The Amazing Wonder Woman
Why Wonder Woman is Amazing
It's no secret that the Wonder Woman movie was a big hit this summer at the box office. Making just over $800 million, and half of that is from the U.S. and Canada. It's also the first of the new DC superhero movies to be widely enjoyed by most people. So why was Wonder Woman such a success? Here's are a few reasons that I believe made the movie great.
There are three or four major action set pieces in this movie, and they are amazing. The first battle on the Paradise Island of Themisycira is simply spectacular. The fight on the beach with the swords, the bow and arrows, the slow down and speed up action. It's all beautifully shot. It's a great visual to see the all male German army with guns fight against the all female Amazonians. The No Man's Land sequence is also awesome. It's the first time we get to see Wonder Woman in full battle dress ready to fight. Stopping bullets, using her lasso and leaping in the air. Taking out tanks and crashing buildings, while Steve Trevor and his friends maintain the ground cover. It's probably the best scene of the whole movie. Simply wonderful. The last battles at the end of the movie may not be as spectacular as the first two but they are still really fun to watch. Wonder Woman finally unleashes her full power and floats in the air before bringing down the lightning. Anytime Wonder Woman gets to use her powers the movie is better for it.
World War 1 Setting
Having the movie take place during the first world war is a brilliant idea. Captain America: The First Avenger took place in world war 2, but Wonder Woman takes it back further. Not as many movies take place during WWI, so that automatically sets this movie a part of others. What the movie does well is show the horrors of the war. Not only the soldiers fighting and the injured soldiers but the people that lived around the battle zones. The whole movie is not about the war, but it's always what drives the plot forward. The war has become the focus of the countries involved and affect society. There are also implications that the poison that Dr. Maru is working on could potentially spread beyond the war and will kill millions of innocent people. Mustard gas was a cruel tool used in WWI and horrifically killed thousands of people. This setting gives the movie some high stakes and allows the audience to invest in the emotional outcome of the characters.
Femininity and Morality
What makes Wonder Woman such a unique female superhero isn't that she has super strength and can stop bullets. It's her compassion and love for others. A lot of female superhero's take on masculine traits and characteristics that make them "bad ass". Wonder Woman has feminine characteristics and that's what motivates her as a person. Her compassion for others is what makes her a superhero. When one team member wants to leave it's Diana that convinces him to stay by saying that he is needed, not for his skills but rather for the person that he is. She reminds him that there are people that care about him. In this movie, she is still naive and innocent in terms of what is right and wrong. Things are black and white. She doesn't understand the gray in between, and that's what Steve Trevor tries to explain to her. War is not just one person's fault, it is the fault of all involved. In the end, it's her love and compassion that motivates her to save the day. She has a very strong moral compass that guides her. One of the moral lessons of the movies is that people shouldn't do or not do something because of what they think is deserved, but rather because of what they believe in. Someone may not deserve to be helped, but a good person will help them anyway. It's an impactful theme of the movie that I believe brings a lot of heart to the story.
This movie has a lot of great comedic relief moments. It's not always super serious and dark. There's a lot of great use of color, especially in the beginning on the island. Even though it's as super-heroine movie set during a war, there are plenty of light-hearted moments throughout. Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor have great chemistry and provide a lot of funny moments. One great scene is when they are in the boat laying together sailing to London and Diana tries to explain who she is and what she knows about men. A lot of the supporting characters around them have some great comedic moments, like Steve's assistant Eda Candy and his friends that join him on the mission. Diana even has some great lines of wonderment about being in the real world. Like the bit with the ice cream. Not only does the comedy serve as a way to undercut some of the serious tones, but it also brings some sense of reality to the whole premise. People don't always talk so seriously, people like to make jokes or are inadvertently funny. As the movie goes on, it builds tension and does shift the tone to become more serious but it's those early on moments that keep the audience's interest in these characters.
All of these aspects that I have mentioned are a part of what made the movie so good. It has some problems of course, but it's the character journey, the well-shot action scenes and the fun moments that make people come back to watch this movie again. The Wonder Woman character has been the best part of the current DC movies and her standalone movie shows you just why she is so awesome and an inspiration to females.