Like its titular character, Wonder Woman is a bright, graceful and sweepingly optimistic picture. Ostensibly functioning as a prequel to Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice; the film charts the journey of the young Amazonian Princess Diana, (an effervescent and tenacious Gal Godot) who ventures into man’s world in the midst of The First World War.
Unlike many of its comic book movie brethren, the film effortlessly engages as a stirring genre picture that happens to feature a superpowered being. In its most powerful moments, Wonder Woman is an unflinching war film that depicts the sheer blackening and nihilistic feelings of The Great War.
At the same time, the movie wonderfully illustrates the enduring appeal of DC Comics. The longstanding comic company has prided itself on being a current generational medium for modern myth. The film earnestly commits to the mythological origins of Diana and uses it as a platform to illustrate the character’s budding goodness.
In fact, the picture is at its best when the mythological weight walks hand in hand with the emotional heft of its central wartime setting. Diana believes that the Greek God of War, Ares is the mastermind of the four-year conflict and that by stopping him, she will end the war. The prickling of this idea and subsequent final showdown serve to shape Diana’s view of humankind.
Despite the war, illustrating the abhorrent acts that we are capable of, it also showcases our capacity for self-sacrifice and courage. Diana acknowledges that every single human being carries both of these elements within themselves and concludes that true heroism arises out of letting the individual choose their path in life.
Like many of the tall tales that are internalised during youth, Wonder Woman allows us to examine ourselves in a heightened state and witness how our seemingly small and inconsequential choices take on a new-found grandeur.