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Wonder Woman Movie Review

courtesy of Amazon

courtesy of Amazon

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The much anticipated origin story “Wonder Woman” hit theaters in June, and enjoyed much box office and critical success for good reason. The newest in a long line of famously bad Detective Comics (also known as DC) movies, many fans had hopes that this would be the one to break the curse. It seems that “Wonder Woman” was able to distance itself from the styling and tone of other less successful DC films, like the overly gritty “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” or the awkwardly paced “Suicide Squad.” In fact, “Wonder Woman” was an enjoyable movie with its own unique tone, using light-hearted elements while still keeping DC’s core dark theme of flawed heroes. Overall, “Wonder Woman” is DC’s most solid film so far, giving high hopes for an even better sequel.

An important theme of “Wonder Woman” was the role of women in a man’s society. At first, Diana, or Wonder Woman, was born and raised in an all-women society of Amazons, where she learned to fight and fend for herself. She was soon thrust into the human world, where it seemed that women were not taken seriously. Some men treated Diana as just a pretty face at first, but as she proved her bravery in combat and compassion for the weak, she easily earned the respect of her male peers. The strong point of this movie, was that it didn’t use Diana’s gender as a crutch, but rather established her as a likable and relatable person who proved her strength to the audience. It should have been easy to fall into the trap of making a female leading character into a do-it-all Mary Sue character, someone who the writers feel obligated into proving is strong and infallible in her very first scene of the movie. Diana was instead given time and room for her character to develop, showing us a strong, determined, yet sometimes naive woman, unaccustomed  to the cruelty of humankind from her years of sheltering.

Many students described the movie as empowering for women. Wonder Woman is a great role model, brave and selfless in the face of danger. It seemed that director Patty Jenkins, DC’s first female director and Hollywood’s highest paid female director, understood what it meant to portray a strong female character on screen.

Another theme of “Wonder Woman” that was conveyed exceptionally well was the cruelty of war. Movies can show this in a literal way by having mean-looking soldiers shoot some civilians, but “Wonder Woman” took an interesting approach that sent a slightly different message. Ares, the god of war, was not a muscle-bound warrior with with a big gun. Rather, he was a pasty old man with an English accent. This revelation showed that history’s biggest killers were not notorious warriors, but wealthy barrons who sent millions of young men to their death. When Diana saw the full extent of war for the first time, she was sure that only the god of war could drive men to such evil. However, she soon learned that Ares did not start the war by himself, but rather nudged certain people here or there, thereby showing the inherent evil humankind can possess.

In the end, this movie was definitely worth the watch, especially for superhero fans and those looking for strong female leading roles. It taught a good moral lesson without being too heavy-handed, it felt enjoyable without being goofy. And it had a serious and emotional tone without being overly gritty. It was a satisfying film that left fans wanting more.

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