Wonder Woman: It’s Beyond “Just A Movie”
Well, the moment we’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived: Wonder Woman is here! And it’s already a huge success. Because we were excited beyond words for this movie (along with the rest of the world), Tim, Kayla, and I went to the midnight premiere in Burbank.
I won’t get too much into the actual plot of the film because many of you have yet to see it. However, I can confidently say that while formulaic (I mean, it still is a superhero movie), it’s better than 99% of films in its genre. (If you haven’t yet, go see Logan!) Yes, the storyline is predictable, the dialogue can be cheesy at times, and the showdowns felt forced, but you know what? It passes the Bechdel test in the very first scene. And holy mama, those action sequences! Bravo, Patty Jenkins, bravo. They were, without a doubt, the best actions scenes I’ve ever seen in a superhero film.
A brief aside about my favorite part of any DCEU film: Wonder Woman’s theme is epic and, simply put, incredible. Just as we immediately recognize John Williams’ Superman tune and Danny Elfman’s Batman one, this cello-based melody will for sure go down as one of the greatest of all time (and the one redeeming quality of Batman v Superman). As for the rest of the Wonder Woman soundtrack, we should all just bow down to Rupert Gregson-Williams right now. DCEU superhero themes never disappoint and in my opinion, they blow Marvel’s out of the water.
This film will mean a lot to people in the coming days, especially women like me who have grown up surrounded by a sickeningly large number of male superheroes. To see a woman finally be able to save the day hits a nerve for many of us. Although beautiful, Diana is also strong, vulnerable, tender, and emotional; essentially, she’s a realistic depiction of a woman, one that’s definitely been lacking in this genre for decades. This is made possible by the brilliant decision to hire Patty Jenkins as the captain of this ship. Although the Amazons wear skirts into battle, I don’t get the feeling they’re being objectified. Instead, they come across as bad-ass and powerful. Compare this to male-directed films with female leads, like Alien or Mad Max: Fury Road. Although these women are strong too, there are moments where it’s obvious they were crafted from a man’s perspective, like when the wives are hosing each other off in their underwear in Fury Road.
No, Wonder Woman is not a perfect movie. For example, I think Chris Pine took up too much screen time for a love interest, definitely way more than any female love interests, that’s for sure. And Etta Candy was grossly underutilized! But the Deadline commenter above is a perfect example of why this film isn’t “just a movie” for women. In fact, it goes far beyond it. It’s what happens after the credits start rolling (and in this case, before the film even comes out).
Wonder Woman isn’t the first female-led superhero movie (lol remember Catwoman and Elektra?), but it certainly feels like it. I’m sure you’ve already seen countless photos of little girls dressed up as the superhero. And just think about the moment they walk out of that theater with a new role model to look up to. It makes my heart soar, and I’m glad Patty Jenkins pushed for a PG-13 rating to reach a wider and younger audience (which is also why you never actually see someone die onscreen). This is why representation matters! Because we tend to relate to characters who look like us, speak like us, feel like us.
With its record-setting $100.5 million domestic debut (and as of Sunday night, it’s dominating the international box office with $122.5 million), Wonder Woman will no doubt start or continue important conversations in Hollywood. The industry is slow to change, but it is changing, and I only hope this movie will expedite the results that will come from this dialogue. I believe this is the first step of many to see more and more women, POC, and LGBTQIA in films, both in front of and behind the camera.
So go out and see Wonder Woman. Then go see it again. Share your thoughts with your community. But above all, react. React in the best way you know how, just as I did here. Let’s send a message not just to Hollywood, but to the country and the world, especially now during Emperor Cheeto’s Reign of Terror. Then hopefully, we won’t have to wait so long for the next kick-ass female superhero.