In choosing its subjects, this column often takes a pass on the main superhero blockbusters, the Marvelers and Justice Leaguers and X-Folk. When somebody tries to do something distinctive or different with the genre, as this winter’s Logan did, I’ll review it, but the major franchise pieces don’t need the attention and mostly don’t deserve it: The Marvel movies have a glossy pre-fab forgettability, and, since Christopher Nolan stepped away from Batman, the DC movies have been pretentious dreck.
But the latest, Wonder Woman, merits attention, because so many hopes have been piled onto it. First, there are the hopes of DC fans desperate for evidence that their superhero universe, having been dragged down into the slag heap of mediocrity by Zack Snyder, isn’t going to condemn them to sit through one turgid glower-fest from here to Aquaman VII (already on a studio release schedule for 2029, I’m sure). Second, there are the hopes of critics and activists (and critics-cum-activists) desperate to see a female-led superhero movie succeed and eager to wash away the taste from their last great woke-Hollywood cause, the lousy all-female Ghostbusters.