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 convince Amazonian Princess Diana to support his war efforts. Together, they return to London, with Diana convinced that the WWI is due to the machinations of Ares, renegade Greek God of War. After deciphering the stolen plans, Steve and Diana travel to Belgium and liberate a small town from German occupation. Surrounded by human atrocities and suffering, Diana soon painfully learns that strength is not all that is required to stop the war or thwart Ares’ schemes. Something far greater is necessary. That of a power she has yet to understand.
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 the action sequences is more than compensated by Gal Gadot’s earnest depiction of the Amazonian heroine. Earnest, incidentally, once the word used to describe the performance of Gadot’s predecessor, Lynda Carter. Gadot’s portrayal doesn’t just bring to life DC’s most powerful heroine, she added substance and weight too. 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’s 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. 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 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 trite 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. Making it, at long last, a worthy rival of Marvel Studios.
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