“I will fight, for those who can not fight for themselves.” – Diana Prince
Run Time: 141 mins
Director: Patty Jenkins
Staring: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, David Thewlis
With the release of a number of anticipated films recently, Baywatch (May 25th) and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (May 26th), it was no surprise that Wonder Woman (June 2nd) would face some competition in the cinema. It was a surprise, however, to see it pushed to the smallest screen in my local cinema on it’s opening night. Was it really that bad?
Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman was first introduced in last year’s Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, however, since the film was primarily about the conflict between Batman and Superman, her character was never properly explored. Wonder Woman explains the origin of the heroine, from her upbringing on Themyscira (home of the Amazons) through to how she gets involved with the world of Man.
As you would expect from a film where the lead character is an independent woman raised in a world without men (the Amazons are a “tribe” of female warriors), Wonder Woman promotes a sense of female solidarity and some cinemas even went as far as having women-only screenings. This idea of female empowerment was made clear early on in the film, with references to men not being necessary for a woman’s sexual pleasure and that the role of a secretary sounded like “slavery”. Marina Berlin’s review over on Vice delves into this topic further, suggesting that Wonder Woman’s greatest superpower is destroying sexist tropes.
Aside from defeating sexist tropes, Wonder Woman is also pretty good at defeating evil. The action in Wonder Woman isn’t anything to scoff at, but it’s not necessarily something to boast about either. With the setting being the World War, the majority of the action in Wonder Woman was all too similar to that of Marvel’s Captain America: The First Avenger i.e. Superhuman strength + Shield = Dead bad guys. However, the “lasso of truth” was used on occasion and this was an origin story, so Diana Prince was still learning to use her full power.
So did Wonder Woman deserve the small screen? Not really no. The film was generally good with a strong cast and script that was both entertaining and humbling, but DC still seem to be playing catchup to Marvel. Perhaps the similarity to Captain America was a bit too exaggerated, but I can’t help but feel that if Wonder Woman had been released under Marvel it would have gone straight to the main screen…