Wonder Woman, directed by Patty Jenkins, has been anticipated by comic book movie fans, as the film that would determine the future of the DC cinematic universe – for better or worse.
All over the world, this film has had high expectations from fans of the superhero genre, particularly those who were disappointed by DC’s recent efforts, Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad, which were met with overwhelmingly badly reviews by critics and mixed reviews of split opinions by fans. Many were ready to write off DC altogether unless Wonder Woman could step up and fulfil the expectations of fans looking for a fresh and exciting take on the superhero origin story, with a female lead.
The film’s plot follows Diana, princess of the Amazons, played by Gal Gadot, who leaves her island paradise home to help restore peace to the outside world in the wake of the First World War, with a British spy named Steve Trevor played by Chris Pine. I thought this film was very well done.
The characters were played very well, especially Pine who had great comedic timing, as well as good chemistry with Gadot, and there were several scenes that were very touching. Gal Gadot is great as Wonder Woman in action packed fight sequences, although they could have been better with less slow motion used. However, Gadot was even better as Diana, she really shone when she was showing a vulnerable, human side to herself as the character experiences pain and loss, which ultimately drives her to become a protector of Earth.
Wonder Woman is also a very colourful film, which really uplifts its tone compared to previous DC films which have been washed out and dull looking by comparison. In addition, the Wonder Woman theme ‘Is She With You?’ which first appeared in Batman vs Superman is used again in the score of Wonder Woman, and it is definitely a highlight.
This film is exciting for one important reason: it is the first comic book film to have a female lead that is also directed by a woman. It has been received very well for this reason, not least because Jenkins’ direction was very well done in terms of Diana’s characterisation.
This film proved one thing: that comic book movies do not have to adhere to the male gaze. Gadot is not oversexualised in this film despite being massively attractive, which is a welcome change from many female characters in comic book films. Importantly, this is also a surprisingly equal film, showing that men and women can fight evil side by side, and not be in competition with each other. This is not a film which demonises either gender, but portrays men and women with complex human emotions.
The only criticism of this film that I can think of is the villain, Ares, who was quite weak and hardly menacing at all.
However, Wonder Woman is a fun action movie that not only tells Diana’s origin story in a fresh way, but also appeals to a feminist audience who may have previously felt side-lined by the comic book genre. This isn’t to say that strong females in comic book films haven’t made an appearance, but Wonder Woman is an important feminist film that needed to be made.
by Carys Lunn
Interested in seeing Wonder Woman? Click here to see show times for the Macrobert Arts Centre and check their website for the latest on-campus entertainment.