Why ‘Wonder Woman’ is so worth the wait » Manila Bulletin Entertainment


You won’t remember Linda Carter at all while watching. Gal Gadot has taken over, doing complete justice to the character. Carter will always be remembered as the classic but Gadot, she is the present and future.


“Wonder Woman,” Warner Brother’s latest movie based on the stable of heroes from DC comics, is probably one of the most anticipated and scrutinized movie of the year. The DC Cinematic Universe (or DCCU), a collection of movies that happen within the same world and have interconnected stories, have not done very well both at the box office and in the eyes of the critics. Wonder Woman is seen as the one that would change it all, the turning point movie that would put the DCCU on track to be a worthy contender to Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe, that has been reigning supreme for the past decade at movie houses world wide.

Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman

Well, fans should worry no more. “Wonder Woman” is so far the best reviewed DCCU movie to date. Visually, it is still somewhat dark and desaturated, as were the previous movies in the DCCU, “Man Of Steel” and “Batman V Superman.” However, it succeeds where the other two fall short in that it gives us a protagonist that you can care about. Gal Gadot (“Fast And The Furious 7”) displays a strength and charm that appeal to audiences, both men and women. She inhabits her role more than Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck ever inhabited theirs. In short, as much as Robert Downey Jr. is Iron Man. Gadot is Wonder Woman.

This movie is an origin story, understandably. While Wonder Woman first appeared in “Batman V Superman,” and was easily the best part of that movie, where she was from and what she was about were only hinted at. Now in a film all her own, we get to see her home, paradise island, Themyscira, where she was known simply as Diana. We also meet her people, the Amazons, and as the plot unfolds get to see how she became who she is today.

Not surprisingly, Wonder Woman has been a symbol of feminism, a role model to little girls, of a strong independent female character to look up to and be like. And as such, much of the story of includes not so subtle jabs at men, and their inferiority or unworthiness, at least in the view of Amazons. This tension between the sexes permeates the movie, and it gives rise to many humorous and thought-provoking moments.

All well and good for the women in the audience, but for the male half, have no fear. This is in no way a heavy handed propaganda movie. The guys still have their moments of heroism and courage. They just do so in support of the heroine, and they do so proudly. The movie lifts up women but in no grave way puts down men.

Starring opposite Gadot is Chris Pine (“The Star Trek” movies) plays Steve Trevor, the person of interest to Gadot’s Wonder Woman. He displays his usual charm, but pulled back slightly from his turn as the ladie’s man Captain Kirk. Here, he is more sedate. As he says in the movie, as a specimen of man, he is only “above average”.

A scene from 'Wonder Woman' (mb.com.ph)

A scene from ‘Wonder Woman’

There are huge stakes, many, many explosions, loads of humor and a large amount of action in this film, but what really sells it to the audience is the hero’s journey. Diana’s growth from innocent youth to a more mature, more wizened woman forms the core of the experience. It keeps viewers, both men and women, caring about what happens next. It isn’t always pretty or slow. It is often sudden and frightening. But her going through it, and coming out scarred but stronger is probably the best take away for young girls in this day and age.

For fans of the classic “Wonder Woman,” many wondered how Gadot would level up to Lynda Carter and would want to compare the two… let’s just say, you won’t remember Carter at all while watching. Gadot has taken over. Doing complete justice to the character. Carter will always be remembered as the classic. But Gadot, she is the present and future.

Yes, this movie, “Wonder Woman,” with a female lead and director, (Patty Jenkins, “Monster”) may have just saved the DC Cinematic Universe. As my wife’s said, it takes a woman. Now, to see if the boys of Justice League can keep up.

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