Wonder Woman ★★★★½

I freaking love this movie! I absolutely adore it so much I could cry. Sure it has a few flaws what movie doesn’t? But every time I watch this like Winter Solider I swear it gets better with each watch. An I used to never really think about comic book films as these deep examinations of human morality and societal injustices ( well except with maybe Batman and X-men) most were just plain entertainment for me until certain circumstances changed my perspective.

So like Stan Lee and other scholars over the last few years I see comic books as not only our modern mythology but possibly even our new classics like Shakespeare and Dickens. They’re a mirror to our own humanity and our own capacity for good or ill. There to constantly remind us of our own potential for greatness. And I strongly believe like Aunt May that there’s a hero in all of us. In addition it’s our heroes we look to in order to get through our darkest hours. An in mine it was Wonder Woman among a few others, that got me literally back on my feet again after being hit with multiple chronic illnesses simultaneously, losing my ability to drive, and barely being able to walk all while dealing with a terminally ill cancer parent. 

Because like Superman or my other favorite hero Captain America, Wonder Woman is an icon and a symbol of truth and hope. And it’s no wonder some reviews compare Steve and Diana. Their films have similar plot structures. Everything from the training to the love story to the war to the national symbolism. Mostly though I think their commonality comes from sharing similar values and ideals. 

And Patty Jenkins turns those ideals into a reality. As Jenkins pulls off an incredible feat with Wonder Woman, creating a compelling and wholesome film, that perfectly imbues the heart of our beloved heroine and reminds us how our impact can change the world. This modern Wonder Woman is amazing all around; she’s smart, curious, determined, passionate, cultured, brave, wears her heart on her sleeve, strong both inside and out and stands up to any man. An Gal Gadot brings her to life for the modern era in the first major super-heroine film of its kind with impeccable finesse and authenticity. It’s perfect casting and as such it’s impossible not to love this iteration of Diana aka Wonder Women, who is an unstoppable force. 

In this ingeniously crafted tale of a girl raised by strong women, by Amazons, who is extraordinary and leaps on to the scene at the world’s greatest hour and time of need. It’s a powerful yet simple story full of adventure. It’s a war story, a love story, a story of myth and legend, a story designed for the ages. And Gadot’s spirited heroine never backs down from a fight. An though she is the heart of the film it’s everything from Chris Pine’s dashing, sweet hearted, old fashioned, devil may care pilot/British spy Steve Trevor; who is absolutely endearing yet funny to the rag tag band of friends on their mission to the wickedly incredible score that leaves your heart pounding and helps you cheer on your hero to the stellar choreography to the amazing props and costumes that make this film soar. 

And what I like about this film despite any CGI or possible villain grievances is the way it’s setup. The way it takes its time to develop its character’s story. How much weight it gives every pivotal scene leaving you floored and inspired. How it picks the most unsuspecting actor in Thewlis to play the villain Ares. How it depicts men and women. How it showcases a brilliant villain female scientist. How it shows in one of the greatest scenes, the willingness of soldiers to follow Diana into battle across No Man’s land.

However what I love even more is not only the undeniable chemistry between Steve and Diana, but that Jenkins shows us what equality can look like. How Steve and Diana are equals in every since of the word and complement each other. It’s a true partnership. He never outshines her necessarily or tries to steal her glory. He’s willing to work beside her and not change who she is: independent, fierce, and strong-willed. While she’s able to share the credit humbly. And yet throughout the film Steve gets to still be part of the action and fight in his own way and in the end be his own kind of hero too by making the ultimate sacrifice. 

Wonder Woman is a fun, action-packed film that never gets boring. It’s entertaining for both men and women. It’s inspiring and transfixing. While on top of all that Wonder Woman is exceptional not just because it defies expectations of women, not just because it gave a female director the chance to prove everyone naysayer wrong, but because in addition it’s greatest impact is reminding us that sometimes the greatest power is love. And that it’s Diana’s capacity to love and her compassion that separates her from other heroes and makes this story resonate so deeply. And as cheesy and possibly old-fashioned as maybe that sounds it couldn’t be more poignant today. Especially in a world of chaos and insurmountable loss. Because in the end I think Agent Coulson said it best to Steve Rogers,” With everything that's happening, the things that are about to come to light, people might just need a little old fashioned.”

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