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After the director gave us us a tortured Superman who kills, a sadistic Batman who uses guns and a couple of superhero movies that fell well short of super, Snyder turned the reins of DC’s extended universe to director Patty Jenkins for Wonder Woman. And she just cranked out maybe the best pure superhero movie since Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

She did so by not subverting the characteristics of her leading lady, as some might’ve done, but by honoring them. She didn’t set out to make a gritty, vaguely nihilistic remake or a tongue-in-cheek farce. Instead, she infused the film with an old-fashioned sense of heroism and humor. Sometimes it feels like an old Cary Grant screwball comedy. More often, it’s got a High Noon vibe—with Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot as the superhero sheriff who’ll do what’s right, no matter the cost.

This is a throwback movie in the best sense of the term, full of fun but free of irony, trading skepticism for sincerity.

“I wanted to tell a story about a hero who believes in love, who is filled with love, who believes in change and the betterment of mankind,” Jenkins told The New York Times. “I believe in it. It’s terrible when it makes so many artists afraid to be sincere and truthful and emotional, and relegates them to the too-cool-for-school department. Art is supposed to bring beauty to the world.”

So perhaps we shouldn’t be too shocked that Wonder Woman is a spiritual film, too—from its overtly pagan backstory to its surprisingly faith-inflected underpinnings. If you’ve already seen the movie, we’ve got plenty to talk about.

(Oh, and if you haven’t seen it, you might want to come back later: Spoilers lurk ahead.)

What sort of spirituality is Wonder Woman made of? Well, it has …



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