THANK YOU, WONDER WOMAN!
Article by Abbey Archer
It’s a known fact that since the end of Christopher Nolan’s transcending DARK KNIGHT trilogy that the DC Extended Universe has been struggling. MAN OF STEEL is a flawed but fine SUPERMAN effort, BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE is an all-around mess with an awesome Batman, and SUICIDE SQUAD is … so many unflattering words that I can’t fit into one sentence. It’s safe to say that audiences and critics were ready to throw in the collectively disappointed towel with Warner Bros. Studios, ready to wash their hands of the dwindling competition to Marvel.
Now WONDER WOMAN has happened — and man, did she come with a vengeance.
Director Patty Jenkins has graced the world with a truly wonderful film. Does it follow the superhero origin story trope a little too closely? Yes. Does it have its flaws? Of course. Do the positives far outweigh the negatives? Absolutely. WONDER WOMAN is easily the best DCEU film since THE DARK KNIGHT, and definitely the best superhero film in quite some time. This is a film that is tonally consistent and knew what it wanted to be from the very beginning. The action is top-notch, the humor quick and charming, and, except for the Final Bad Guy Confrontation in the last twenty minutes, the story is engrossing and doesn’t miss a beat.
But what makes the whole experience so thoroughly satisfying is the central character. Gal Gadot brings such vibrancy and joy to Diana Prince, you’ll be reminded of young Christopher Reeves’s SUPERMAN. I appreciated how well-rounded the screenwriters made Diana: she is knowledgeable yet naive, innocent yet strong, full of justice and incredibly vulnerable. I haven’t felt this invested in a superhero for awhile, and it’s because of her multi-dimensional spirit that I really came to feel for the stakes placed on her shoulders. And at the risk of delving too deeply into politics, she is the gold standard of what women today should admire.
I certainly need WONDER WOMAN right now. I’m about to get candid and personal, so bear with me.
The morning of when I was going to see this film was a struggle. Being a new mom is wonderful and fulfilling, as all moms know, but it can also be incredibly lonely — and that morning, I was feeling like an absolute failure. My hair was going into its third day of being unwashed; I was dealing with too few hours of sleep, and the baby was crying, and I couldn’t find a way to keep him happy. By the time I sat down in my seat in the theatre, I was just ready to fall asleep and continue feeding the beast of depression.
And then Wonder Woman climbed that trench ladder and walked out on the battlefield, after being told that no man had been able to cross the lines for over a year … and it was powerful. It took all my willpower not to cry. Because I needed that moment. I needed to see this courageous woman walk out into the gunfire and fight to save the helpless. I needed that reminder that we can all do hard things — even if those hard things mean surviving a mundane, typical day of a mom.
So thank you, Wonder Woman, for helping me remember that love helps the world. Thank you for reminding me that it’s okay to be strong and brave, without sacrificing your heart and femininity. Thank you for bringing a great role model for girls and boys of every age to look up to. Thank you for helping me feel empowerment and optimism. To quote a Netflix television show opening theme: Females are strong as hell.