ByCraig Patrick Arnott, writer at
I'm currently studying a degree for Film Production and Cinematography.
Craig Patrick Arnott

Wonder Woman has hit the silver screens worldwide and fans' reactions say it all. With high rating across the board, DC has created the first solo female superhero movie for over two decades. Not only has it broken the ground on the superhero market for females, but it has smashed it like Queen Hippolyta leading the Amazon warriors into battle.

The film has truly set the standard on how a female superhero can not just be strong enough for the big screen, but also how it has more to offer than a testosterone-filled action flick. With all of this in mind — and a string of other female heroes set to take on their own films in the coming years — let's look at why has worked so well. WARNING: Spoilers for Wonder Woman ahead, only read on if you can handle them.

Why Did It Work So Well?

Considering the mass disappointment over other DC superhero movies, Wonder Woman has not only met the expectations but exceeded them. This is all down to the brilliance of how the writers handled the Princess of the Amazons. With this not being her first appearance in the , the film took us back to her origins and discovering her destiny. This is where the film could have gone extremely wrong if not handled properly, but the writers knew how to play this part of her story out extremely effectively.

Upon arriving in "Man's World," Diana finds herself encountering sights and people she never could have imagined existing. The films handles the fact that she is essentially a child in this world extremely well. Her upbringing made her into a warrior; however, it was not enough to prepare her for what her true destiny held. It is not just the strange customs or even the sights that she has the most difficulty in understanding, but the greed and selfish motives of humanity.

Perhaps the best example of her confusion over "Man's World" is how the generals send soldiers off to die while they remain safe in their offices, miles away from the battle. For an Amazon this is shameful, as a true general fights alongside soldiers.

If the film had avoided Diana's naivety it would not have captured the true essence of the character. Much like Aquaman, Diana is a fish out of water while she is in "Man's World." The only difference is Aquaman was at least raised in "Man's World." As the DC Extended Universe continues to grow, we can hopefully see more of Wonder Woman learning and understanding the strange world that man has created.

They Did Not Hold Back On The Action

Perhaps the biggest concern both fans and critics held over a female superhero movie was the action sequences we have come to expect from the film genre. Luckily for everyone, Wonder Woman lived up to her name in the film. Not only is the film filled with action and fighting sequences, Wonder Woman proves an Amazon in battle is a force to be reckoned with.

Considering how many films we have with costumed crusaders fighting for the cause of justice, Wonder Woman brought both power and elegance to the battles. This added so much enjoyment to the film as it heralded a new style of superhero movie. It kept the raw power of the character but proved a woman has moves no man can ever match.

She Is Strong But Also Feminine

The movie most expertly handled Wonder Woman's femininity and sexuality. Having grown up on an island filled with nothing but female warriors, Wonder Woman does not know that she is considered as beautiful to men as she actually is. This allowed for some fun to play out between her and character Steve Trevor.

'Wonder Woman' [Credit: Warner Bros.]
'Wonder Woman' [Credit: Warner Bros.]

While it is hard to say if she understood her developing feelings for him at the time, it is made clear by the end of the film that she does still have feeling for him in the present day. This was perhaps the best way for their relationship to play out. With Wonder Woman being a stranger in a strange world, it makes their relationship even more powerful as Steve understood that this was all new to the mighty Amazon warrior.

When it also comes time for her to discover her look while in "Man's World," we find humor in Diana's distaste for women's fashion not designed for fighting. She goes through over 200 outfits until she finally discovers a look that allows her to look beautiful, strong and able to fight all at the same time.

Can Marvel Match The Success With Captain Marvel?

'Clash' [Credit: Flauschtraut via Deviantart]
'Clash' [Credit: Flauschtraut via Deviantart]

The sad fact is, probably not. This is not me saying that will fail as a movie. It is simply down to how the two characters are extremely different. It would make it impossible to Marvel to emulate the style of the story without destroying the essence of Captain Marvel. Much like Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel is a warrior (she is a Major in the US Air Force).

The big differences comes when you look at their backgrounds. Diana grew up on an island of women while Carol was born to your regular, middle-class family. This naturally results in Carol knowing men all too well, unlike Diana, who is intrigued by men, Carol is a pure, career-driven female.

For to truly capture the essence of the character for its first solo female flagship movie, it will have to keep this in mind. Wonder Woman has been so successful due to her being a warrior but also how the male gender and the real world are all new to her. The writers clearly kept this in mind when writing Wonder Woman. Marvel need to make it clear that Carol is no damsel in destress (like Wonder Woman), but has the drive of wanting to be the best of the best in whatever she does. If Marvel forgets this it will miss on a chance to create a movie that truly captures the power and personality of this female hero.

The Bar Has Been Set — Can Any Man Or Woman Beat It?

Perhaps what is most exciting about the Wonder Woman movie is not just the fact it is our first female-centered movie for near two decades, but it has taken a game played by the boys for far too long and beaten them all. The film has breathed new life and expectations into an already strong genre. With Captain Marvel, Gotham City Sirens, Batgirl and Silver and Black all set for release in the coming years, it is highly likely Wonder Woman has opened the door for many other female characters to now get their own films. Black Widow, Storm, Supergirl and many more are all powerful and strong female heroes that could one day smash it in their own films.


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