Erin vs. Wonder Woman

By Erin MacNeil - 22:53

So, I saw Wonder Woman this past Tuesday and, do you know what? I liked it. I really freaking liked it. I, Erin, liked a superhero movie. Mark your calendars.

You see, I am constantly disappointed by superhero movies, I'm disappointed in their stories and their ability to hold my interest. Until Wonder Woman I had seen about twelve superhero movies and regretted every minute.*

Wonder Woman is an origin story, the audience learns about her Amazon upbringing and her discovery of her powers and strength. Wonder Woman saves a village, the day, and the world. It's a pretty superhero-typical movie, in my experience, so why is Wonder Woman so different for me? Why did I enjoy this movie so much where I can't usually be bothered with Wonder Woman's peers?

One thing that really spoke to me, I think, is the Everyman quality of Wonder Woman (Everywoman?). Wonder Woman is anything but ordinary, don't get me wrong. She's an Amazon - a race of women straight out of Greek mythology, daughters of gods. But, where she lacks normalcy in her parentage she more than makes up for in her humanity. Wonder Woman's main goal is to make the world safe for everyone.

I know, other superheroes save lives, too. But Wonder Woman's priorities are a little bit different, I think. I find you often see superhero-versus-villain battles destroying whole cities in pursuit of their goal with little consequence. Wonder Woman has a certain level of empathy in her. The audience sees time and time again where Wonder Woman is distracted from her main goal so that she can help the most vulnerable people. I think that element really spoke to me because it's something everyone wants to be able to do. Everyone wants to be able to help people stuck in the middle of conflict - innocent people with no escape - and Wonder Woman does just that.

In fact, it felt like that was an intentional choice in the movie. The final battle, the movie's main conflict, was fought in a pretty secluded area - no civilians were present. And! After Wonder Woman's victory we see survivors emerge, sound and living. I really appreciate that in a movie, honestly.

Another thing that really pleased me about Wonder Woman was the construction of the character. I don't know if these features are typical traits, or if they are only present in this universe, but I really appreciated them. I loved that Wonder Woman was strong but at the same time sensitive. And, in addition to that, she doesn't have to change, or assume an alternative role for her various missions. Wonder Woman's actions are emotionally driven, but with the greater good in mind. She doesn't hunt the villain because she believes they personally wronged her, but because their actions wronged her and are wronging humankind. Wonder Woman's emotions don't hinder her, they empower and encourage her, and I think that's a pretty incredible trait.

I don't know, maybe almost all superhero movies have these features. But, at the end of the day, only Wonder Woman has held my interest the entire film. Only Wonder Woman made me feel things. Only Wonder Woman has integrated an historical event into the plot that I didn't despise, and only Wonder Woman has made me wear my 3D glasses for the full play time (which, by the way, is an achievement across all movie genres).

* Most were X-Men movies which my friends all wanted to see, the rest were more attempts to like superhero movies (The Dark Knight? Everyone raved about it! How could that be bad?! It's bad.)

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