‘Wonder Woman’ was not only the biggest film hit of the summer but a welcome win for Warner Brothers, whose previous DC Comics films have been met with mixed reaction. Now, the lead character, Wonder Woman herself, played by Gal Gadot, is leading the charge in the high-stakes ‘Justice League’, where hopefully her evolution continues to meet with audience approval. (I know some of you have probably already seen it, but I haven’t.)
It’s true, however, that there will always be haters. The better something does, the more people attack it and that’s true of ‘Wonder Woman’. As pleased with it as most were, there were critics including ‘Avatar’ filmmaker James Cameron, who called Gadot’s Amazon princess an “objectified icon” in comparison to his creation, Sarah Conner from ‘Terminator 2’, whom he described thusly: “She was strong, she was troubled, she was a terrible mother, and she earned the respect of the audience through pure grit.” Famed Batman voice actor Kevin Conroy also stated that he found Harley Quinn more multidimensional than Wonder Woman. (It probably helped that he was promoting an animated film called ‘Batman and Harley Quinn’.)
It is the norm for female protagonists to be down on their luck and gritty, but that approach doesn’t work for Wonder Woman, just as it doesn’t work when creators try to dirty up Superman. That’s something that ‘WW’ director Patty Jenkins gets, stating:
“There’s been a fear for years of her being ‘clean’ and yet still tough. So many people’s assumptions about what would make a tough woman is actually a damaged woman. People were confusing strength with defensiveness, and I was like, ‘Why would she be defensive? She totally trusts people! Why would she be angry? She assumes that she’s going to be treated well. She has no chip on her shoulder!’”
Just as there is a clear and visible difference between Batman and Superman, there is a difference between Wonder Woman and the likes of Sarah Conner or Marvel’s Jessica Jones.
Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman returns in ‘Justice League’ out now with a ‘Wonder Woman’ sequel due on November 1, 2019.