Wonder Woman (2017)

Wonder Woman (2017), directed by Patty Jenkins, written by Allan Heinberg, Zack Snyder, Jason Fuchs, starring Gil Gadot, Chris Pine, Danny Huston, Elena Anaya

It really isn't surprising, that Wonder Woman is the most liked movie in the current DC lineup: there where Zack Snyder went into nihilistic brooding with his takes on Superman and Batman, Patty Jenkins takes Wonder Woman into a different direction by making her an actual beacon of hope, courage, love and peace. In this take the world is not perfect, but as Diana (Gadot) learns, there's still good within the human race, which can elevate them and make them strive for better. So in many ways, the movie resembles more of what people kind of expect superheroes like Wonder Woman to be actually about.

When Diana Prince receives a parcel containing an old photo plate from Bruce Wayne, she begins to reminiscent her arrival to the world of humans during the First World War. But at first, we see how she began her training under the watchful eye of Antiope (Robin Wright), despite her mother Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen) was at first against it, being afraid of what it might lead to.

The life of Diana changes, when she saves a life of an American pilot, Steve Trevor (Pine), who crash lands in the ocean near her secret home island of Themyscira. Trevor has been chased by the Germans, from whom he has stolen an important book containing the secrets of deadly weapons designed by Dr Maru (Anaya), a scientist wearing half facial prosthesis. Together with general Ludendorff (Huston) she has been creating devastating combat gasses and this is something Trevor wants to stop.

Hippolyta is not keen at letting Trevor return to the world but luckily for him, Diana is keen to go and stop the war, as she believes it all is caused by the god of war Ares, whom against the Amazons are supposed to fight. So sacred missions and all that.

The journey to the front takes Diana from Themiscira to London, from where the duo recruits a ragtag group of friends to help them during their attempt at taking down Ares. From there they finally arrive at Veld, a small village in Belgium located at no-mans land, where all advancement has stopped. There Diana, seeing the suffering of civilians and soldiers alike, helps the people push back the Germans and take back their homes.

After helping the civilians Diana and her friends manage to locate Ludendorff and Maru from a castle near the village, where they are preparing to a show how the effectivity of their new weapon. At this point, Steve wants nothing more but to destroy the weapons plant and Diana is convinced that Ares should be their main target.

A climatic end battle ensues, where Diana finally confronts Ares while Steve takes care of the gas bombs, sacrificing himself for the greater good. Enraged, Diana finally finds her full strength, but instead of joining Ares and destroying humanity, like he wanted to, she finally realizes her place in the world and finishes off the god of war.

Like I said, it's easy to see why people liked Wonder Woman better over the previous entries to the DC-universe after Nolan movies. Wonder Woman is a movie about genuine hope, about the belief that there's good in people no matter how hard we have fallen down.  And all this is shown during one of the most senseless, pointless wars in the human history.

I do think it's commendable, that Patty Jenkins managed to turn Wonder Woman into a good movie despite she had the weight of the other movies set in the same universe hanging above her shoulders. While the story is predictable and cliched, Jenkins has managed to turn it into a solid action movie with some genuine heart in it. And that, I think should be applauded.

As a story, Wonder Woman that is set during the First World War doesn't suffer a bit from Jenkins ditching many of the grittier elements Snyder had in his DC movies. In many ways, Wonder Woman manages to show very well how horrific the war was for the civil population, despite there is a god walking among them in the trenches. And while she can't save everyone one, Wonder Woman does try and feels the pain when she cannot be everywhere at once.

If the future Wonder Woman movies carry on at this pace and mentality, she might very well be the next big thing for DC has so desperately sought from its roster since Nolan released the reigns of Batman to other people. In any case, I'm actually looking forward to the next solo instalment of the Amazon princess.