The holy trinity of the DC universe has always been a bit lopsided toward the men. Wonder Woman has been the ugly duck as long as I can remember, compared to the attention (and especially the sales) that both Batman and Superman got. There may be a number of reasons for this. Maybe her character really isn’t all that interesting, or it has really to do with her being a women. I’m a little bit hypocritical here, since I myself never had much interest in reading her comics. I’m not even sure why. So when I went to see the Wonder Woman animated DC movie I wasn’t expecting too much of it. Maybe a good performance all around, after all the DC animated movies have been good overall, with only a few bad ones.
Instead her movie has become one of my favorite of the DC animation line. The plot is basically a retelling of her origin and her hunt for Ares after he escaped from being imprisoned on the island of the Amazons. The first few moments show a beheading, which makes it clear that this isn’t for children. The movie has plenty of dialog about gender roles and has something of a feminist bent. In one brilliant scene Wonder Woman teaches a little girl how to use a stick to bring on some hurt, because the boys told the girl that she can’t participate in their games since it’s all boys stuff.
So, it’s about restoring equality, which I’m all in favor of. What the movie does not is put men down at the expense of the women. WW’s love interest Trevor is clearly weaker than her, but he’s thankfully not a wimp. And all that gender stuff only works because it’s subordinate to the plot, not the other way around. The conflict between Ares and the rest of the world isn’t some clever metaphor for the war between the sexes, it’s really just one megalomaniac asshole bent on worldwide destruction and those who stop him. Which is quite fun to watch.