If you know me, you know I haven’t been pleased with just about anything Warner Bros. has done with their DC properties in a post-Nolan-Dark-Knight-Trilogy world. Man of Steel (2013) was great until the third act; Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) was probably the most polarizing comic book film in the past decade; and Suicide Squad (2016) just wasn’t good. Wonder Woman has been a staple in all of female heroism for the past 75 years, and after a brief television run in the 70s, a really weird 1974 mod-spy thriller, and a great outing in the Justice League Animated Series, she is finally getting her own big-budget, live action feature film. Fans were treated to a first look this past summer at San Diego’s Comic Con, and now we have our first “official” trailer for Wonder Woman (2017).
After multiple viewings of this trailer, and pausing and fast-forwarding and just about anything else I could do, I came to the conclusion that, overall, this is not one of the better trailers I’ve seen lately. If director Patty Jenkins is trying to have a certain style to this, it looks like she spent her entire career only watching Zack Snyder films. The obnoxious slow-motion and “bullet time” scenarios reek of Snyder and it almost makes me feel like Warner Bros. wanted Snyder in the editing room breathing down someone’s neck to make sure it “looks like his world.” Even the coloring looks like Snyder’s “neo-dystopian present” aesthetic that he loves so much.
Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman was certainly the highlight of BvS and gave me hope for this movie – especially when it was brought to everyone’s attention that a woman would be directing what will be the biggest female-led comic book movie since Elektra (2005). Only, there were a handful of other incredibly talented filmmakers that Warner Bros. could have selected besides Patty Jenkins – someone whose best work only includes an episode of Arrested Development and two episodes of Entourage. While Wonder Woman certainly has a huge role in shaping the DC Cinematic Universe and patching it up after the overall flop of Suicide Squad and mixed reviews of the other two films, there is a larger role to play for a major-studio Wonder Woman movie:
On one hand, yes, Warner Bros. has the chance to beat Marvel to the punch with a successful female-led superhero movie before Marvel’s Captain Marvel is released in 2019 (I’m not ignoring Marvel/Netflix’s Jessica Jones series, don’t worry). However, WW has a much bigger role to play in shaping the superhero genre which, in my opinion, is slowly starting to deteriorate before our eyes. Financially, of course superhero/comic book films are thriving in this golden age. Jackasses like me are buying tickets for opening weekend regardless of what critics or Rotten Tomatoes say because, when it boils down to it, we love seeing childhood heroes come off the pages, even if most of the time (especially for Marvel) the overall depth is shallow, despite there being ambition. Captain America: Civil War (2016) is a kickass movie and I really enjoyed watching it, do not doubt me on that. But it boils down to fan service and safe choices. There are only so many truly progressive comic book films that pushed the genre forward, such as Richard Donner’s Superman (1978), Tim Burton’s Batman (1989), Blade (1998), Bryan Singer’s X-Men (2000), V For Vendetta (2005), The Dark Knight (2008), and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (2010). At the end of the day, Iron Man (2008) is just another rich white guy trying to do some sort of atonement for his past.
My point being, Wonder Woman could do a great deal of good for the future of not only Warner Bros.’ DC Cinematic Universe, but a lot of good for comic book movies as a whole. People say Deadpool (2016) is risky because it’s rated R. The only risky thing about Deadpool being R-rated is if it could sell tickets as a result. It may seem irrelevant now that we have movies like The Force Awakens (2015) to give the world strong female protagonists to admire; but unfortunately in this terrible world, it still isn’t easy to find a compelling heroine. Hollywood’s working on it, but it still isn’t there yet. I hope to whomever Wonder Woman is good. It certainly looks action packed, and a comic book film being set in WWI (one of my favorite wars to learn about when I was in high school history) intrigues me. Wartime comic book films have happened in the past (Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)) and were proven successful. So why not this one?
Wonder Woman is in theaters June 2nd, 2017
God, this movie’s gonna suck, isn’t it?
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