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Wonder Woman (2017) – DC Comics Tells Iconic Character's Origin Story


With exception to two films (I can totally be this specific since that’s how few I skip), I’ve either seen or plan to, all of the recent comic book adaptations. From mutants to flying aliens, millionaires to archers, if they’re tagged “Marvel” or “DC Comics,” I’ll likely see them. The latest from DC invites us into the origin story of its icon, Diana Prince aka Wonder Woman.


Many years ago, in the wake of a peaceful land that saw man turn against brother and eventually war, a brave Queen (Connie Neilson) and her general (Robin Wright) battled in war. With the help of the god Zeus, the Queen and her band of Amazons were triumphant over the god Ares, in the process banishing their enemy. Ever since that fateful day, they’ve lived peacefully on a protected island.

Diana (Gal Gadot), Princess of the Amazon grew up in the shadow of these stories, which hail her mother’s victory. She has been trained harder than any before her, and wishes to be like her mother. What she doesn’t understand are the horrors war inflicts. Everything she knew and thought she wanted changes when she rescues an American fighter pilot.


Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) is a patriotic pilot fighting WWI as a spy for British intelligence. While trying to escape the Germans, he breaks the barrier of the Amazon’s island. Believing Steve’s “War to End All Wars” is orchestrated by Ares, and that she’s the only one who can kill him, Diana leads Steve off the island in exchange for passage with him. As the pair leave behind all Diana knew, the brave warrior faces a world of danger, humans, finding strength in unexpected places… and love.

Despite their flaws, when it comes to superhero films, I’m a messy puddle of fangirl speak. Sure there have been duds, but I still adore what they stand for. I respect their “good guy” characters. I admire the messages of justice and truth. The female directed (Patty Jenkins) Wonder Woman falls into the same “win” category, though I’ll confess without reservations, for me, I don’t have the reaction to this so many do.

From the moment she stepped on screen in Batman v Superman, I know this was a character that would benefit DC Comics cinematic universe. Prior to this, the only introduction I’d had of this character was an episode or two of the 70s TV show. Seeing Gal Gadot confidently step into these shoes (in Batman v Superman) was one of the reasons this film dripped in confidence. The actress brims with the right kind of swagger to pull this role off (21st century Diana), and yet surprises with an innocent, beautiful WWI Diana. Seeing the world through the eyes of this new Diana is lovely. Her character is a breath of fresh air in an otherwise cynical world of superheroes who sadly, succumb to their weary souls.
It is our sacred duty to defend the world. And it is what I am going to do. - Diana
Everyone in this cast is brilliant. From Pine’s Steve Trevor (wonderful character who I’d really like to write a great deal about) to the hilarious and fabulous Lucy Davis as Steve’s secretary, and veteran Robin Wright. There’s an undeniable chemistry between everyone, and furthermore, a respect between the characters that’s magical. From the old-fashion and wonderful way Steve treats Diana (while fully knowing she can physically take care of herself, and respecting that) to Diana’s foolish but compelling belief mankind is better than they are, these characters find a place in our hearts and remain there.

As I alluded to earlier, I didn’t walk away from this film with the same reaction as others. Because I made plans to eventually see this in theaters, I followed my usual pattern of not reading reviews. But seeing the Twitter chatter couldn’t be helped. While the majority praised this for some variation of its “female empowerment,” this is not my takeaway. Does it feature a strong woman? Unquestionably. Did it make me feel any more empowered? No. Though memorable, Diana is not the first woman to do great things for great causes, nor will she be the last.


This film spoke to me on a much deeper level than that of a common society complaint. Instead I walked away awed by its messages of collective strength in the most horrific of adversities. Sacrifice, friendship, loyalty, love, and though this is perhaps the one tiny downfall, its parallelism. I’m in no way disagreeing that Wonder Woman is beautiful. This film is emotionally satisfying, in fact. There’s very little, if anything, I can find to complain about. The way Diana grows into the moniker that fits her so well, with class, elegance and grace is a joy to experience. The romance (though all fleeting) is bittersweet beauty that feels like it uses Jane Austen rather than “raunchy” as its model.

Diana Prince is a woman we’re sure not to forget meeting. She’s intelligent and looks to find beauty that’s hidden beneath the rubble. To her credit, she finds it, carefully chips away the clutter and protects it. That’s the image of a heroine to be admired. She’s a heroine who seeks truth and justice every day – and we love her for it.

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Rissi
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9 comments:

  1. Honestly I don't know how you do it, Rissi. How you make every single review *perfect*. I had many of the same thoughts, but didn't know how to articulate! If someone asks me how I felt about WW, I'll just share this review.

    On a side note, Gal Gadot and Chris Pine!!! Two of my favorite actors in the same movie! Swoon!

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    1. Thanks, Bekah! I had so much fun writing this one - and seeing it. I had to sit with my thoughts for a little bit, but as usual, when I see something I love, I cannot keep my thoughts "short and sweet." It's forever our dilemma as reviewers, right!? ;)

      If you share a review, let me know! I'd love to read it.

      ...also YES! Love Gal and Chris, and was recently reminded she was in some of the 'Fast and Furious' flicks! Excited to see what else she plays in, and of course, I'm always keeping an eye on Chris' film credits. ;)

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  2. I STILL haven't gotten around to seeing this one yet. I think I'm going to try to find time this weekend. I was never much of a Wonder Woman fan but everyone seems to have loved this one. I'm more of a Marvel girl myself. lol

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    1. I'm 100% a Marvel girl, Julie. Sure I do love DC too, but overall, Marvel is my favorite (plus who doesn't think their female heroine, Black Widow is pretty kick-butt cool??). I think they do a better job of tugging at our heartstrings with their fabulous gang of characters, and the complexities that stem from that. (Plus balancing the light vs. dark better.) That said, this is DC's BEST yet in my opinion. So well made and the acting is A+.

      Let me know if you see it! I'd love to know what you thought. :)

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  3. Excellent review, Rissi! This is one of my favorite comic book movies - and there's some pretty good competition from Marvel. :)

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    1. I agree! In my experience this is DC's best yet, and definitely great Marvel competition. Thanks so much for reading, Lauren! Appreciate you stopping by. :)

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  4. Great review! I haven't seen the movie yet but now I'm looking forward to it even more :)

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    1. It's a lovely film, Heidi, and definitely an improvement for DC. Hope you enjoy - and thanks for stopping by to read the review. :)

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  5. I haven't yet had the chance to see this movie! I hope to soon! Lovely review!

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