With the release of Birds of Prey this weekend, we’re looking back at the DCEU as a whole. Today we continue with Wonder Woman.
After a good start with Man of Steel, the DCEU began to stumble with Batman v. Superman and Suicide Squad. But then to director Patty Jenkins and star Gal Gadot, Wonder Woman helped turn things around for the DCEU in a major way. The film gave the well-loved Amazonian warrior an origin story that is just as powerful as any male led origin film. It also packs plenty of action, humor, and heart into the story of how Diana became Wonder Woman. The film was proof that the DCEU could be better, if it focused on good storytelling, and if WB trusted the creative team behind the film.
The film sees Diana, the princess of Themyscira, leave her home island to find Ares (the God of war) and stop him from destroying the Earth during WWI. Diana is pulled into the conflict of WWI thanks to Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), an American pilot and spy, who crash lands on Themyscira while attempting to evade German soldiers. As the film goes on, Diana and Steve work to take down Dr. Isabel Maru aka Doctor Poison (Elena Anaya) and the German General Erich Ludendorff (Danny Huston)- whom Diana believes may be Ares in disguise. While fighting this conflict, Diana and Steve become closer and create not only a strong friendship but a romantic bond that is beautiful and honest.
The relationship between Diana and Steve is one of the best aspects, as it serves as the true heart of the film. Diana comes from a place where men have never set foot, and must understand men and modern culture from Steve. Their interactions are comedic at times, but also heartwarming as Steve must show Diana that humanity is worth saving. It’s his role to show that there is good in this world, and just because we do horrible things at times, doesn’t mean everyone is inherently bad. Diana finds this easily as she enters the world at large, and fights alongside Steve and a group of spies and soldiers.
The other great beauty of the film is the way in which it treats Diana. There are plenty of times where Diana is told that she can’t do something, that she must hold back. She is quite possibly the most powerful being on the planet, and yet everyone wants her to hold back, to get in line with everyone else, and be a “good woman.” She constantly has to takes the steps forward herself. When everyone else yes no, she silently says yes with her actions. Diana is a beacon of hope and empowerment from start to finish, and her story is a powerful message that shines throughout.
Wonder Woman could have easily fallen into the wrong hands and been a horrible example of how not to treat female superheroes. With the director Patty Jenkins, writer Allan Heinberg, and star Gal Gadot, the film instead stands as a beacon to those who come next. A lesson that female heroes can be just as good or often times better than their male counterparts. There is power and greatness in their stories if told correctly, and thank god that didn’t get lost in the mess that was the DCEU before Wonder Woman.
Wonder Woman is currently available on DVD, Blu-Ray and Digital. Be sure to keep following us throughout the week as we continue looking back at the DCEU, leading up to the release of Birds of Prey this weekend!
Written by Alex Lancaster
(Alex is a life long film fan, and has dedicated his life to watching, making and obsessing over films. His favorite film is Big Fish, and he despises Avatar. He has a 5 year old son. And a bad habit of saying more than he needs to. Follow @alex5348 on Twitter)