Wonder Woman is a major milestone for female-led and female-directed blockbuster movies - and also a big game-changer for DC Films and its DC Extended Universe films.
Before Wonder Woman, the DCEU found itself in a hole that only seemed to get deeper and deeper with each new release, starting with the incredibly divisive Man of Steel, and then the rampant hate on both Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad.
However, Warner Bros. and DC Films listened to the feedback from both fans and haters and made some important course corrections to their cinematic universe - with Wonder Woman leading the charge.
Here's How Wonder Woman Fixes Many DC Movie Problems.
The biggest change to the DCEU formula that fans of Wonder Woman noticed was that the tone of the film was much different than Man of Steel, Batman v Superman or Suicide Squad.
Wonder Woman is most often compared to a film like Captain America: The First Avenger and/or Indiana Jones - basically, it had the action-adventure feel of an old 1940s serial. Best of all, however, Wonder Woman had a well-measured touch of humor, and some charming romantic chemistry, as well.
Of course, the lightness of the humor and romance in Wonder Woman didn't take away from the seriousness of the story. In fact, some of the biggest praise (or criticism) of the film is how it manages to balance a lighter superhero fantasy with a real war drama thematic arc. The war scenes (No Man's Land) convey the ugliness and chaos of real war, but never seem as bleak as Superman's world in MoS and BvS.
In the end, Wonder Woman has shown how DCEU films can balance serious and deep thematic material with superhero fun. It's not just a much-needed DCEU fix: it's arguably more than most Marvel movies ever achieve.
One thing the DC Comics fan community (even ones loyal to the DCEU) have been adamant about is that the films haven't doesn't the best job of depicting their respective heroes (or anti-heroes) in a very heroic light.
Wonder Woman doesn't have that problem. Despite any criticism of the film, it's hard to argue that Wonder Woman walks away from it looking anything but heroic.
It isn't just some heart of gold attitude like Superman has (though Wonder Woman is compared to Richard Donner's iconic Superman movie); Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman is heroic due to her compassion for mankind and life, which is the true foundation of her bravery fierceness in battle.
Wonder Woman is truly the first DCEU movie that has left viewers with strong feelings of heroic ambitions - whether it be young girls inspired by a Diana's power, or anyone watching (male or female) inspired to do good out of compassion for their fellow (wo)man.
We could arguably throw an asterisk onto this one, as the truth is that Man of Steel did a pretty good job of sewing some nice connections to a larger DCEU universe into its storyline (like several Easter eggs that set the stage for Batman v Superman).
However, Wonder Woman, even as a standalone piece in a bygone era of the DCEU, does a fine job of dropping in some connections to other movies to come. Here are just a few that we've already picked out:
- The Batman Connection
- Possible Aquaman Connection
- DC's New Gods Connection
- Justice League Connection
Then there's that epic new DC Films intro, which may have revealed an entire cast of new DCEU characters.
Best of all, these DCEU connections never once distract from Wonder Woman's storyline (like those Justice League connections in Batman v Superman) or feel improperly mashed together (like in Suicide Squad).
In terms of action, the DCEU has had some great moments - such as Man of Steel's "Battle of Smallville"; or Batman v Superman's Doomsday battle; or that office building sequence in the middle of Suicide Squad (or maybe just the Harley Quinn elevator scene). However, one thing that people (once again) agree on, is that none of these battles have felt very "heroic."
Man of Steel and Batman v Superman both get criticized for having big battles at the seeming cost of property and human life; and the Suicide Squad gang didn't give a crap about who got hurt in their wake (they just didn't want the world destroyed). However, Wonder Woman finally delivered a DC Comics movie where the hero's action (and some impressive action it was) actually came from a heroic place.
Wonder Woman helped soldiers on the battlefield; liberated towns; and got swift justice for innocents cut down in brutal chemical warfare attacks. And to cap it all off, she defeated the God of War before he consumed the world with death and violence - yet still showed mercy to the woman beyond the chemical horrors (Dr. Maru). If DCEU Superman and Batman are still trying to learn how to be heroes, they need look no further than Wonder Woman for that example.
Before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, Princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on a sheltered island paradise, when an American pilot crashes on their shores and tells of a massive conflict raging in the outside world, Diana leaves her home, convinced she can stop the threat. Fighting alongside man in a war to end all wars, Diana will discover her full powers…and her true destiny.
Joining Gal Gadot in the international cast are Chris Pine, Connie Nielsen, Robin Wright, David Thewlis, Danny Huston, Elena Anaya, Ewen Bremner and Saïd Taghmaoui. Patty Jenkins directs the film from a screenplay by Allan Heinberg and Geoff Johns, story by Zack Snyder and Allan Heinberg, based on characters from DC Entertainment. Wonder Woman was created by William Moulton Marston.
The film is produced by Charles Roven, Zack Snyder, Deborah Snyder and Richard Suckle, with Rebecca Roven, Stephen Jones, Wesley Coller and Geoff Johns serving as executive producers. Warner Bros. Pictures presents, in association with RatPac-Dune Entertainment, an Atlas Entertainment/Cruel and Unusual production, Wonder Woman.
Wonder Woman is now playing!