The list of female-led superhero movies isn’t long. There’s Catwoman and Electra, two mid-2000s’ films that featured attractive ladies (Halle Berry and Jennifer Garner) in tight outfits that left mid-riffs and breasts heavily exposed as they fought bad guys. Then there was Wonder Woman, Birds of Prey, and Captain Marvel, three late-2010s’ movies that sought to portray the female comic book character in a way that was both empowering and entertaining. They mostly failed. And last year’s Wonder Woman 1984 was filled with all sorts of pockmarks that led it to have a dismal 5.4/10 rating on IMDb and a Rotten 59% score.
Yes, female-led comic book movies have had more downs than ups. For some reason, writers haven’t been able to separate the woman from the character, resulting in stories that often felt lazily composed or as if the writers were trying too hard to make a statement.
Of these past six female-led comic book movies, Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel stand tall above the rest but even then those films are among the weaker entries of comic book movies in the last decade.
Wonder Woman had every chance to be a remarkable origin story for the Amazonian warrior and while it has one of the greatest sequences in any comic book film–No Man’s Land–the movie is just a bit mundane.
Gal Gadot knows how to embody that gorgeous Amazonian goddess persona on the big screen and the film’s action sequences are pretty good (they would’ve been better if there was less slow-mo breaking the flow of the fight scenes) but what bugs me is the level of attention on Steve Trevor’s side of the story. He’s such an imposing presence on the movie’s narrative that the film almost should be called Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor.
This is a problem we seem to never have to deal with when male superheroes get their origin stories told. Female characters in those movies are either the doting love interest/damsel in distress or an afterthought to the man’s ascent to superhero awesomeness. But Diana Prince is hampered by Wonder Woman‘s male writers (Zack Snyder, Allen Heinberg, and Jason Fuchs) as they make sure to always have Steve Trevor as her equal in the movie. They even commit to the narrative that Diana discovers her inner power because of Trevor’s death, thus reiterating that narrative that a woman is nothing without a man, a turning point in the story that has grated on my nerves since I saw the film for the first time in theaters four years ago.
Wonder Woman 1984 is once again available to watch on HBO Max and so I decided to watch it because what the heck. It’s a Wonder Woman movie and I was in the mood for a superhero movie.
I watched the film totally expecting to hate it again like last time but I actually kind of enjoyed my experience. Knowing the story and which icky parts to skip gave me the chance to understand what Patty Jenkins was going for and while the film isn’t perfect I did find it somewhat enjoyable.
The thing about Wonder Woman 1984 and why it performed so poorly among casual viewers was because it did not live up to expectations. Most superhero sequels tend to get bigger and flashier than their predecessors. Take The Dark Knight which features both the Joker and Two-Face, two extremely well-written antagonists that give Batman a challenge he didn’t get in the first film. And Marvel has pretty much perfected the superhero sequel.
One of the funniest comedians out there right now is Saturday Night Live alum Leslie Jones who recently made Twitter her very own comedy bubble by sharing videos of herself watching the news and commenting on people’s backgrounds via Zoom calls. Now she’s done it again by live-tweeting her entire experience watching Zack Snyder’s Justice League and it’s honestly one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.
To give you an idea, here’s a single tweet from her hilarious thread.
This tweet alone is absolutely hilarious and that’s just a speck-sized portion of the thread. If you’re looking for a laugh this will do it.
I thank you for reading and I hope you have a spectacular day.
I am a superhero movie fan. Why? Because I’ve seen so many I sometimes can’t remember all of the ones I’ve seen. I’m talking watching even the crappiest ones like Elektra and I even tried to watch Green Lantern (I didn’t make it very far.)
I have even watched all of the DCEU movies (Man of Steel, Batman vs. Superman, Justice League, Wonder Woman, The Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman 1984, Shazam!, Aquaman, and Birds of Prey.) My top three are Shazam!, Man of Steel, and Wonder Woman. The rest fall into a pack of not-so-great-superhero-movies with Aquaman just edging out the others as an every-once-in-the-while film.
I went into Zack Snyder’s Justice League expecting it to be better than Whedon’s cut. It was…and that is about it. Snyder’s version is four hours of bloated, testerone-inspired superhero nonsense that left me still confused by the end of the movie even though we supposedly got two extra hours of content to make the story easier to follow.
So, because I have a lot to say I’m going to break this review into pros and cons. And of course, we will take the cons head on first.
Wonder Woman 1984 is the latest superhero film for fans to enjoy and as with all superhero movies there’s a good chance children are going to want to watch it too.
So, is the new Wonder Woman movie suitable for children? Honestly, not really.
The movie’s theme is a bit too complex for children to really get behind and there are some scenes in the film that are a bit adult. The movie may be light and airy but I wouldn’t be taking my kids to see it, due to its adult moments with Diana and Steve or Max Lord and Barbara Minerva. It takes its PG-13 rating seriously so make sure to watch it with your children with caution.
I thank you for reading and I hope you have a great day.