"I used to want to save the world — this beautiful place — but the closer you get, the more you see the great darkness within..."
As opening voiceovers go, this one does a pretty good job of suggesting #WonderWoman will be another DC darkfest. The Oxford Dictionary defines a #DC darkfest as "a movie so hellbent on establishing a universe that's "gritty", it completely forgets to have fun with the source material. The darkness thus becomes comical." Fine, that's actually my definition, but it holds true, more or less.
That's why it's actually a massive revelation when Diana's ominous words at the beginning of the new Wonder Woman trailer turn out to be a misnomer, because it's clear from everything that follows that Wonder Woman's debut solo outing on the big screen is neither as grim as #SuicideSquad nor as serious as Batman v Superman (a movie in which she was basically the only levity).
If you haven't already, or you've only seen it seven times, check out the new trailer again below:
There are jokes here. Not eye-rollers about wifi passwords, but good ones. "She's my secretary, sir," Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) tells a superior immediately after Diana saves his ass, before adding "She's a very good secretary." The comic timing is on-point, but it's also funny because it riffs on the stereotypical roles men and women were expected to conform to during the time.
Even better is the joke at the end, courtesy of Trevor's actual secretary, Etta Candy (Lucy Davis), at a costume fitting with Diana. As the Amazonian questions how a woman can fight in a dress with about a million frills, her blissfully naive English friend fires back: "Fight? We use our principles! Although, I am not opposed to engaging in a bit of fisticuffs, should the occasion arise." Candy is clearly going to be a shameless scene-stealer throughout Wonder Woman, and I'm down for that.
It's not just about the one-liners, though — tone is something the #DCEU has struggled with massively so far, but marrying an origin story with real-life events (as opposed to going full-on origins, a la Man of Steel or Doctor Strange, for instance, both movies with highly forgettable plots) seems to have benefited Wonder Woman.
Essentially, this film seems to live in the action-adventure genre as much as the superhero realm, and considering all of the best superhero movies of the last few years have been genre hybrids (Guardians being a space adventure, the thriller-ish nature of The Dark Knight Rises), that bodes well for Wonder Woman. It's not even entirely clear whether the villain of this movie is a metahuman at all (although Danny Huston's German officer could be the God Ares in disguise). Any darkness the movie does contain will likely feel more earned because the context of WWI makes the stakes feel more real, not unlike The First Avenger.
Until it hit theaters, we all thought Suicide Squad had solved the DCEU's tonal problems. This time, though, I'm confident — Patti Jenkins's movie feels like a turning point. And more importantly, it just looks like a great movie on its own terms. Wonder Woman arrives in theaters June 2, 2017.
Will Wonder Woman be the best DCEU movie to date?