It takes a woman to save the universe.
Seeing how the women of Themyscira — a shielded utopian island thriving off female power — fight like lionesses, control all aspects of life on their island, and do all of this without a man’s influence was inspiring. These strong, skilled, badass warriors independent of a man’s touch was a refreshing thing to see.
In the rebooted “Wonder Woman,” released Friday June 2, film director Patty Jenkins focused on developing the origins of Diana’s character before she becomes the iconic symbol for justice. Jenkins lays this foundation on Themyscira, Diana’s home, where the Amazons have the sole purpose of training to be vigilant warriors and protectors of humankind. Among these fearsome warriors is Diana, the sheltered yet resilient daughter of Queen Hippolyta of the Amazons.
Growing up, it is obvious Diana (Gal Gadot) is different from the other Amazonians — from the way her mother tries to handle her to her super-human abilities, to her desire to take action in World War I to protect the innocent.
Steve Trevor’s (Chris Pine) character serves as the catalyst to Diana’s development, as he introduces her to the world of man and various conflicts man faces. Motivated by the looming threat of Ares, Greek god of war, Diana ventures into world outside of the island’s protection with Steve at her side, and realizes her ideology of man is null compared to reality.
Jenkins uses the elements of cinematography, production design and acting direction to create a vivid piece that introduces Wonder Woman to the big screen. Gadot beautifully executes Diana’s characteristics, flaws and all, and portrays her as a dynamic character throughout the film. I enjoyed how the cinematography captured the fighting in slow motion and showed off the characters’ skills.
Most DC movies have a very plain set up, but with this film’s origin on Themyscira, “Wonder Woman” was able to incorporate vivid backgrounds to further the plot and development of the picture. Acting wise, Gal and Chris’ chemistry was subtle and progressed as their characters developed. I saw this film with my mom, and for someone who isn’t a comic book fan, she was able to understand the storyline and catch on to what was unraveling. All of these elements contribute to the overall experience in seeing this film, and puts into question how DC and Warner Bros. handled promotion.
Of all the DC movies in the last decade, “Wonder Woman” received the least amount of hype from the enterprise. According to SyfyWire, six weeks before the premiere in theaters, “Wonder Woman” lacked promotion compared to the hype given to “Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice.” Why did one of the world’s most iconic female superheroes receive less promotion?
Ironically, DC fans, myself included, have long awaited Wonder Woman’s debut film and have been buzzing in the rooms anticipating it since “Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice” (2016). For this generation, Wonder Woman is a symbol that represents the strength of those marginalized in society by means of gender, race, ethnicity and religion. However, for its lack of promotion, Wonder Woman snags a 8.3 out 10 on IMDb (compared to “Batman vs Superman’s” 6.7) and had a global opening $223 million. I guess this is why there was a lack of promotion (sarcasm).
The movie’s main focus centers around how one’s choices define them. As the film progressed, it was clear Diana fixated on the idea that mankind is innocent and defenseless, because we are unable resist the influences of Ares. However, she ultimately sees that is not the case. Diana chooses to look past man’s imperfections and sees there is always light within the darkness.
Diana, unlike her associates in the DC universe, has the ability to integrate loyalty, compassion and courage through means of finding justice and truth. Instead of facing problems thinking there is only good and bad, she analyzes situations and delivers merciful justice by seeing the potential within people. There are many moments in the film where Diana puts her own spin on designated masculine roles and combats them with her determination. Through her morality and purpose Wonder Woman surpasses the expectations and standards of her male superhero counterparts. The uniqueness of this female superhero film — directed by a female — charges women and female-identifying teens to realize we are warriors fighting against stigma and ignorance. Some days we will win, and some days we will lose. However, Jenkins secures a win for all women and female-identifying teens by beautifully capturing the essence of Wonder Woman, thus redeeming the DC enterprise.
Kayla, 18 is a VOX staff intern who will attend Spelman College in the fall.