Has Wonder Woman Put DC Back On Track?
To put it mildly – DC has had a rough start.
When you’re directly compared to the mammoth that is Marvel, it’s going to take a lot to even think about reaching their level.
It began with Man of Steel, the second reboot of the Superman series since the Christopher Reeve era. While there were exciting sequences, and a great performance from Zod, Man of Steel certainly wasn’t the talk of the town. It wasn’t resonating with audiences the way the Marvel films of the time were. When asked about Man of Steel, most people would say “yeah…it was good. But have you seen Iron Man 3??”
While financially a success, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice wasn’t exactly the hit with audiences that DC was hoping for. Casting, pacing, and story were the source of a number of gripes, and the general feeling was it was a disappointing addition to DC’s empire.
Next up was Suicide Squad. With outstanding advertising and promotion, it looked like the tale of the criminals fighting for good might right the ship. Turns out that their promo’s may have been a little TOO good. Suicide Squad overdid it at times, and unfortunately we had already seen a lot of the really good lines and humor in the ad campaigns. Not to mention the story was a little weak. Again.
Next up: Wonder Woman. Her introduction in Batman V Superman was a highlight of that movie, leaving audiences wanting to see more of this strong character with the sword and shield. It may be safe to say – she delivered.
While Wonder Woman is an origin story through and through, it was definitely a story that deserved its own feature. Giving us the history of “Diana” is essential, and helps us to further understand where she’s coming from and why she does what she does. We’re introduced to many characters from her youth, notably her mother, as well as another character who was a teacher and mentor. (Claire Underwood! So THIS is where she gets all her strength for House of Cards!)
With the help of Chris Pine, we watch as Diana is exposed to our world for the first time, and the struggle she has in bringing her ideals and way of life to our people. Her message is something we all need to hear.
While there are some lulls within the story, there is enough action and genuine humor (something DC has been struggling with) sprinkled throughout to keep the narrative going. It would be a disservice not to mention the fantastic musical cue that represents Wonder Woman in the film, and luckily we get to hear it on multiple occasions.
Money aside, Wonder Woman is a success because it appeals to the audience on several levels. It has action, humor, and perhaps most important of all: a strong, female lead. A woman who can carry a story on her own – something that has been missing from both DC and Marvel to date. (I haven’t seen any Black Widow movies, have you?) Gal Gadot is the perfect woman to lead the charge playing Wonder Woman with beauty, class and charm.
Due to the success of Wonder Woman, the pressure may have shifted on the upcoming Justice League. It may no longer be a “make or break” scenario for JL, as much as it is to keep the momentum going that Wonder Woman has started.