Our first great female superhero movie is finally here. The Wonder Woman social media embargo was lifted Thursday, and those who’ve seen the film are all in agreement: Wonder Woman kicks ass.
Steven Weintraub of Collider called Wonder Woman “a blast” and wrote that Gal Gadot’s chemistry with Chris Pine is “magnetic”. Kate Erbland of Indiewire also pointed out the dynamic between Gadot and Pine, calling them “charming as hell,” while the film as a whole has “the humor and heart the franchise so desperately needs.” Germain Lussier of Gizmodo described the film’s action sequences as “awe-inspiring,” while Anna Klassen said she “cried tears of joy” at the sight of an “army of women acting so competently on film.”
Loved WONDER WOMAN. She reminds me of Christopher Reeve’s Superman: true north superhero w/ no angst or cynicism, which is needed right now.— Mike Ryan (@mikeryan) May 19, 2017
Happy — no, RELIEVED — to report that #WonderWoman is truly good. Funny, stirring, kick-ass, romantic. A solid, entertaining superhero film.— Adam B. Vary (@adambvary) May 19, 2017
WONDER WOMAN: Easily my favorite DCEU film. Has the humor and heart the franchise so desperately needs. Gadot and Pine are charming as hell.— Kate Erbland (@katerbland) May 19, 2017
Wonder Woman is the DC movie I’ve been waiting for. It’s exciting, inspiring, funny, and has some truly awe-inspiring action scenes.— Germain Lussier (@GermainLussier) May 19, 2017
My reaction to @WonderWomanFilm : exciting, powerful, bold, epic, simply wonderful and - best of all - absolutely empowering.— Courtney Howard (@Lulamaybelle) May 19, 2017
That sound you hear is the sound of a hundred DC and Warner Bros. executives exhaling simultaneously. The studio desperately needs a hit after the creative miscalculation that was Batman v Superman further tipped the scales in Marvel’s favor, and it looks like director Patty Jenkins delivered. Some early projections had Wonder Woman earning up to $100 million on opening weekend, and a positive word of mouth in the weeks leading up to its June 2 release will only help inflate that number.
But the success of Wonder Woman has much farther-reaching implications than the box office bottom line. DC is counting on Diana Prince to steer its ship in the right direction, so that by the time Justice League roars into theaters this November, audiences have bought into at least one of their superheroes. While Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck as Superman and Batman can be fun to look at, do we really care what happens to their characters? The early reactions suggest that Gal Gadot is a bona fide movie star, and that Wonder Woman is a super hero worth rooting for.
This also bodes well for female-led superhero films as a whole. Up to now, studios have been reluctant to green light comic book movies anchored by women. But if Wonder Woman succeeds, the failures of past films like Elektra and Catwoman will be wiped clean. And with films like Captain Marvel and Gotham City Sirens—both of which feature women as the leads—both on the way, we may finally be on the precipice of a new golden age in superhero movies, with women front and center.