After 75 years in the making, "Wonder Woman" hit theaters last weekend, soaring at the box office. And although the action-packed film put DC back on the superhero map, some are saying it's the movie's Christ-like themes that are touching the heartstrings of many.
Since 2008, both Marvel and DC Comics have released 19 action-packed films focused around the Avengers and Justice League but until this weekend not one of them was centralized around a female lead. The 2017 "Wonder Woman" blockbuster brought more than $233 million in earnings worldwide, putting to rest the prior arguments that a superhero film focused on a female lead would not prevail.
On top of dominating as a female protagonist, some reviewers are saying Wonder Woman, aka Diana, played by Gal Gadot, has a mission that closely resembles the mission of Jesus Christ.
"'Wonder Woman' movie was a Sunday movie,'" writer M. Hudson said in an extensive review for TheFederalist.com.
He revealed that in his home, on Sundays he only allows his children to view "approved media." So upon hearing that DC entertainment released a film fitting to their Christian standard, the kids were ecstatic.
"The Wonder Woman movie is the story of Christ, and it is obvious from Director Patty Jenkins' decisions that this was planned. The movie is wrapped up in faux Greek mythology, true, but there's no mistaking the Christology here," Hudson describes. "To make sure you're getting the message, the cinematographer practically hits you over the head with it in shots such as Diana descending slowly to the ground in the attitude of the cross."
The author claims that the fact that Diana had to leave her paradisiacal homeland to seek out and defeat the evil one — Ares — and "bring peace to mankind" is a direct comparison to Christ. Jesus was sent from Heaven to earth to save mankind from sin, bringing freedom to all.
"Diana knows a greater truth. Man may not deserve redemption, but they are redeemable," he defends. "Her love and belief empower Diana."
An article in Crosswalk.com echoes Hudson's argument and says "'Wonder Woman' is a call for Christian love."
"For Christians, Wonder Woman shouldn't be a tinderbox of gender ideology or complementarian debate. Rather, it should serve as an example of the love God has called us to show our neighbor. We don't need super-strength to be a hero. We only need to remember that with faith and courage, we can do wonders," the blog says.
Gracy Olmstead at TheFederalist.com stayed away from the faith argument in her review but agreed that the film's "Christological and mythological roots" are worth exploring with children who see the film.
"I hoped that girls who flock to the theater for 'Wonder Woman' would find themselves inspired to be a little more compassionate, selfless, and courageous because of Diana. Perhaps they'd be encouraged to see needy people they might otherwise ignore. Perhaps young and old would be inspired to fight the bullies of their world, to advocate for the oppressed and the downtrodden," Olmstead wrote.
Another film reviewer, Michael Foust, however, said that from a strict Christian perspective he saw "little" to nothing when it comes to Christian content in the action film.
"We see a couple of nuns, but that's it," he wrote on TexasOnline.net
"Wonder Woman may take place in the real world, but its worldview is grounded within the Greek universe of gods and goddesses. It's a world where gods can have multiple offspring, battle one another and then die. Certainly, families of young children may want to address the subject of false gods, but the film provides an equally significant topic," Foust maintained. "'Only love can save the world,' she (Diana) says. We'll call it 'Wonder Woman theology,' and lots of our friends and family members believe it. Scripture says something very different (Romans 3:10-23; Ecclesiastes 7:20). We're dreadful, sin-filled creatures in need of a Savior (John 3:16). In other words, there are no good people."
After screening the film ourselves, it's apparent that the film features universal Christian themes of compassion, belief, and sacrifice, but it's inconclusive whether or not the filmmakers of "Wonder Woman" offered an intentional Christian message.