I’ve been waiting for this movie for years. I have a Wonder Woman Ultimate Ticket from Regal Cinemas which means I get to see the film every day during its initial release. And I’ve already got tickets through this weekend. To say I’ve had high expectations is an understatement. I can say I’m mostly happy with what I saw tonight. But I do have to say mostly.

This isn’t going to be a review filled with spoilers. I want you to spend money to go see the first female superhero film directed by a woman. It’s important. And it’s good. Really good. It’s what we need right now. Hope. A hero. Someone who fights for what she believes in.

The piece that I will address is the fact that Hollywood still seems to have a problem with letting a female superhero fully save the day. Again, no spoilers, but when you have a film titled “Wonder Woman,” you expect her to be the ultimate hero of the movie. To solve the problems, to sacrifice. To make the big decisions and fight the battles that matter. That’s what made me leave the theater frustrated. It wasn’t fully her movie.

wonder woman chris

Wonder Woman’s narrative has always existed with Steve Trevor. He has been an integral part of her story and her love life from the beginning. Chris Pine and Gal Gadot have amazing chemistry and their dynamic propels the story, guiding Diana along a path from Themyscira to the War. His presence gives her the chance to experience love, which is critical for her journey. However, this relationship veers off into murky territory. The more Diana gains confidence and strength in battle as Wonder Woman, the more she loses herself as Diana. It doesn’t happen constantly, but it happens at a few critical times. These moments seem to make her character devolve instead of evolve and ultimately lead to an unsatisfying ending where Wonder Woman is not allowed to be the real hero of the film. We are cheated out of what we have been waiting for. A FEMALE hero. A true victory at the hands of Wonder Woman. That, to me, is the biggest loss. We don’t need another epic comic book battle with lots of explosions and flying objects. Wonder Woman is a different kind of hero. We do get glimpses of that. But just glimpses.

Yes, we finally get the movie. Yes, we get an amazing female director in Patty Jenkins. But we still have a female story written from a male perspective and ending with narrative choices not made by the lead character. In this case, we see that it’s ok that Wonder Woman wins some solo battles. It’s just important that we also see she has a man by her side to help her. There’s nothing wrong with having a team or partner in a movie, but in the end we know who the hero is that makes the sacrifice. It’s supposed to be the one whose name is in the title. We got a female superhero movie that proves a female superhero story with a team of supporting men can work. Now it’s time to really let Wonder Woman prove who she is on her own. That’s the story I can’t wait to see.

Micky Small is a graduate student in Digital Media and Performance at Arizona State University by day, and building a production company with original female superheroes by night. Follow her @femmepwrdprod

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