By Emma Johnson-Ferguson
Whilst it still seems hard to believe, Wonder Woman is the first movie to tackle the story of a female superhero with the weight (and budget) that has been afforded to the array of male superheroes that are floating around the 2017 world consciousness.
The respect granted to the character of Diana is a breath of fresh air to movie and comic book fans in general after the (albeit delightful) disaster that was Suicide Squad. DC brings out all the stops in this big-budget offering.
Opening on Themyscira, a Santorini-esque haven for the Amazon race, we are given a brief but delicately tackled history of our heroine. Desperate to learn to fight from a young age, her naïveté, born out of a benevolence we rarely see in other superheroes, means by the time we meet grown Diana (Gal Gadot), we are invested in her as a character.
Meeting Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor opens the door to knowledge of the outside world, which is plagued by the turmoil of the First World War. What ensues is both dramatic and ‘super.’ Nonetheless, this movie remains in touch with its emotions in an intelligent way that is seldom seen in other movies of this ilk.
For this, praise must go to director Patty Jenkins, who frequently places the emphasis of this movie away from huge action sequences. This focus on relationships and character development results in deeper connection from the audience that becomes necessary in the predictably CGI-based end battle.
Am I gushing? Maybe. Perhaps it’s because this movie desperately needs a good reception. Whilst it may have been the best movie out of the DC factory in years, a sequel is never guaranteed (discounting the already filmed Justice League).
Whilst this movie is an empowering film for women, it is nigh on impossible to guarantee more female superhero protagonists. This movie was a well-handled origin story, but until we can go to the cinema and waste two hours of our life on a mediocre blockbuster about a female superhero we have seen many times before, we still have a way to go.
Photograph: Nathan Rupert via Flickr