‘Wonder Woman’ Saves DC

Andy Moser

This weekend, Wonder Woman came to the aid of DC Comics, whose movie franchise was in desperate need of a revival.

Over the years, DC has seen their fair share of letdowns. Widely anticipated big-budget releases like Man of Steel (2013), Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and Suicide Squad (2016) all underwhelmed in terms of both critic and audience reception.

With this developing pattern, audiences will likely go into Wonder Woman holding their collective breath, hoping the film doesn’t fall into the same perilous pit of cinematic disappointment as its DC predecessors.

Fans will be relieved to hear it does no such thing.

Thanks to skillful directing, a talented cast and an unforgettable performance from its lead (Gal Gadot), Wonder Woman is exhilarating, funny, clever and empowering.

Set during the waning weeks of World War I, Diana (Gadot) leaves her hidden island to join civilization in the fight, with her own quest to destroy the god of war, Ares. She believes by doing so, she will eradicate all fighting for the rest of time.

By living in isolation among her female Amazonian counterparts and abruptly being introduced to society, Diana is the perfect metaphor for a woman who has lived her entire life without feeling the unsettling sting of oppression.

She is exiled from male-only intelligence meetings despite her boundless knowledge and strength, and she can’t comprehend why she must cover herself in multiple layers of clothing from head to toe without revealing so little as an ankle. Her candid naivety towards the objectification of women provides for some cleverly humorous jabs at societies past and present.

The film further soars under the careful direction of Patty Jenkins. Jenkins’s pacing allows the anxiety to build in almost torturous anticipation as Diana and Steve (Chris Pine) walk through local villages and the trenches of the frontlines, seeing firsthand those who are horribly impacted by the war.

The feeling of injustice burns slowly from the beginning, welling in viewers’ hearts and minds to eventually deliver the best scene of the film. Diana decides that she’s had enough of standing idly by while war ravages the innocent who cannot defend themselves.

She sheds her outer layers, unpins her hair, dawns the infamous Wonder Woman suit, and singlehandedly storms the battlefield. She takes unrelenting fire from the German front but persists nonetheless as her sheer courage prompts British soldiers to come out of hiding and fight alongside her.

With an excellent portrayal form Gadot, Diana emerges as the superhero DC Comics deserves.

Despite a little superhero cheesiness that is somewhat forgivable, Wonder Woman rejuvenates the DC movie franchise by delivering an engaging and invigorating adventure that turns out to have a lot on its mind.

Sails: 4.5/5


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