“Be careful of mankind, Diana. They do not deserve you.”
For the first time in a history spanning over 75 years, Diana Prince, better known as Wonder Woman, is finally taking center stage in her very own live-action feature film. It is a moment that many have been waiting their entire lives for, and to actually see it come to fruition has been surreal.
With director Patty Jenkins at the helm, Wonder Woman was in the hands of someone who was more than capable of doing Diana’s story justice. From the very beginning, Jenkins had an innate knowledge of the DC Comics character which translated beautifully on-screen. It was a true origin story and I was happy to see Diana’s development as she grew from the mischievous child, disobedient teenager, to the young woman we’re used to seeing today.
Jenkins also perfectly captured Diana’s (Gal Gadot) relationship with her mother Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen) and her aunt Antiope (Robin Wright) on Themyscira. In fact, Jenkins’ portrayal of the Amazons was one of the best parts in the film and I really wish we’d been able to spend even more time on Paradise Island. I have to hope that we will see more from the Amazons in the near future.
Upon Diana departing Themyscira, I was struck by the earnestness of both Diana and Captain Steve Trevor (Chris Pine). Both of them are set in their convictions and are willing to do whatever it takes to defeat the bad in this world.
Their sheer honesty between one another and watching them in their naivety of how to navigate one another, him being the first man she’s ever laid eyes on and him in his uncertainty of how to approach Diana and her fellow Amazons was fun to witness. The relationship between the two grew over time, was organic, but I couldn’t help wanting to explore their love story a bit more. That being said, the chemistry that Gadot and Pine shared was truly believable.
Now of course, it’s a superhero movie so I will talk about the action scenes. They were brilliant! I’d have to say that if I were to make a list of some of the most bad-ass or iconic fight sequences in superhero movies to-date, Wonder Woman has more than its fair share to choose from. If you wanted to see some major woman power and beatdowns, you’ll be satisfied on that front.
An element distinctively different in Wonder Woman that I hadn’t experienced in the past DCEU films was humour. Yes, they tried with Suicide Squad, but it didn’t always translate well on-screen. But with Wonder Woman, it seems that the cast and crew were able to step away from the past formula in DCEU films and it definitely worked this time around. From the interactions between Diana, Steve and Etta Candy (Lucy Davis), to Steve’s comrades, Sameer (Saïd Taghmaoui), Chief (Eugene Braverock) and Charlie (Ewen Bremner), there were certainly a lot more laughs and humour than I’d been expecting.
But much like any film that is set during a war, there were moments of darkness, however you didn’t feel completely surrounded or drowned by it. Specifically during scenes where Diana was visibly struggling with how humankind could be capable of such atrocities. But instead of being discouraged, you were left with a sense hopefulness because of Diana’s presence and her unwavering need to help us attain peace.
What struck me most while I sat in the theater during the advance Wonder Woman fan screening was the ridiculous range of emotions that ran through me. From fear, uncertainty, sadness, love and grief, it all hit me right in the gut during many moments in the film and to be quite honest, I loved it. I like when a superhero film is complex and makes us feel; it’s perfectly okay for a hero to be nuanced and to have struggles (Diana: “Who will I be if I stay?”). It’s part of what makes the character great and part of the reason why Wonder Woman works so well. Despite her strength and courage, there is still a vulnerability there that draws you to the character. Both Jenkins and Gadot did a great job in bringing Diana’s relatability to life in the film.
Being a fan of Diana Prince, ever since the character was introduced to me by my comicbook-loving father, she’s held an important place in my heart. I was more than happy with the character’s portrayal and would like to thank both Gal and Patty for putting everything they had into this character and movie.
It’s been a while since a superhero movie filled me with this much hope for humankind, and in light of what’s been happening in the world, hope and love are two elements we need now more than ever and Jenkins delivered on giving that to the audience. It made you hope for justice, love and peace above all else.
Thank you Patty Jenkins for doing Diana justice, and I certainly hope that you will be back to direct a Wonder Woman sequel if we are lucky enough to get one. Be sure to catch Wonder Woman when it hits theaters this Friday. It’s most definitely worth the watch!