“Wonder Woman” is the hero we need right now

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Although I’ve always been more of a Marvel fan than a DC fan (mostly because my introduction to superheroes came primarily from movies and animated shows rather than comic books), I really have been rooting for the DCEU to come into its own because (1) I love superhero films, and (2) DC has a lot of great heroes in its stable.

When I first heard that DC was planning on making a “Wonder Woman” movie, I rejoiced. Wonder Woman is one of the most iconic and popular superheroes so why shouldn’t she have her own movie?! If Batman, Superman, and Spider-man can have multiple big screen versions, why shouldn’t Wonder Woman get a franchise of her own?

Anyway, now that Diana’s solo movie has finally debuted, I’m happy to report that, despite the fact that it took so long for this movie to get made, “Wonder Woman” is most definitely worth the wait!

“Wonder Woman” is the story of Diana (Gal Gadot), the princess of Themiscyra, an island inhabited by female warriors called Amazons. Her mother Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen) molded her from clay and prayed to Zeus to bring her life. Being the only child in the entire island (and the daughter of the queen) meant that Diana lived a very sheltered life, unaware of the dangers that lurked beyond the borders of their island paradise. Nevertheless, when an American soldier named Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) accidentally crash-landed his plane in their realm and made her aware of the war going on in the man’s world, Diana knew that she had to help them and that she had to find a way to prevent more innocent people from getting killed.

I’ve always thought that what made DC’s superheroes stand apart from Marvel’s is the fact that they work best when they are portrayed as symbols and ideals to aspire to. For me, Marvel heroes seemed more human, grounded, messy and flawed while DC heroes seemed like they were created to represent the best that humanity has to offer. The “Wonder Woman” movie is at its best whenever it embraces this.

Diana is both a fighter and a pacifist, a princess and a servant, a realist and an optimist. Gal Gadot manages to portray the duality of Diana’s nature magnificently well. She exudes elegance, competence, and compassion.

While Diana is most definitely not perfect (she can often be naïve and bull-headed), much like other DC heroes (Superman in particular), she is an inspiring figure. Her story and character arc in this movie feel very relevant to the current political climate in our country.

Human beings are complicated. We are all of the same species but we are all so different. We tend to do terrible things to our fellow humans.  By the end of the movie, Diana finally understands that humanity is not as black-and-white as she had been led to believe.

We often hear of corruption, poverty, war, terrorism, and crime. We are privy to all the darkness that exists in the world so I don’t blame people for growing cynical and weary but, as Diana soon realizes, humanity is not beyond hope.  Yes, we are capable of such great cruelty and hatred BUT, in the same vein, we are also capable of great kindness, empathy, compassion, and love.

I highly recommend that you go see “Wonder Woman” in the theaters. Not only is it a fun, entertaining origin story but it also has a great central message that relates well to the state of the Philippines (and of the world, really).

“Wonder Woman” is, to me, the best DCEU movie so far and one of the best superhero movies period. As for Diana, as said in the movie, we really don’t deserve her… but she truly is the hero we need right now.

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