Wonder Woman Is Exactly What I Want from a Superhero Movie

Wonder Woman Gal Gadot

I am not having a laugh when I say that Wonder Woman is a marvel of a superhero film. Patty Jenkins and crew have managed to craft a delightful, genuinely funny (not snarky), uplifting and optimistic D.C superhero movie — something that, up until now, has seemed like Kryptonite to the D.C. film universe.

Man of Steel was packed with eye-popping action, but there was very little else to praise it for. Suicide Squad — well I’m not going to keep beating that deceased equine. Batman vs. Superman had little going for it besides Jeremy Irons as Alfred and a decent Ben Affleck performance. Of course, the true star of that movie was Gal Gadot.

Wonder Woman Plane Crash

Yet even though Ms. Gadot was an absolute thrill in Batman vs. Superman, I still had some trepidation going in to see Wonder Woman. Although this film is set in a world where daylight exists — and is directed by someone that had nothing to do with the previous D.C. movies — it’s hard to not worry that the cinematic D.C. universe as a whole might be a sinking ship.

But boy, were my suspicions alleviated when the film’s opening introduced us to a smiling, rambunctious, precocious child version of Diana. And the movie only gets better from there. In fact, I was almost brought to tears from the swelling of emotions during a particular battle sequence, and even now as I write this the memory is giving me goosebumps.

Gal Gadot is pure magic, leaving Chris Pine the daunting task of holding his own when they share screen time — something he is, by and large, successful at. The entire supporting cast is in top form as well; there isn’t a single miscast actor or cringe-worthy villain or sidekick. And let me say, Doctor Poison is amazingly psychotic in her creepy, half-face doll mask.

Wonder Woman Doctor Poison

To avoid spoilers, I’ll skip a plot synopsis and just say this is the movie D.C. needed, and it sets a great tone that directors of future films should take note of.

D.C. has finally delivered a movie that isn’t content to just show us our favorite heroes brought to life, banking on fond memories to do all of the heavy lifting. With Wonder Woman, they managed to establish a sense of place, as well as an unshakable sense of who these characters really are. We sympathize with them, understanding why they hope to fight the good fight, and right alongside them we ponder what that means on a micro and macro level.

Patty Jenkins, Gal Gadot, and everyone else involved in this project have created what might be my new favorite superhero movie.

Wonder Woman with Whip

If future D.C. films can even come close to this level of quality, I am ready to forgive all of their past missteps on the journey to superhero greatness.

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