Is Wonder Woman As Good As Richard Donner's Superman?
Wonder Woman is already being considered a milestone release for DC Films, and the superhero(ine) [...]
Wonder Woman is already being considered a milestone release for DC Films, and the superhero(ine) movie genre, in general. Millions of fans (both old and new) are now officially on the Wonder Woman bandwagon, and discussion of where the movie ranks amongst the biggest and greats in the superhero genre is going strong.
It's an easy argument to accept when debating whether or not Wonder Woman is the best movie in the DCEU lineup (so far). However, some viewers are going so far as to compare Patty Jenkins' film to one of the greatest superhero movies of all time: Richard Donner's classic 1978 Superman movie.
So, it's time to consider the question from all the necessary angles: Is Wonder Woman As Good As Richard Donner's Superman?
Donner's Superman and Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman both explore the origin story behind two iconic characters, who despite all odds, come to be shining symbols of justice and heroism.
Both films use the dynamic of the heroes having almost naive levels of optimism while pairing them with more cynical romantic foils, who find themselves inspired by the hero's infectiously good nature.
In terms of the viewing experience, Superman and Wonder Woman are in an easy comparison, in that they both leave many viewers feeling inspired by the titular character's noble nature - i.e., they feel as though they've spent time with an actual heroic character.
It's too early (and perhaps impossible) to judge the effect that each film had on their respective generations of kids, but Wonder Woman already shows signs of inspiring as many young girls to don gauntlets and tiaras, as Superman did young boys to run around in red capes throughout the '80s.
In that sense, the two films are evenly matched.prevnext
It's impossible not to discuss how Superman and Wonder Woman each handle the visual spectacle that comes with their respective superhero subjects. After all, Donner's Superman was marketed heavily as an effects-driven theatrical experience, which carried the clever tagline "You'll Believe A Man Can Fly!"
Donner's Superman is extremely dated now, but for millions of kids (from the '80s well into the '00s) seeing Christopher Reeve take flight was nothing short of magic.
Seeing Princess Diana/Wonder Woman come to life onscreen will likely be just as magical for kids who have never really seen a female superhero (and her considerable power set) brought to life onscreen. However, Superman ultimately holds the edge for the simple fact that it was a theatrical spectacle that no one (child or adult) had really experienced before. It remains as much a milestone for its visual effects as it does for its hero.prevnext
Superman and Wonder Woman are structured very similarly: They start by exploring fantastical otherworldly settings (Krypton, Themyscira) - eventually bringing the hero into an urban setting (Metropolis, London), where the hero is a humorously depicted as a geeky, 'fish out of water' types, before being roped into a conflict with an evil mastermind. At some point, both heroes must deal with the emotional impact of losing their romantic partner, without losing control of their rage and power, choosing a nobler mercy, instead.
In terms of the details, though, the two films take very different paths through the outline listed above. Both films are resonant and even inspirational; however, Wonder Woman exists in a much more complicated modern context and manages to tell a powerful and multi-layered story about everything from gender to the nature of war, without sacrificing all the fun and entertaining superhero fantasy.
The two films run almost equal in length (Superman is 143 minutes; Wonder Woman is 141), but Wonder Woman packs a lot more into that time frame, in terms of depth.prevnext
As of writing this, both Wonder Woman and Superman hold 93% scores on Rotten Tomatoes - and as you can see below, they're two of the highest-rated comic book movies in our Comicbook.com Composite Rankings.
It's clear that both films are immediate hits with both critics and fans, so the real test will be how both films maintained their status (or not) in the long term.
Naturally, it's way too early to tell if Wonder Woman is just the focus of one moment in the zeitgeist or a lasting milestone in the minds and memories of viewers. Until that day, Donner's Superman must fairly be honored as the classic and iconic film that it is - a right it has earned by staying relevant, even after multiple attempts to reboot it into obscurity.prevnext
More Wonder Woman News
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- Patty Jenkins Set to Direct Wonder Woman 2
- Who Dies in Wonder Woman?
- Is Wonder Woman too similar to Captian America: The First Avenger?
- DC Comics Easter Eggs in Wonder Woman
- Wonder Woman's DCEU Connections Explained
- Wonder Woman's Possible Aquaman Easter Egg
- Wonder Woman's Possible Batman Villain Easter Egg
SYNOPSIS: 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.
Photo Credits: Warner Bros. Picturesprev