- Terence McDermott
From the opening power walk of Diana Prince through the Louvre you could feel a sense of confidence exuding from not just Gal Godot but from the director, Patty Jenkins, as well. Wonder Woman is such a strong character from DC Comics but no one expected her to be the Super hero franchise to carry the DC cinematic universe.
One would expect Superman and his super human strength or Batman with is never ending money, wits, and gadgets to be the cornerstones of DC movies. Man of Steel was a solid movie but the fans expected more. Batman vs Superman was an attempt at an awesome story line but it had too much going on. Then there was Suicide Squad. A group of bad guys thrown together to save the world. It was casted fine but the premise, story line, and bad guy just didn't mesh. It was a hodge podge of hero movie cliches that made it feel generic.
The average movie fan wouldn't pay attention to things of this nature. The die hards though, they were ready to riot. How dare DC ruin our childhood idols and heroes? In some ways, it felt like DC was trying to play catch up to beloved Marvel Cinematic Universe. In Other ways, it felt like the movie execs had too much control over the finished product.
In steps Patty Jenkins, a virtually unknown director and writer with mostly tv credits to her name. Albeit she did write and direct Monster, the serial killer movie featuring Charlize Theron and Christina Ricci, no one expected her to completly revolutionize the way the entire world sees Wonder Woman. Even the casting of the aforementioned Gal Gadot seemed a bit off but in hindsight it couldn't have been more spot on.
Jenkins shined the spotlight on a strong and often overlook Hero. In the 70s Lynda Carter was easily just as recognizable as Christopher Reeves and Adam West. She might have possibly been more popular. Over time the culture grew and the significance of a strong lead female Hero diminished. It seems odd, with minorities fight for equality and a huge LGBT push over the last 10-15 years but true nonetheless. The super hero genre has grown leaps and bounds with hardly any minority presence in any major storyline. The closest would be Scarlett Johansson in the MCU.
One could argue, that the success of Wonder Woman is saving the DCCU singlehandly. Not only is she a hero in the movies but she is a hero in the real world box office clearing $103 mil open week and 45mil the second week. Both are records for a female director. Oh and WW franchise is at roughly $435 mil with foreign numbers figured in. The drop off rate is 45% which is one of the lowest rates in the modern day movie era. These numbers pale on comparison of the lofty expectations of the Superman franchise the difference being....this is an absolutely fantastic movies with very few flaws whereas Superman was subpar.
The cast was great for Wonder Woman. The acting was also a home run. Gadot did a great job being strong but also being naive about future technology and relationships in the modern day. The real Hero though is Patty Jenkins. Her writing and directing made this movie a delight to watch. She delivers a great vision and deserves more input into future DC projects. This movie clearly has two wonder women and the world should be ok with that.