Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman is among the upper tier, when it comes to superhero origin stories, tapping into the fundamental nature of superhero mysticism, in presenting Wonder Woman as a character whose unwavering in her actions, a selfless, powerful character whose driven not by her own wants or desires but what she believes is the morally just thing to do. Patty Jenkin's film takes us back to the origins of this character, long before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, a princess of the Amazonians, whose desire to be a warrior and a fighter for her people was routinely suppressed by the wishes of her mother, the Queen, who only wished to protect her from harm. When a United States spy crashes on the shores of their sheltered paradise, Diana and her fellow amazonians learn of the massive war which rages in the outside world, World War I, yet Diana is forbidden to enter the conflict by her mother. Unwavering in her desire to stop the threat, and free mankind from the shackles of Aries-the god of war, whom she believes is responsible for the conflict, Diana rejects her mother's passive demeanor towards evil and conflict, setting out to fight alongside mankind in the hope of ending the war of all wars. Patty Jenkin's Wonder Woman is a surprisingly poignant tale of femininity, using the superhero archetypal story to deconstruct the restrictive definitions which society has placed on what femininity is and what it isn't, presenting in Wonder Woman a character who is strong, independent, and aggressive, when it comes to doing what she believes is right. Early on, Diana's maternal relationship with her mother is a simple yet effective parable for femininity, as her mother, the Queen, wishes to protect her, coital her from those outside who could harm her. While well intentioned, Diane's own mother doesn't recognized that true strength comes from independence, unwilling to recognize that Diana's best chance at protecting herself lies in self reliance. Societies' preconceived notions of what woman are and what women aren't is routinely touched on throughout Patty Jenkins film, doing so in smart and subtle ways, as the film effectively presents a lens to our perceptions of femininity as it relates to passive vs. aggressive forms of resolution. Diana's story is one of action and strength, with Jenkins film effectively shattering the notion that these are simply masculine traits, following Diana as she comes to learn and recognize her own true strength, discovering her full powers and true nature as a god by the end of the film. Her journey itself is not only about strength but also independence, with the narrative exhibiting moments throughout the film where Diana has to reject everything she is told by others and take action herself, with the most notable example of this being the front line sequence, which could be best described as the coming of age moment of the film where she becomes Wonder Woman. Like most films of this ilk, Wonder Woman still suffers from a screenplay that can be far too didactic at times when it comes to revealing plot points or character nuances, but the film's feminist assertions by and large feel surprisingly nuanced, which in turn makes them much more powerful, as Jenkins' doesn't show a need to pronounce them loudly but simply show them, with Gal Gardot's Wonder Woman routinely taking matters into her own hands, as a strong, independent force of justice. While the film does run a little long, with the third act in particularly really being the culprit of obstructing the overall brisk pacing, Wonder Woman also surprises when it comes to assertions on humankind, touching on the intrinsic relationship which exists between humanity and conflict, unabashedly acknowledging how both good and evil are often bedside companions in the hearts of humankind. I'd also be re missed if I didn't mention the action in Wonder Woman, with Patty Jenkin's doing an effective job at balancing the visceral nature of the action sequences with the need for coherent presentation, picking her moments when it comes to spectacle while keeping the film relatively grounded in its presentation of the action set pieces, something that has been very rare up to this point int he DC universe, post Nolan's Batman films. Surprisingly introspective not only about femininity but also human nature, Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman transcends mere escapism at times throughout its story, offering up not only a crowd pleasing superhero film but also a story that is sure to inspire some on an emotional level that goes well beyond mere entertainment.
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