“What Do You Believe?” Film Review on Wonder Woman (2017)

“Men are easily corrupted, and that they do not deserve the Amazons’ protection.”

It is not about what they deserve. It is about what you believe.

“What do you believe?”

“I believe in love. Only love will truly save the world. I used to want to save the world, to end war and bring peace to mankind. But then I glimpsed the darkness that lives within their light. I learnt that inside every one of them there will always be both. The choice each must make for themselves—something no hero will ever defeat. And now I know… that only love can truly save the world. So now I stay, I fight, and I give—for the world I know can be. This is my mission now, forever.” [1]

Wonder Woman went viral on social media and it became the most-tweeted-about film on Twitter so far in 2017. It successfully created many Twitter trends, including quotes from the film, the heroine, and also, the Israel actress, Gal Gadot.[2] Wonder Woman is a heroine film based on the DC Comics character of the same name. I am a big fan of superheroes movies. Before Wonder Woman released, I was enjoying the battle scenes with special effects and actions that build a spectacular picture, especially when the superheroes fight for justice and human beings’ lives. I really did not expect Wonder Woman to impact me in a way unlike any other superhero, and seeing a confident, powerful woman with a strong conviction save the day was beautiful. But there has more to explore in this film: for example, what makes viewers impressed with Wonder Woman to the point that they can easily describe the core value or cite quotes from this movie? Also, I wonder how preachers can learn from this film.

Why is Wonder Woman so successful? Some people believe that because Wonder Woman is a huge feminist icon; some DC fans think that because she is the member of the DC “holy trinity” (Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman—in other words, she is one of their most popular and enduring characters); and some people argue that it is because this is the first time Wonder Woman has had her own Hollywood film, or because of the good actress, the female director, etc. But I think the key is how the director shapes this character and promotes the strong connection between Wonder Woman and other people—the people in the movie and in the theatres.

“What do you fight for?”

“I will fight for those who cannot fight for themselves.” [3]

Let us talk about the character first. Wonder Woman, a woman raised solely by women, is completely unaware or refuse of what men are capable of at their worst. So, when she battles with Ares, she refuses to believe in the darkness of mankind. She believes that her duty as an Amazon is to defeat Ares and bringing mankind to peace once again. Wonder Woman was the embodiment of this philosophy. Because of her conviction of peace and love, her acts are guided by her faith and vision. Wonder Woman neither fights for herself nor simply for a general slogan like world peace; instead, she fights for what she loved and believed, she fights for people who are underprivileged, weak, oppressed, or even just the ordinary people—you and me. Moreover, she inspires everyone around her to be better. That gives the film genuine warmth and makes Wonder Woman relevant to anyone watching in a theater.

What a great story of faith, compassion, and humanity! Wonder Woman evokes the audience’s emotions with her vision and conviction. And she is not just fighting, she has so much to say in this film. She brings critical messages to inspire fans to form their own ideas about what strong women mean to them, to inspire fans to interpret themselves as a heroic role in their lives in different perspective, to inspire fans to define what it means to be powerful and great in the contemporary world. These inspirations that Wonder Woman bring to its audience are also what preachers need to do to their hearers in their preaching—inspire their hearers to form their ideas about what faith means to them, inspire hearers to interpret for themselves what it means to be Christian in their lives, and define for themselves what it means to be a good Christian and good neighbor.

As long as there has been oppression and injustice, any kind of salvation could occasionally go viral. Superheroes and everyday heroes are not going away, and neither is faith. What do you fight for? What do you believe?

 

Wan-Ting Tsai, PhD Candidate

Graduate Theological Union

 

[1] Wonder Woman Movie Script, https://www.springfieldspringfield.co.uk/movie_script.php?movie=wonder-woman-2017 (processed on October 25, 2017).

[2] Elizabeth Wagmeister, “Wonder Woman is most tweeted movie of 2017,” http://variety.com/2017/digital/news/wonder-woman-twitter-record-2017-1202457742/ (processed on October 22, 2017).

[3] Wonder Woman Movie Script, https://www.springfieldspringfield.co.uk/movie_script.php?movie=wonder-woman-2017 (processed on October 25, 2017).



Categories: Reviews

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: