Wonder Woman

WONDER WOMAN is the first film in nearly a decade that gave me that feeling of inspiration I got when I really loved comic books, and reminded me what makes their simple narratives enduring and powerful. It makes goodness and decency riveting, and assumes that most people genuinely want to be good.

It's also surprisingly romantic and playful, funny in a warm and human way free of irony or snark, and is fundamentally a story about leaving home for the first time. There's a scene in the middle of the film where Diana and Steve have a short dance, and it starts snowing. Diana, though super-powerful and from a place Steve rightly deems "Paradise Island", has never seen snow before, and is enthralled by the discovery of it.
And while this naiveté sometimes pushes her to take action too immediately, it is by and large her virtue - things are less impossible for her for her powers, but also for the fact of her willing to take charge. And the film finds humor in her naiveté about "the world of man" without mocking her for her inexperience.

But most of all, the film succeeds because Diana genuinely loves people, and this love carries her forward. For over a decade, it's been assumed that the "reluctant hero" narrative is the only one audiences will find "relatable." WONDER WOMAN assumes people want to do what's right when faced with the choice, but convenience, timidity, or fear prevent us from stepping out. It's the ideal fantasy because it gives us a character unencumbered by those physical limitations or social hang-ups, who does what's right not solely out of self-sacrifice or duty or the like, but because she wants to be there. That's heroic.