Is Wonder Woman (2017) the masterpiece that would finally get DCEU out from under and make it a worthy opponent of MCU?
Wonder Woman (2017) Synopsis
After stealing German plans for a new weapon, US pilot and spy Steve Trevor crash lands on mythical Themyscira and manages to talk Amazonian Princess Diana into supporting his war efforts. Together, they return to London, with Diana convinced that WWI is due to the machinations of Ares, the renegade Greek God of War. After deciphering the stolen plans, Steve and Diana travel to Belgium, after which Diana heroically liberates a small town from German occupation. Surrounded by human atrocities and suffering, Diana painfully accepts that strength is not all that is required to stop the war or thwart Ares’ schemes. Something far greater is necessary. This being a power she has yet to comprehend.
I’m thrilled to say that my worries about Wonder Woman (2017) being a disappointment like Dawn of Justice or Suicide Squad were unfounded!
While the movie doesn’t hit every button, it is still hands-down the most satisfying effort from DCEU to date. Whatever is lacking in action or story is more than adequately compensated by Gal Gadot’s earnest depiction of the Amazonian heroine. Earnest, incidentally, the same word used to describe the performance of Gadot’s predecessor, Lynda Carter.
Simply put, Gadot’s portrayal doesn’t just bring to life DC’s most powerful heroine, it adds substance and weight too. An emotional depth that was so sorely missing from DoJ and SS. Wonder Woman here is not just a heroine in sexy armour. She’s also a young, confident woman, whose worldview is quickly battered by her first taste of human wickedness.
As for the actual story, the movie greatly benefits from not having to go through the tedium of origin explanation. In stark contrast to other superhero franchises, Diana needed no awakening or acceptance of her powers. She’s more than eager to wield them.
Under director Patty Jenkins, this enthusiasm is first used as a conduit for comical moments, before becoming the very instrument that poignantly describes Diana’s acceptance of human failure. The conclusion of Diana using “love” to draw upon her greatest power might come across as mawkish to some viewers, but let’s remember that Wonder Woman has never only been about power.
As the 70s theme goes, she is also about transforming hawks into doves, and stopping wars with love. In the case of this movie, I believe she has also brought DCEU out from under, at least slightly. Making it, at long last, a worthy rival of Marvel Studios.
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