Wonder Woman is the superhero movie we longed for
A story of Diana Prince and me
I have always enjoyed to play with boy’s toys — I have the vivid memory of wanting so bad to have a Hot Weels car wash toy. But I felt ashamed to ask my parents to buy me one, because it was not girly. They never repressed me in any way on that matter, but I simply couldn’t ask without feeling weird. I also enjoyed the so-called girl’s toys, such as Barbies, Bratz, Pollys (dolls, in general), teddy bears, even the kitchen toys (fake pans, ovens, etc) that generate controversy these days.
Growing up, I began to role play, and to pretend I was a certain character that I could relate with, mostly female characters. I had watched some animated series, animes (japanese animated series) and others that portrayed really strong women. The superheroes became a thing in my life as a kid. I watched the Justice League, X-men, Spiderman (TV series), etc. and started to admire them. Wonder Woman became one of my several female role models (that also included real people). Of course, I loved many characters — Superman, Spiderman, Hawkgirl, Static Shock, Martian Manhunter, Flash, etc. — but she was my favorite.
After some years, the superheroes became a huge cinema success again — after the first X-men movie, back in 2000 — and my old passion was reignited. I entered the young adult life admiring the X-men, Spiderman, etc. I was really happy to see them on the big screen, and always hoped for a Wonder Woman movie, because, unlike my father, who got the chance to see the amazing Lynda Carter portrayal of Wonder Woman on the TV series aired in 1975, I didn’t get the chance to see her in flesh and bone — at least not until 2017.
When the rumors of a Batman/Superman movie started to emerge, I was thrilled. I followed up every single news about it, and hoped that it would turn out great. When the movie finally came out, I felt like that I was part of that too! And of course, as a “part of it”, I was really happy to watch it and enjoyed genuinely the movie, even with its flaws (I do recognize them).
One thing, though, was a consensus — Wonder Woman was AWESOME.
When Gal Gadot entered the scene as Wonder Woman, saving Batman’s ass, everyone at the screening session went nuts and started applauding and cheering for her. That was an amazing moment for me, seeing all these people enjoying my favorite superhero and supporting her.
On that moment, I knew I wasn’t really far from getting the Wonder Woman movie I craved for a long time. I have to admit — after watching the Suicide Squad movie — I was kind of scared of how the movie could turn out. I remember to read so many “news” on the Wonder Woman movie — about how it would be a disaster, how Gal Gadot wasn’t in shape to play Wonder Woman, how they had to refilm some scenes. But, when I saw the first trailer, I knew that the people in charge knew what they were doing. So I trusted them. Finally, the moment to see the movie arrived. On june 2nd, I went to theater with my best friend, my father and my stepmother. And what we saw was nothing less than wonderful.
Here are my thoughts on this movie. Warning: spoilers ahead.
1 — S stands for Hope? Maybe, but surely WW does
Not everyone enjoyed the idea of a confused and even depressed Superman. Most people expected the happy and silly guy that always saves the day on Man of Steel (2013). Either way, he taught us that the “S” on his chest stands for hope, not only for “Superman”, as we all would assume. But, having already such a broken spirit, it was hard for some to see that hope that he could represent.
When Wonder Woman showed up in her own movie for the first time as a fierce kid, with the courage to do what is right — as we are taught as kids — I began to feel that hope. I really admired her strong will and very clear intention to do what is right as a kid and also as an adult. She developed hers skills but still kept her innocence by believing in the amazon’s “sacred duty”. Even when she left the perfect placed she lived, against her mother’s wishes, and first met the “men’s world” — a very ugly place filled with hatred, death and sorrow—she still could see the good on that world and kept being blown away by things that we, as adults, stop caring about — like appreciating the people on the street, a baby, or even a really an ice cream. The hope of saving the world from Ares — solving the huge problem by killing just one bad guy (or god, on this case)— was really naive. Everyone could see it, but she kept moving forward towards her goal. I really admired that spirit.
2 — The strengh and diversity of the amazons
Sometimes, I hear comments like — “oh, I didn’t enjoy that they casted a POC (person of color) for a role of a nordic character, that can’t happen, they are not respecting the source material, the story says that they were all white, blonde, tall and bearded man”. I won’t be a hypocrite. I used to have these thoughts too — and until a little time ago. But Gal Gadot came and surprised positively everyone who complained about her being too skinny or to not look like Wonder Woman (I believe that people expected something closer to Lynda Carter looks, which are closer to the comic books).
That being said, I really enjoyed seeing how the amazons were casted. There were tall, short, black, white, asian women on that island. And before you think — isn’t that story inspired by greek mithology, and therefore, should have greek people to play these characters? — I say again: no. On that story, they were “created by the gods”, and the gods can create people, amazons, animals as they wish. They didn’t necessary had only one mould to create them. Also, why do you bother (or do not) by the “absurd” of having diversity of women on Themyscira (a place that does not exist) — but don’t bother to have gods, people flying, being hit by guns and not getting hurt, etc.? Isn’t that even more “absurd”?
I really enjoyed the fight scenes with slow motion, because I could see exatcly what was going on. All those women were such badasses, jumping, running, shooting arrows and using swords and shields. I really loved to see them fight so fiercily.
3 — Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot
I know the movie wasn’t completely made by two people. But these women made history, and changed the story of Hollywood movies in a significant way. Patty had only directed (and written) one movie before Wonder Woman — the very acclaimed Monster, starred by Charlize Theron, who portrays a a former prostitute that was executed in Florida in 2002 for killing six men. That movie got acclaimed by the critic and Charlize won seventeen awards for her role, including the Academy Award for Best Actress (the Oscar).
Jenkins was supposed to direct Thor 2 — The Dark World, but she quit because of creative differences. When asked if she could have directed Wonder Woman had she remained on Thor: The Dark World, Jenkins responded:
No. I don’t think I could have made a good movie out of Thor 2 because I wasn’t the right director. And I don’t think I would have been in the running for Wonder Woman as a result. And that’s one of the reasons why I’m glad I didn’t do it. Because I could have made a great Thor if I could have done the story that I was wanting to do. But I don’t think I was the right person to make a great Thor out of the story they wanted to do.
So, we can see how that turned out great, because clearly Patty knows what she is doing, and we hope Warner Brothers lets her do her job and keep presenting us with the wonderful movies that she proved she can deliver.
4 — The supporting cast
I was worried about Steve Trevor. His story (and even his name!) reminds everyone of Marvel’s First Avenger. I thought his story would be changed so he doesn’t resemble too much the Marvel icon, but luckily that didn’t happen. Also, there was a risk that he would save Diana constantly — and he didn’t do that. But that didn’t make him a “damsel in distress” either — he was an active and important partner to both Diana Prince and Wonder Woman.
Steve, Sameer, the Chief and Charlie are all men, and that didn’t feel forced. I believe the movie has managed to show strong women and men, in other words, they were really different, but all of them were important to the movie.
Their importance is really clear when Trevor, along with Sameer and the Chief propel Wonder Woman into a bell tower to take out a sniper. This scene represents perfectly the support these characters give to Diana through the gesture of lifting her up (literally and symbolycally). I absolutely loved them!
5 — The natural humor
Marvel is very famous for its formula: humorous and colorful movies, that mostly everyone enjoy. DC, on the other hand, had its ups and downs — the Batman’s Dark Knight franchise being the top success on portraying the most “realistic” superhero movie. But also DC is the owner of very controverse movies, such as Batman v Superman (2016) and Suicide Squad (2016).
So everyone was wondering what type of movie Wonder Woman would be. And I believe DC has redeemed itself with Wonder Woman, because the movie brings humor and sadness, darkness and light, all together. The main funny scenes are based on Diana’s naivety — like the “average man” joke. Also, her dramatic scenes are base on this characteristic. She is desolated when she kills “Ares” and the war does not stop, for example. I believe these details were part of the reason it was so awesome (at least, to me).
6 — The first female-led superhero movie
Many strong female heroes movies have come out recently, from Hunger Games (2012) to Frozen (2013) and Moana (2016). But there was no female solo supehero movie until Wonder Woman. Marvel is working on the Captain Marvel movie for years, failing to get a female-led superhero film developed faster. Not to mention that Marvel has Scarlett Johansson playing the Black Widow (Natasha Romanoff or Romanova) since 2010 as a mere sidekick, with no plans of having a solo movie.
What is the problem? Maybe Hollywood believes that a female-led superhero film wouldn’t make as much money as a male-led movie? That thought has been overthrowned by the audience and by numbers. According to The Vox:
Wonder Woman’s domestic gross handily beats last year’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ($330 million) and Suicide Squad ($325 million). And while it hasn’t yet overtaken those two films’ international sales (or Guardians’, for that matter), its overall gross thus far ($780 million) already outpaces Suicide Squad’s $745 million total and is edging up on Batman v Superman’s $873 million. Last week, Wonder Woman passed the final Harry Potterinstallment to become Warner Bros.’ third-biggest release of all time, behind Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises.
So, it is clear that the audience is not afraid of a female superhero — and even loves this idea! I hope these numbers inspires Marvel and other studios to make more female led movies!