I had high hopes for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. With all the success Marvel Cinematic Studios has had, I knew DC Comics and Warner Brothers was going to step up their game, and from the previews I really thought they achieved it. Many reviewers rated it poorly, but it still had a successful opening weekend at $170 million.
While there are a few parts that I did not like, overall I enjoyed the movie. Ben Affleck did a surprisingly great job as Bruce Wayne/Batman; Jeremy Irons played a wonderfully snarky Alfred; Doomsday looked phenomenal and intimidating; but the one who blew everything else in this movie away was Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman.
There are a lot of unanswered questions about Wonder Woman and her secret identity, Diana Prince. All of this is intentional, though, to build up for her solo film in 2017, and since she is not the main character in this movie, not knowing her answers left me with a thirst for more rather than left dissatisfied. Many reviewers have criticized her role stating the movie could have happened without her. I disagree with that because although she didn’t have the largest role, she was still very important both in the plot and in the film franchise.
One of the biggest reasons of why Wonder Woman is important is because she’s, well, a woman, and that brings in a new audience. When my five year old niece saw her introduced in the trailer before Star Wars, she yelled out in the theater “I HAVE to see that movie!” Many comic fans would still see Batman v Superman without Wonder Woman because they like those characters, but having Wonder Woman draws in people who typically would not see that film, either because they like Wonder Woman’s character or maybe they want to support a feminist icon in a blockbuster film. Her involvement with this film helps build the audience for the future Justice League movies.
In terms of the plot, yes, the whole basic premise would have still happened without Wonder Woman, but the final battle against Doomsday would not have been as successful without her. After all, Batman’s main move was using his grappling hook to get away from Doomsday. Wonder Woman is strong enough to attack Doomsday, slicing at his legs with her sword, and also survive his attacks back. One of the highlights of the movie is when she’s thrown back from the battle and has a small smirk, as if to say, “finally – a worthy opponent.” She never backs off from the fight and, along with Batman and Superman, is critical in the final moments of the battle.
One of my favorite parts about Wonder Woman’s role is she is not sexualized. Gal Gadot is beautiful and the costume and makeup department are sure to embrace her looks when first introducing her. However, after she catches Bruce Wayne’s attention before stealing the information he was trying to steal from Lex Luthor, she is no longer seen as just a beautiful woman. Wayne recognizes her as a respectable and worthy partner and works with her to uncover further information. When she is in battle, she dons her armor and spends most of her time in close combat with Doomsday, not being thrust into awkward positions to make her look more attractive to the audience.
Seeing Wonder Woman portrayed so positively renewed my hope for women in superhero movies. I’m looking forward to her solo film in 2017 and for the positive influence I hope this will have on other superhero movies.
Did you see Batman v Superman? What did you think of her role?