By: Nick Askam
It almost astonishes me that we had two great superhero movies this summer. In a time when I thought I couldn’t care less about another sequel in an overextended universe, these two were glimmers of hope. I will say as a disclaimer that I have not seen some of the other superhero films from this year, but I can say that these were my two favorites this summer. Logan, in my mind, was earlier in the year, but would be lodged somewhere in between these two. With that being said, let’s get into my points of debate.
Both of these films had amazing stories. Each one had their own narratives and own goals. Spider-Man’s reached deep into the history of the Marvel Universe to grab something that was different from the usual status quo and made us car about the villains. Wonder Woman was able to make this film feel triumphant and understand the struggle of fighting for what you believe in. Spider-Man used the twists and turns of its narrative to keep us attached and feeling like we wanted to go on; Wonder Woman used sheer bravery and determination to inspire us to do more.
This is honestly such a toss-up, but I’m going to have to side with Wonder Woman. It just made me feel like I could conquer the world and stick to what I believe in. The tension and awkwardness in Spider-Man is palpable. They’re both great in making you feel something.
One of my favorite moments in theaters this year was watching a group of soldiers hoist Wonder Woman up and she destroys a tower. It was full of heart-throbbing excitement and wonderment. It was the moment that we all knew what she was capable of and then she had a long action sequence of fulling showing off the extent of her powers. It makes you wonder (no pun intended) what is coming next.
On the other hand, Spider-Man captivated us with his web slinging abilities. The action sequences meant more when he would accidentally use the wrong web or he only had a few moments to save his friends. The combination of that and the Vulture scenes make me side with Spider-Man for having the better action scenes. Both movies reminded us of why we want to see these movies in theaters.
For visual effects, it’s close. Spider-Man looked phenomenal on the big screen. It was colorful and fun to look at which was surprising considering it was a Marvel film. The scenes with the ferry and other moments were impressive. I loved the color contrast with the suit compared to the environment as well. The way that it popped in certain lighting made it enjoyable to watch. Even the darker scenes had the lighter tone that this film wanted to achieve as well.
Wonder Woman on the other hand used the darkened color palette of the other DCEU films. I didn’t think it quite fit for the tone of the movie, but it fit nicely with the time-period. I thought the way that the bullets and the scenes on the Amazonian island were impressive. The way that Diana’s personality seemed to affect the outside world made this film so exciting. I will say, though, Spider-Man was more enjoyable to see on the big screen. The web slinging scenes just made it squeak by in my opinion.
This one isn’t really close. Wonder Woman blows Spider-Man out of the water in almost everything except diversity. This comes mainly from the fact that we’ve always had male superheroes, and when we get a female character, she’s unfortunately so bland and boring that we forget almost everything about her. I.e. Black Widow, Lois Lane, and Scarlett Witch. It’s impressive and exciting how much Wonder Woman has inspired young women around the world. I hope that trend continues in the future film releases especially from Captain Marvel.
I am glad that Spider-Man has an Asian character and many other people of color. Wonder Woman had some problems because it was set in London/ Germany in WWII. The scenes in the Amazons had some people of color, but none had major roles like in Spider-man. Overall though, I’d have to say that Wonder Woman is the winner because of the strong feminist values that it promotes.
This is the most subjective category and I think it comes down to which film did I remember more of later. Just by the fact that I can remember the Wonder Woman plot fully and well after about a month of not seeing it makes it one of the films that I’ve remembered the most recently. This is not to say that I won’t continue to not remember Spider-Man, but for the time being, Wonder Woman is firmly in my mind.
Overall Winner: Wonder Woman
Images from IMDb.com