Wonder Woman overtook Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 as the #1 movie of the summer. Wonder Woman has been critically praised, but there are some glaring flaws in this film that have to be addressed. These flaws have become pervasive not only in Wonder Woman but in superhero movies as a whole.
5. There is no perception of danger for our hero.
Wonder Woman: We have already seen Diana in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, we know that she will not die or be seriously injured. This takes away from any theatrical tension. When Wonder Woman is struggling it takes away from the moment since we already know the ending.
Other Films: This is true of most of the upcoming superhero films. We all know there is no real danger for the main cast. We know Thor and Loki must survive Ragnarok seeing as they are both on the Infinity War poster. The Flash and Aquaman must survive Justice League seeing as they have stand alone films following Justice League. This makes the repercussions of any superhero film feel incredibly small.
4. MacGuffins and plot holes galore
Wonder Woman: So in all this time on a hidden island with brilliant warriors it has never come to anyone’s attention that maybe they should build a fortress so they wouldn’t have to fight a battle on the beach. “Only a god can kill another god” says Ares toward the end of the movie. If that is the case isn’t Diana safe from pretty much the entire DC universe. Why did Steve just go on a death mission? Wouldn’t you at least look for a parachute or ask your Greek goddess girlfriend if she had a plan just slightly better than suicide. The man is a spy and should be smart, clever and quick on his feet. He is also a pragmatic sort, not the kind of fellow to throw his highly utilitarian life away.
Other Films: In this film Diana has the power to kill a god. If only she would have used this power in Batman v. Superman maybe Superman would still be alive. In Star Trek Into Darkness Mccoy virtually cures death. Do you think we will be seeing any of these powers again? I doubt it.
3. There are no good villains and few characters that aren’t one dimensional.
Wonder Woman: This film tried for a twist, a twist that literally everyone saw coming. Especially after Sir Patrick ominously forbade Steve from going to Belgium. The build up to the “twist” did not allow Ares to have really characterization turning him into just another monologuing villain. What do we know about Dr. Poison? She is a brilliant chemist who had some sort of damaging injury to her face and wears a mask. Then there’s the stereotypical mother/queen who never listens to her daughter because she knows what’s best. The warrior woman who pushes the protagonist to be the best she can be. And then there are the unnamed Amazon women who are simply good at fighting.
Other Films: Thor: The Dark World is regarded as one of the worst Marvel movies because Malekith is a terrible villain. However, Thor is regarded higher mainly because Loki is a better villain. Loki has a stronger character arc and we as viewers understand his motivations and plan.
2. CGI Fest
Wonder Woman: The third act of this film is simply a mess. It is a bloviating spectacle of hissing and electrical explosions and oversized objects flying around that we lost all sense of scale. First there is the weird rules of magic. What can Wonder Woman defend herself from and what can’t she resist? Is she as strong as Ares? Can her powers match up against his or not? I understand that we are supposed to be watching gods fighting but it shifts away from the more realistic wartime action film we were watching.
Other Films: Suicide Squad, Batman v. Superman, and almost all superhero movies in recent memory have fallen into the third act CGI fest. All sense of realism and stakes are gone for a cartoony end to an otherwise far better film.
1. Are these characters even heroes?
Wonder Woman: This film follows the typical trope of a character who loses their way, faces an impossible task or fight, and must slay a proverbial dragon (or in this case a god). However in this film Diana only can accomplish this task when she is enraged by the death of a loved one. So I guess you weren’t bothered about the rest of the world but Steve Trevor that’s a bridge too far. True heroism is about doing what is right whether you have a selfish reason or not. If the only time you accomplish heroic feats is when you have an ulterior motive you are not a hero just vengeful.
Other Films: This trope has crept its way from westerns to almost all action films and it really needs to stop. It has been reused and rehashed to the point its effectiveness should be called into question. It is uncertain what effect Steve Trevor’s death will have on upcoming films, but one thing is for sure: his death is an Uncle Ben (Spider-Man, Amazing Spider-Man) motivator or Deathwish type of enrage.
From reading this you would think I hated the film. That is not correct. I thought it was a very good movie, but by far not the best superhero movie ever. I enjoy what Gal Gadot, Robin Wright, and others brought to this movie as far as acting is concerned. However, this is not even the best DCEU movie.