Wonder Woman. I’d heard good things and my hopes were high. It didn’t disappoint. After, I couldn’t stop thinking why this movie was so stirring, and altogether successful. Sure, Gal Gadot and Chris Pine gave noteworthy performances, but Rotten Tomatoes critics ringing in at 93%. For a superhero movie? I mean come on, that doesn’t happen often, if ever.
So what is it? What makes you think about a movie hours after it’s ended? What keeps the wheels turning? Is it the awesome action scenes, maybe the funny lines? Probably not. Is it the beautiful Gal Gadot…well maybe. But in reality it’s something far deeper, more profound, that had me pondering this Wonder Woman long after I left the big screen.
The meaningful choices and points of crisis create a memorable character arc for our protagonist, Diana (Gadot). She is an Amazonian princess, sheltered on a hidden island consisting of warrior women, a group once dedicated to helping man-kind avoid their destructive tendencies—a bridge between Gods and men. Although, Diana’s mother Hippolyta is intent on protecting her daughter from the world of men and the destruction they bring, Diana is suddenly burdened with a difficult decision; whether to help mankind end their Great War or leave them to their seemingly inevitable destruction.
How does this decision come about? Knowledge from a downed pilot (Pine) for starters. Knowledge that people are suffering and an understanding that she is destined for a higher purpose; namely, to help those in need with both strength and compassion. Sounds superheroey right? Sort of.
Wonder Woman goes deeper, delving into Diana’s inner turmoil as she simultaneously helps those who suffer the horrors of war, all the while realizing the evil that we all are capable of committing. Later, she is forced to make another decision, this one even more difficult, another fork in the road.
Her response to this decision reflects deep truths about humanity, the darkness in all of us, and the flickers of light that might just shine forth; if we let it. For Diana, this decision will forever shape her belief about the hearts of mankind. It is here that Wonder Woman is truly born.
For while Diana does all of the proverbial ass-kicking needed in a superhero movie, her real power radiates in the decisions that reveal her beliefs about humanity: what we do, who we are, and who we have the potential to become.
Wonder Woman is the female superhero movie we needed, and maybe…maybe the one we deserve.