The DC Universe has had a shaky start, to say the least, but how will ‘Wonder Woman’, the latest instalment, fare?
The DC Universe so far
It’s fair to say that the launch of the DC Universe has been shaky. The Summer of 2016 should have been the first great steps in their cinematic universe. But what should have been easy critical and audience approval with ‘Batman vs Superman’ and ‘Suicide Squad’ turned out to be massive blunders with both films criticised across the board for nonsensical plots, minimised screen time for major characters and an overly stylised gritty dark tone that contrasts sharply with the source material. With the ambitious Justice League film looming closer and closer (along with several individual Justice League movies before then) there’s been a growing fear that the DC Universe will fail to live up to expectations. Wonder Woman was the best response to that doubt they could have possibly given
Directed by Patty Jenkins, this beautiful origin story tells the story of Diana (Gal Gadot). From her childhood in the land of Themyscira as the child of Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen) and trained as an Amazon warrior under, General Antiope (Robin Wright). Living an idealistic life unaware of the world of men, or at least until one washes up on her shores.
Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), a spy who tells the Amazons of the Great War that has claimed countless lives across Europe. Believing The God Of War Aries to be the reason behind it, Diana leaves Themyscira with Steve, travelling towards the world in the hope of finding and defeating the Amazons’ sworn enemy thus stopping his influence from spreading.
Quite simply this is the best Movie DC has made since The Dark Knight. You’d almost be forgiven for thinking that an entirely different studio had taken over in the direction of Wonder Woman when you compare it to the overly complex mess that was ‘Superman Vs Batman’. No cheap tricks, no perceived “edginess” for the sake of being gritty. Just pure simple story telling and it solved the mystery as to why such an iconic heroine had to wait seventy-five years for a feature film.
Genuine Wonder Woman
It was waiting for Gal Gabot. Utterly perfect fit for the role, especially after stealing the show in Batman versus Superman.Fitting the character as Diana perfectly, seamlessly flowing between Tough, determined, to soft and empathic at the drop of the hat. Totally believable as a girl who would run fearlessly into no man’s land, kicking Nazis through windows, but at the same time marvelling at ice cream with wide-eyed curiosity. Her and Chris Pine as Steve Trevor have a wonderful chemistry going between them.
A major theme of this movie are the general the horrors of war and the self-destructive nature of mankind. Diana living such an idealistic life. Sheltered and somewhat innocent, she has to deal with the cruelty of man and if they’re worth the effort, a subtle yet powerful theme that’s a far cry from anything achieved by Superman versus Batman.
Is the DC future bright?
We can only hope that this movie and not Batman versus Superman turns out to be the blueprint for all DC films in the future. Films that aren’t gloomy and dark and devoid of any joy but rather hope and doesn’t feel the need to make the audience miserable. It seems like DC is only now discovering what Marvel had known for years: people come to these movies for fun, not to see moody, ego driven, and needlessly melodramatic heroes.
With Justice League coming up at the end of the year, how long this lasts remains to be seen.