Following last year’s disastrous Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, appalled critics and enraged fans have refused to look backward and instead look forward. Mired in mediocrity and characterized by Zack Snyder’s incompetence, the DCEU (DC Extended Universe) has yet to find a firm enough footing to inspire confidence in the naysayers. Granted, the franchise hasn’t completely failed the hardcore and the hopeful, as many defend the films with a ferocity that you wouldn’t want to cross.
The next entry into the DCEU, Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman, has been touted as one of the most anticipated movies of the year. Its June 2nd release will surely bring with it a torrent of criticism both biting and merciful, but hopefully genuine enjoyment and wonder will function as counterweight for the condemnation. A series as banal and bloated as the DCEU must put out a good film soon. Wonder Woman holds promise, but so did Batman V Superman. And Suicide Squad. And Man of Steel, for that matter. Skepticism generally grounds itself in distrust and so far, the entries we’ve seen haven’t done much to discourage this distrust. Wonder Woman could be the franchise’s saving grace though, and here’s why it needs to be.
Without a film generally deemed “good” by the populace, the series will lose the hopeful and give birth to the hateful. The distrust toward Snyder could easily fester and become disdain; for some, it’s already reached this point. This general dislike directed at the director will likely seep into every other entry in DC’s shared universe, even the ones helmed by other filmmakers. This is the last thing the DCEU needs, especially given the rut in which it’s currently stuck. Now’s as good a time as any for the big wigs at DC and Warner Bros. to step up and show off the greatness on display in their thousands of comics.
Wonder Woman is as important as it is risky, as it comes at a time when dissatisfaction is at an absurd new high. There are still many who swear by the films (see above) and how they’re “for the fans,” but the movies don’t boast the box office numbers and the critical acclaim that releases in the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) often enjoy. According to a list published by Gizmodo, none of the DCEU’s films rank in the top ten highest-grossing superhero movies released to date.
Luckily, Wonder Woman changes things up in a big, exciting way. Set in World War I, the film follows Diana of Themyscira (Gal Gadot) as she navigates life with her fellow sisters and, subsequently, with the charming Steve Trevor (Chris Pine). According to the plot synopsis, the pair is set to square off against the cumulative might of Ares, Doctor Poison and German military leader General Ludendorff.
With that in mind, the film looks to be as explosive, propulsive and ridiculous as Batman V Superman, but there’s something different about the look and feel of Wonder Woman. This isn’t a negative by any stretch; we want films that possess new energy, new zeal and new ideas within a shared universe. Unlike Bruce Wayne’s criminally condensed origin story in the aforementioned Batman V Superman, Wonder Woman will explore Diana’s ascension to greatness over the course of a two hour story.