Wonder Woman Review: Only Love Can Save the World

DC has redeemed itself with Wonder Woman.

Easily the best movie it’s offered since The Dark Knight Rises. I had high hopes for Man of Steel, and in spite of strong elements, it failed to capture my imagination. I was more wary of Batman v Superman. Better than its predecessor, the film still lacked something…a compelling punch to make it sink into my soul.

Wonder Woman, on the other hand, hit every note, swelling into a masterful composition that did the DCEU justice and contributed a worthy movie to Hollywood’s superhero deluge while maintaining its own original, riveting identity.

I’m a huge Marvel fan, and I can say without hesitation that Wonder Woman easily surpassed a number of Marvel films.

**This review doesn’t have any major spoilers**

The Movie

Its similarities to Captain America: the First Avenger were striking.

  • A hero thrown into the midst of a World War? Check.
  • A selfless main character? Check.
  • A soldier named Steve crashing a plane? Check.

However, it felt bigger, grander, and at the same time simple. One of the things I loved about the plot was that it didn’t force the action, the CGI affects, the boom and crash and visual explosiveness. Sure it had those moments, but paired beautifully with calmer scenes.

Diana filled the heroine role like a diamond perfectly fitted for a ring. Her character shone through. We learned about her childhood, her dreams, her desires, her motivations, all wrapped into a fascinating plot.

Definitely worthy of heroine status.

She may have stood out too much, or else the supporting cast lacked the flair to keep stride. Chris Pine as Steve Trevor was solid, but nothing to write home about, and the motley band that accompanied him and Diana seemed included more for diversity’s sake than anything. Though they did provide comic relief and a few scenes fleshed out Charlie’s character in interesting ways.

A couple “really?-that-felt-forced” scenes slipped into the narrative. Overall, though, the film struck a beautiful balance of characterization, world building, humor, and action. True to the DC tradition yet executed in a more fulfilling way than recent attempts.

The real winner (pretty much everything was in this movie) was the combination of the plot and the cinematic score. Wonder Woman provided a new world to explore, and I couldn’t tear my gaze away because I had no idea what would happen next. Successful moviemaking 101.

The ending took me by surprise, gave me the chills, and made my heart ache in every good way. It’s been almost two weeks since I saw the movie, and I still sit here in wonder thinking, “Wow, that was incredible.”

Just watch it.

And the music. Breathtaking. Moving. Of the must-buy-soundtrack-now variety.

The Message

Much has been made about Wonder Woman’s feminist agenda. Because it seems everyone needs and has an agenda nowadays.

Wonder Woman had messages aplenty. Yet most struck me as relevant to the storyline, not forced into the movie for the sake of pushing a certain perspective. As if there wasn’t enough to love about this movie already. 😉

Despite the drama, the film’s feminist agenda (it was present but not annoying) failed to claim first place as the most noticeable thematic element. Rather, the echoes of truth caught my attention.

I found the semi-Christian ideas woven into the narrative fascinating. Diana was driven by love, while Ares focused solely on humanity’s fallen brokenness. The juxtaposition of these two driving worldviews played out in a compelling sequence near the plot’s climax.

Light strove with darkness, love battled condemnation, and mercy shielded against unforgiving wrath.

Diana’s viewpoint fell short in the end, where she said all people have both good and dark within them, and the choice is theirs which path to take. Again, a fascinating mixture of semi-Christian ideology and modern empowerment mindset. The themes at play definitely gave room for rumination.

However, she was right in one vital area.

Only love can save the world.


⇒ How do you think Wonder Woman compares to other DC films?

⇒ What made you enjoy (or not enjoy) Wonder Woman?


Wonder Woman Review: Only Love Can Save the World — 2 Comments

  1. I really enjoyed this one. Nice review.

    I did like Batman V Superman and Man of Steel… and I actually quite enjoyed Suicide Squad… for the villainous set-up that occurred, which has been lacking in the Marvel-verse since Loki. (I love the Marvel movies, but I can see their flaws, too)

    I don’t know why, but soundtracks never seem to “hit” me on the first watch. I tend to notice the score more when I rewatch things. I don’t know why this is, but you are not the first person to mention the soundtrack… while I’m like, “Huh… didn’t notice it. Which probably means it was good, as nothing about it struck me as being out of place.” LOL

    I did think the character development of Steve’s friends was a little lacking, as Abbey pointed out in her review… but it didn’t really bother me too much. Possibly because I knew this was a story that happened in Diana’s past… so it was okay if it had a little bit of a “these characters were there, too, but they’re all dead by now, so their development doesn’t really matter to the story” vibe going. Maybe that’s what made it work so well, knowing that the entire movie was kind of a big, long, flashback.

    • Thanks, Jenelle! 🙂

      I actually haven’t seen Suicide Squad. Kinda lost interest after hearing people didn’t think much of it. :-/

      It’s funny you mention that about the soundtracks. I typically have the exact same reaction, not really noticing it the first time around because the movie itself is too engrossing. But I’d listened to the Wonder Woman score a time or two (and totally fell in love with it) before seeing the movie. That may be why it stood out more than I usually notice. It definitely supported the action.

      Good point about the story being in her past. I hadn’t thought of that, but it makes sense they wouldn’t go to a lot of trouble to flesh out characters who will be long dead by the time of her next film. I’m still kinda torn about the flashback approach. It didn’t bother me for this movie, but in general I think it undermines a lot of storytelling potential.

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