Wonder Woman: The feminist hero we hoped for?
The first reviews for DC’s Wonder Woman are out, and not everyone thinks the Amazonian princess fares well in “the world of men”.
Since it was green-lit by Warner Bros, Patty Jenkins’ adaptation of the classic comic book has been hailed as not only the first feminist superhero to hit the big screen, but also the studio’s last chance to be one step ahead of rival Marvel.
And while some critics agree that Gal Gadot breathes “some fresh air into the DC film universe”, others wonder why the warrior princess is sharing so much screen time with her male counterpart.
“Gender imbalance could have been the basis for some patriarchy-upending subversion, or at least some romcom sparks, but both avenues go unexplored,” wrote the Guardian’s Steve Rose.
“Instead, the film feels obliged to give Chris Pine his own equally heroic story arc,” he adds.
“Men might be unnecessary for pleasure, but they’re still essential for big-budget action movies, it seems.”
Rose argued that DC had, in Wonder Woman, “a bona-fide brand-name female superhero”, but no idea what to do with her.
“Poor Diana has been reduced to a weaponised Smurfette,” he wrote.
The Telegraph’s Robbie Collin called the film “a thrillingly staged knockout blow for feminism”, and said the story of an Amazonian princess who helps the menfolk fight Nazis “is a cause in waiting”.
“In a genre where fanboy entitlement regularly calls the tune, Wonder Woman’s feminism – in its eagerly daubed poster-paint strokes – feels like a rarity,” he wrote.
Entertainment Weekly’s Chris Nashawaty goes as far as giving the film an A-, calling it “the smart, satisfying DC movie you’ve been waiting for”.
“At a time when women were still without the right to vote and were subjugated to a position of being seen and not heard, the fearsome Diana becomes a spokeswoman in word and deed of resistance and empowerment,” he wrote.
“She refuses to be treated like a second-class citizen by politicians and generals. No one puts Wonder Woman in a corner.”
“Approaching 2½ hours in length, Wonder Woman does fall victim to a fair bit of blockbuster bloat,” wrote Variety’s Andrew Barker, comparing the film with its comic book counterparts.
On Twitter, a battle is being fought over who should take praise for the film.
While some praise Jenkins for being the first woman director behind a comic book action movie, others credit director Zack Snyder, who produced and wrote the script for the film.
“Are there really people out there crediting Zack Snyder for PATTY JENKINS’ work?” one user wrote.
“Wow. He f***** up the only 2 films he made!!” she added.
“YOU WILL NOT STEAL CREDIT FROM PATTY JENKINS TO GIVE ZACK SNYDER SOME SHINE,” wrote another.
“This is a woman led win.”
Wonder Woman opens in UK cinemas on 1 June.