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 convinces Amazonian Princess Diana to support his war efforts. Together, they return to London, with Diana convinced that the war is due to the machinations of Ares, renegade Greek God of War. Upon deciphering the plans, Steve and Diana travel to Belgium and liberate a small town from German occupation. In the midst of human atrocities and suffering, Diana learns that strength is not all that is required to stop the war or thwart Ares’ schemes. Something far greater is necessary. A power she has yet to realise.
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 hands down the most satisfying effort from DCEU to date. Whatever is lacking in the action sequences is more than compensated by Gal Gadot’s splendid, earnest depiction of the Amazonian heroine. Earnest, incidentally, also the word once used to describe the television performance of Gadot’s predecessor, Lynda Carter. The heart-wrenching naivety and athletic coolness of Gadot’s portrayal doesn’t just bring to life DC’s most powerful heroine, she also added substance and weight. In my opinion, this emotional depth was what’s missing from DoJ and SS. Wonder Woman here is not just a heroine in sexy armour. She is also a young, confident woman. Whose worldview is quickly battered by her first taste of human wickedness.
Story wise, the movie benefits from not having to go through the tedium of origin explanation. In contrast to other superhero franchises, Diana needed no awakening or acceptance of her powers. Actually, she’s more than eager to wield them. Under director Patty Jenkins, this enthusiasm is first effectively used as a conduit for comical moments, before becoming the instrument that describes Diana’s poignant acceptance of human failure. The conclusion of Diana using love to draw upon her greatest power could come across as ludicrous to some viewers. But remember that Wonder Woman has never only been about strength. 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. Making it, at long last, on par with arch-rival Marvel.
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