I have been a devout Wonder Woman fan for over 40 years, and I don’t think it’s any secret to anyone. My email signature includes Wonder Woman quotes. My home is a tasteful tribute to the Amazing Amazon. Fifty percent of the shirts that I own are Wonder Woman. I am on my way to possessing nearly every collectible item of her. My gym bag has Wonder Woman on it. Daily, I wear jewelry possessing her symbols. Not to mention, last year people all over the nation (and possibly some around the world) saw me profess my love of her in an eBay commercial. So no, it’s not a secret at all and hasn’t been for over 40 years of my life. That said, you will understand my deep skepticism when Warner Brothers announced their cinematic endeavor.
Comic books are the venue through which Diana’s mythology was given birth, and I have been reading comic books for the same amount of time I’ve been a Wonder Woman fan. To be clear, I own over $14,000 worth of comic books. So I have seen writers and artists completely miss the mark with her, some get very close, and some totally nail it with alarming accuracy. Those to get it right have been few, and far between, and all of the true fans know them by name. These writers and artists are celebrities in the comic book community, because they’re able to capture and translate for a modern audience, the complexity of Diana’s often times misunderstood character, message, and symbolism. Some in ways that we never dreamed. This feat is by no means is an easy task. My worry when the Wonder Woman film was announced was that it would just be one of the many throughout her 75 years of history, who missed the mark. The odds were not in their favor. I am very happy to say that I was wrong.
As I watched the film, two things which were blatantly obvious. First, if you are at all familiar with Wonder Woman’s mythology, then you’re going to notice there are some key events and details missing. I was surprised that even with the exclusion of these events, the message and symbolism behind them were properly conveyed. Second, it’s become clear to me that the complexity of Diana’s character is not common knowledge. As most people assume she is merely a female version of superman, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. While imagined to be on par with Superman, Wonder Woman is so much more than just that. She is a creation imbued with the intricate theories and philosophies of an accomplished and published Harvard graduate, inventor, and psychologist by the name of Dr. William Moulton Marston III. Therefore, translation of his works into any genre can be challenging. I’m very happy to report that Patty Jenkins is now among those few who rose to this challenge, and was able to accurately convey the message and symbolism behind Wonder Woman.
There are so many details I could discuss in great length, but I will refrain. I’ll keep this entire thing simple and avoid spoilers. Just know that after the end credits, I left the theatre fulfilled, as did all who attended. This was evidenced by the engaging discussions, smiles, and general happy vibes displayed by everyone who exited. As a lifelong fan, I was attached to my idea of how Wonder Woman should be portrayed. I had lofty ideas for her and her film. There were details that I wanted to see on screen, as did many other fans of all kinds who had high expectations. Yet the exclusion of those details had little influence on the film’s efficacy. Patty Jenkins has truly directed a film for the ages. Gal Gadot’s Diana was a near perfect modernization, Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) was exactly what we needed, as was the royal Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen), powerful Antiope (Robin Wright), exuberant Etta Candy (Lucy Davis), and stately Amazons. I was also pleasantly surprised by much of the supporting cast.
The film included the elements of the hero’s journey that we expect to see, and ways in which we expect to be entertained. There was action, drama, comedy, and even elements of a love story. Most of all, you will be moved, inspired, and introduced to the path of love. Because that’s what it’s really about; Our introduction to Diana’s and Dr. Marston’s idea of the power of love. And it couldn’t have come at a better time. As we leave a political era of intelligence, civility, and progressive thought, and enter an era where we wake up each day with multi-leveled uncertainty and a knot in our stomachs wondering “oh god, what today?”, we undoubtedly require a new kind of hero. One who can minister to our daily uncertainty. One who can exemplify love as an armistice to war. A hero who might kick ass on our behalf, but does so much more. One who inspires us in the best way by making us feel empowered, equal, and loved; then shows us how to love. A hero who creates fair play for all. Wonder Woman is truly that hero. Go see it now and let her message be conveyed to you!