Wonder Woman is being noted as the first female-led superhero film of the modern era. With the world being as politically correct as is it there is a lot of scrutiny towards who can write and direct a female superhero. The real answer is that it shouldn’t matter the gender it’s all about finding the right balance of men and women in front of and behind the camera. With this film it is directed wonderfully by Patty Jenkins and written by Allan Heinberg and the DCEU is being shepherded by Geoff Johns. This balance of men and women behind the camera really shows how this concept can and should work.
Gal Gadot and Chris Pine shine as the leads. Their chemistry really works through both of their action scenes and in their quieter moments. The film is very well paced and takes its time to develop its relationship between Diana and Steve Trevor. One of the things I really appreciated about the film was the dialogue between Steve and Diana about humanity and mankind. It made me think on are all men good by nature or are we all products of our own choosing if we are good or bad? What is the definition of a good and bad soldier in the gray areas of our political and moral duties as we go into combat?
It is our sacred duty to defend the world. And it is what I am going to do.
Feminism is a heated topic today and I felt the film represented it in a streamlined fashion, especially with Diana coming from Themyscira where she lived in a land of women and wasn’t told no by a man. Especially with Wonder Woman being a feminist icon it is rightly served. I felt they really nailed the character in what she represents over the years in the comics. The film even just focuses on her solely and doesn’t try to do unnecessary tie ins or world building that is excessive. It doesn’t feel overtly long as well. Themyscira was well realized and it felt as believable as it could without it being ridiculous or disingenuous to the comics. The setting of World War I felt fresh enough without feeling bland. The fighting sequences with her in action in the war setting were pretty spectacular.
What also makes this movie fresh is having an army of female warriors go into combat and it not being overly sexualized and being done tastefully. With the battle in “No Man’s Land” with Wonder Woman and the shield it felt pretty iconic to see that happen for young girls and women of any age to see that on the big screen and feel empowered, without it being cheesy or in poor taste. My negatives for the film are mainly with the abundance of slow motion that tends to be in a Zack Snyder film. Though it was nice to have the camera move and slow down to see the action in motion and to have the female heroic moments, it did become slightly tiresome but never unjust.
Overall this is a positive move forward for the DCEU, female superhero films, films by Women and feminism. I look forward to seeing a sequel and other female led superhero films like Captain Marvel, Gotham City Sirens and Ant-Man and the Wasp. Small moves forward.