I’m not going to sit here and say that I’m a huge super hero fan, or that I even knew much about the Wonder Woman film prior to watching it the other night. I had seen a few previews and thought it looked alright. My genuine reason for going was I had the night off, one of my friends from work was free, and the lead actress was beautiful- so why not? I figured even if the film was awful, at least the actress was really cute and I’d manage through it. Two hours later though, I left the theatre feeling like I’ve never felt after watching a movie; it was the most insane empowering energy that I’ve ever felt.
I felt like I could do anything walking out of that theatre- I felt so much energy raging through my veins. It was as if I was her, and I could do anything I wanted. I could waltz out onto a battlefield and fucking defy this oppressive enemy with my bare arms- an enemy everyone told me that I could never defeat, but did. As the movie went on I was clinging onto myself, sweating profusely because of just how intensely badass the action scenes were, and felt like I was watching cops (Step Brothers anyone?). In all seriousness, this movie genuinely was incredible! I’ve never felt so involved in a film.
WARNING: THERE ARE SPOILERS AHEAD!
After posting on Snapchat that Wonder Woman was insane and everyone needs to see it, one of my friends sent me a message saying how she had just seen it and felt the same way. We both spent about a half an hour exchanging messages of how empowered we both felt after watching it, thinking, “if this is how guys feel after watching super hero movies, we can see why they love them so much and are always so jacked up on life.”
The message of the film, to believe, still gives me goosebumps. It was all about doing the best that you can do, and understanding that there is always good and bad within everyone, but that it alone does not define how good or bad we are- that we are all complex. It was about believing that you can do anything, and believing in others, believing in their good.
Taking a step back, I’ve always loved films with a badass female lead because they’re very rare. I fell in love with Resident Evil because Milla Jovovich’s character was such an incredible figure to look up to as a kid; she was strong, could slay the enemies who crossed her, and was not afraid to stand up to the challenges presented at her. Watching Wonder Woman reminded me of how I felt watching Resident Evil for the first time- I got to see someone who was like me, a normal looking human woman, fearlessly battle enemies that were extremely dangerous and viewed her as nothing threatening. With some guns and awesome fighting skills, she was able to defeat her enemies; and she wasn’t about to let anyone tell her what she could or couldn’t do. Diana was no different; she didn’t need guns or fancy equipment to defeat anyone. Granted, she was a God, but that doesn’t subtract anything from how incredible she was. She was brave and not afraid to die, even during her final boss battle. It was genuinely breathtaking.
Wonder Woman also broke some major boundaries because she was in a predominately male environment and was viewed as out of place most of the time when in the presence of other male characters that Steve worked for; especially given the era. This presented various challenges where she was never going to be taken seriously because she was a woman; she was just viewed as a distraction. One of my favorite scenes is when they are trying to decode the book stolen from the German chemist doctor; none of the men can figure it out, or what the languages were, but Diana could understand. The men laughed at her, and closed the book, ready to walk out, but Steve pushed for them to take her seriously- and when they did they learned some incredible information.
Diana as a character is strong and independent too- she is intelligent, beautiful, and super badass. Who couldn’t look up to her and think, this chick is incredible? Watching her call out the bullshit of society- with how they expected women to dress, behave, and how men treated fellow men, it was great. “How can you sit in this office and let these men die, where I come from, generals fight with their men, not hide in offices. You’re a coward.” Loosely quoted, of course, but calling out the things as she saw without being afraid of passing boundaries was incredible. I even feel like her confidence as a character found it’s way into me. Her attire during the film was also great- she basically dressed almost androgynously, initially to Steve’s discontent because he didn’t want to draw attention to her.
It was just incredible to watch a female character not feel out of place because of how different she was or how society perceived her- she did not once care what people thought of her and did what made her comfortable.
Even during the battle scenes, I found myself completely enthralled and empowered. Watching Diana walk out onto the field without any guns, major armor, or camouflage; in her warrior uniform with a shield and sword, sticking out like a sore thumb, you could just see how determined and unafraid she was. As the rest of the troop cowered, and said how futile it would be to stand up against this enemy, she persevered. She lead the troop though the battlefield and defeated a ton of enemies with her fighting skills. She told her men what to do and they listened. None of the characters believed she could defeat the enemy, but she did. Watching her hold off machine gun bullets with her shield was insane! She saw every life as worthwhile, and that none were greater or less than. She didn’t let anyone keep her from trying to do good.
Even towards the end of the film, things kept getting better. When Diana was given orders with her troop of pals, she never once let someone telling her she couldn’t do something because it was too dangerous stop her from finding a way to complete her mission. She was so set on her goals that she couldn’t let anything stop her- not even the death of possibly the only man she ever loved. Watching the pain in her eyes as the sky ignited in a chemical explosion was so powerful. She watched someone who changed how she viewed humanity die because he learned how to be more like her.
Diana was in a strange new world, learning about the culture and people, and had to accept that the first man she loved was dead during the most intense battle of her life; the battle she had been training for since she was a child. Knowing that this man gave his life to save the fate of the world, even if it would never be known, helped her see that there is good in humanity, despite all the atrocities they create. Maybe Steve wasn’t always a great person; he was a spy, who lied a lot and probably did some awful things in his line of work. But those acts alone could not define who he was at heart; and at heart he had good intentions, especially after being introduced to Diana. I think she created a hero out of him- and made him so much braver and more selfless than he could have ever been. Without Diana, I doubt he would have jumped into that plane and died to save the rest of the world.
In the end, I believe his death motivated her to complete her mission without hating humanity for all their wrong doings, even when it seemed like she was at the end of the road and could potentially give up on humanity. She could have easily fallen victim to Aires’ suggestions, especially since she was filled with this intense pain and hatred. Standing with this massive tank in her hands, staring at the cowering German Chemist on her hands and knees surrounded by flames, egged on by Aires, she could have easily killed her. But what Diana saw was a human, weak and vulnerable, who had let the same hatred she was feeling direct her line of work and create the monster before her. She was someone who had the same good inside her that Steve had, but had let the bad overshadow it.
Watching Diana throw the tank to the side, letting the chemist leave, and fight Aires despite the astronomical odds and potential of her death, was the ultimate climax. In some ways the ending was a bit farfetched, in comparison to the rest of the film, but I still enjoyed watching Aires get blown to pieces. Seeing his death was the ultimate for her storyline because as a character she had completed her mission; a mission she had been waiting her entire life for. Even after the war was over, Diana never felt the need to take credit for her actions; she didn’t need to be proclaimed as a hero or stand before the world and let them know she had saved them from the terror and chaos.
She put her life on the line for humanity, and walked away understanding human nature better than she ever could have. She left the war memorial as just another woman in the crowd. She battled a god, she lost a love, she lost her mother and home; yet she stayed so strong and never lost sight of her goals.
Overall, the world really needed a superhero movie with a strong lead actress, and Wonder Woman delivered. The film is engaging, packed with action, and sends an incredible message to the audience. I truly hope films with strong female leads like this become a norm. I’ve never felt how I felt last night- and much of the world seems to feel the same way. Reading tweets of others who felt what I felt, what my female friends felt, makes me so happy. It’s representation, it’s seeing yourself and the limitless possibility you can have in a super badass character. It’s a great message that needs to be more common. I strongly suggest watching this film because I really thought it was incredible; so incredible that I’ve sat here and spent the last hour sculpting this little article before you!
Go out there and enjoy it! 🙂