didn’t overshadow hers and take her thunder…pun definitely intended) are leaving the Paradise Island on a boat together and they talk about pleasure. It’s funny because it’s true and because it sets up a classic “fish out of water” scenario that will follow for the rest of the film. Vague enough for you?
One of the other things I liked about this film was that it was obviously and unapologetically very pro-female, and with the first female director of a blockbuster superhero film behind it, I would expect nothing less. It doesn’t smack you in the face with crazy feminist killjoy rants, but it does make it a goal to point out that women can do anything a man can do, and sometimes, she can even do it better. It’s not subtle, but it’s not off-putting either. There’s an implication that she might be Athena, though that is never mentioned in the film, and from what I can tell, was not mentioned in the comics either. Regardless, the parallels are there. Strong sense of justice? Check. Strategic? Check. Wise? Check. Amazing person to have with you in battle? Triple check. Diana and Athena share these qualities and it makes for a pretty incredible character for girls and women to look up to.
And this brings me to the reason I’m writing a blog post dedicated to a film about a heroine I never really cared about before. I needed a decent, kind, wise, kickass female superhero in my life. I’m surrounded every day by women who are strong, smart, courageous, and beautiful, but there wasn’t a superhero that really represented them before this iteration of Wonder Woman. She’s optimistic about the world in a time when that’s really difficult to be. She’s looking at the world through the terrible lens of World War I, and the rest of us are looking through the lens of a world at war with terror itself. Today, I needed a story like this. Right now, I need a hero like this. She reminds us all that it’s best to be yourself. She reminds us that fighting for what you believe in is not only the right thing to do but it’s also the most necessary thing to do. She reminds us of our own strengths and shortcomings. She reminds us that faltering is okay. She shows us our potential and what we, as a human race, can strive to be if we only put in the effort to get there.
She’s the hero the world has needed but never realized it did. Wonder Woman, Patty Jenkins, Gal Gadot, you are the real MVPs, and I thank you for bringing this movie to fruition.
Feature Image: Comic Book News
2 thoughts on “Wonder Woman: The Hero I Need”
OK Allyssa, you are great……I’ve always known……now write a book!
Haha thank you