When Hippolyta tells a young Diana that she's not strong enough to wield their sacred sword. The look on Diana's face says "That's going to change!"
Antiope disarms Diana and keeps attacking her with a sword, telling her not to let her guard down and not to expect battles to be fair... until Diana crosses her magical bracers. The resulting shockwave sends Antiope flying.
Hippolyta telling the story of the War of the Gods of Olympus to Diana. It looks like oil paintings coming to life, and it's beautiful to look at.
The isle of Themyscira is invaded by German soldiers looking for Steve Trevor, and the Amazons respond with a rain of arrows then a cavalry charge.
Antiope shoots three arrows at the same time at enemy soldiers with her bow while performing a backwards jump to take them by surprise. You can tell the Amazons have been doing this all their life. And before that she takes out a soldier by using her bow as a melee weapon and then shoots an arrow at another soldier without looking at him.
Several other Amazons shoot a rope arrow and swings down from the cliff on them.
Hippolyta proves why she's the queen, leaping off her horse, spinning in the air and gracefully slicing two Germans with her sword. She goes on to take down another half dozen by herself.
While the Amazons took some losses, the fact that not one of the German soldiers is left alive proves how ferocious these women are in combat.
And the fact that the Germans were using firearms doesn't even faze the sword/bow-using Amazons shows how disciplined and well-trained they are. In fact, you can actually see some of them adapting while the battle is going on; one of them figures she can block bullets with her shield (which inspires Diana).
The fact that Robin Wright and Connie Nielsen, who were both 50 during filming, get to join the action scenes and look amazing doing it.
Without hesitation, Steve joins the battle and even saves Diana and a few Amazons' lives by shooting some of the Germans. He even manages to shoot one German without even looking at him, ah la Offhand Backhand while running at the injured Antiope.
Doubled with Heartwarming Moments is that the fact that Diana was quick to protect Steve—a man she only just met a minute ago—and believe that the incoming Germans were the bad guys. Also, the fact that the Amazons didn't try attacking Steve before or during the German attack, despite having few distinguishing features that would set him apart from the other men.
Steve Trevor steals Dr. Poison's notebook, steals a German plane (Fokker E. III) and escapes. To make sure he won't be chased, he strafes all the other planes while they're still on the ground, and destroys the nearby ammunition factory in a huge explosion by simply throwing a little bomb in it.
Additionally she didn't even know at the time she had the strength to make such handholds, only trying to reach an existing hold and discovering this when her hold broke and she slid down the wall. Her excitement as she discovers what she can do is palpable. When she pulls herself through the window, her fingers make a dent in the metal window frame.
This quote from Diana:
"It is our sacred duty to defend the world and it's what I'm going to do."
As Diana get prepares to leave the island, Hippolyta gives Diana her blessings and Antiope's tiara.
A small and easily overlooked one for Etta: she noticed that Steve and Diana were being tailed after leaving the store and then followed them to help if needed without being spotted herself.
And when their leader starts fleeing when they lose, Etta is right in front of him, pointing Diana's sword at him
When a pub patron decides to shoot Charlie in the head for drinking from his glass, Diana does a Flash Step, takes his gun before tossing him across the room.
Dr Poison can not only make poisons, but also a gaseous Super Serum. Upon inhaling it, Ludendorff proceeds to crush a handgun into pieces.
Diana decides to help liberate the town of Veld, climbs a ladder out of a trench and ventures on the No man's land, experiencing the reality of World War I on the front.
Evil prevails when Good Men and Women stand by and do nothing, and Diana would not betray her conscience and compassion any longer:
Steve: We can't save everyone in this war! It's not what we are here to do!
Diana: No... But it's what I am going to do! (Marches by herself into the rain of gunfire)
Throughout the entire first act of the movie the film goes out of its way to hide Wonder Woman's iconic outfit, complete with a few teases of almost seeing it but not quite. When it comes time for her to finally show off her armor, they make the most of it as she drops her mantle and climbs the ladder.
She starts with an Unflinching Walk and deflects a bullet with one of her bracers.
She casually swats a mortar shell with her shield.
She then holds her ground with her shield under heavy German machine gun fire, concentrating it on her and allowing her crew and Allied soldiers to gain ground.
Then she jumps into the trench, beats up some German soldiers and breaks their Maxim machine gun.
When Steve notices that the German fire is increasing, he shouts to his buddies "She's taking all the fire, let's go" and goes over the wall to help her out. His mercenary buddies do the same without hesitation. And the soldiers are eventually inspired themselves.
Plus, this movie takes pains to avoid the usual complaint from viewers for the shooters not firing at a stationary shield user's feet, by having Diana crouch down to her knees and have her body completely covered by her shield.
Even better considering the historical context. The war at the Western Front is remembered for being an endless stalemate of trenches and shells, with neither side making much headway several years. Either side would suffer heavy casualties just trying to reach the other side. For four years, thousands of men and explosives have been hurled at that trench near Veld, with any gains coming at heavy cost. Diana broke through those defenses in a few minutes!
After crossing the No man's land, Diana and the crew liberate the town of Veld. Those sequences of Wonder Woman plowing her way through everything German soldiers throw at her are easily on par with or even surpass Batman's warehouse fight scene. Using the momentum from an explosive that blew up near her as a stepping stone, Diana leaps through the window of a stronghold of the Germans like a battering ram, and it's here where her theme from Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice really kicks into muscular, cello-wailing overdrive. She beats the living crap out of said soldiers using her, sword, shield, and martial skills in general
She opens the fight by kicking a table at the soldiers in front of her
Other highlights include her deflecting a bullet back at her when one guy shoots at her from behind, snatching a guy's rifle and breaking it over her back, and then punting a guy though a balcony door.
She then smashes through the doors to the next room, follows it with a Shield Bash to the guy behind it, slides on her knees to slice through a wooden pillar and a soldier behind it, all in one smooth movement.
A German soldier gets a CMOA in that he does one smart and difficult thing that combatants in real or reel life does not do against though with shields - he shoots her in the leg!-and staggers her. Followed by another soldier knocking her shield out of the hand.
Unfazed by the above, she leaps out if the way of the follow-up, rolls over to her shield and shield bashes the guy who shot her.
Then how she finishes off with the last three, lined up as if to make easy for her. Then second soldier shoots at her, only for her to deflect the bullet back into the first soldier's chest, shield bashes him, slices through the second one and his rifle he held up to protect himself, then pauses to give the last one a death glare before sending him out of a window with a flying knee, pictured above.
She then charges over the rooftops into the village square with Steve and team following her on the ground.
As she is laying the kibosh to the soldiers there, an armoured truck opens fire on Diana, who just flash-steps out of the way before leaping across the square towards the truck
The soldiers operating the truck get an MOA by firing an explosive shell at her while she's still in air, forcing her to block it with her shield and knock her to the ground.
Diana's response to the above is to lift the armored truck and throws it at the rest right after striking the side with her fist so hard that she leaves a big dent.
Then she again blocks bullets from two soldiers firing from behind her, and before she could retaliate, they get gunned down by Steve, who had finally caught up to her.
They then go full on Battle Couple, with Diana tossing and kicking around the German soldiers like ping pong balls with help of her lasso, while tossing some at Steve, every one of them he oneshots. There's even one scene where she ensnares a soldier in the lasso and pulls him towards her with such force that he flies towards her, and Steve knocks him out with a smack from his rifle before the poor sod hits the ground. Then the sniper reveals himself.
As the coup d' grace, Diana jumps into the town's church bell tower to get rid of a sniper, obliterating the tower in the process and leaving her crew, the townspeople, and Allied soldiers in pure awe. There's a reason she's considered on the same level as Superman.
One for Steve's observation skills. During the beach battle, one of the Amazons jumped off another's shield to gain air. While facing the sniper, Steve remembers this and his team picks up the armored car's door for Diana to duplicate the move and reach the tower.
They don't have to talk this over. One word and it's game over for the sniper.
It's not just any Amazon as well, it's Antiope herself pulling that move, so in a way Diana was also honoring her aunt by doing the exact move to dispatch the sniper.
The simple fact that Steve and the others are more focused on completing their mission than helping the village, but when Diana steps up to go to battle Steve and the others immediately follow her with no hesitation. Diana was inspiring others' better natures long before Superman was on the scene.
Diana also shows herself to be a Humble Hero in the aftermath.
Steve: (crediting her with the victory) You did it!
Wonder Woman vs. General Ludendorff. When he tries to shoot her, she deflects the bullet back into the gun barrel. And there's that quote during the fight:
Diana: I am Diana of Themyscira. Daughter of Hippolyta. In the name of all that is good, your wrath upon this world is over!
The entire fight is brilliant. After mowing through German soldiers with ease, Diana finally encounters someone who can go toe to toe with her. Although he doesn't have her years of warrior training, Ludendorff has Diana on the defensive for much of the fight. And instead of a CGI-heavy showdown, it's a cramped, close-quarter brawl.
Diana's entire Final Battle with Ares and her refusal of his position in favor of humanity. She blocks his lightning with her bracelets and turns it against him.
Diana: Goodbye, brother.
Even in his Sir Patrick guise, Ares proves to be a force to be reckoned with throughout the fight, manipulating the metal around him through telekinesis and using it to bring absolute destruction to the battle. But once he crafts and dons his armor, finally emerging as the comic book Ares that we all know and love, you know that shit's about to go down.
Ares claims to be the God of Truth. He lives up to his name by redirecting the power of the Lasso of Truth to overwhelm Diana with temptations of a better future, all while bound.
Diana becomes enraged when Steve dies and unleashes her full power. She moves with blinding speed and takes out an entire group of trained soldiers with such ease, she proves to be almost as much of an unstoppable force as Superman himself. Doubles as Nightmare Fuel, since this was the moment Diana almost decided to turn that same, unstoppable rage on all of humanity
In that same moment, Ares threw Dr. Poison at her feet, and reminded her that she was the inventor of the new deadlier gas, as well as being indirectly responsible for Steve's Heroic Sacrifice. Ares encouraged her to go ahead and squash her with the tank she was carrying, but after seeing Poison break down from the fear of impending death, Diana decides to put it down and go after Ares.
Food for thought: Ares is the God of War. He killed every single god who came after him, and Zeus only had enough strength to banish him, apparently dying later on. When Diana channels the lightning into her bracelets, she obliterates Ares entirely. A god who several others lost to was destroyed by Diana - all by herself. A shocking testimony to just how insanely powerful she is.
Also a bit of Fridge Brilliance as the film explains Diana was sired for the explicit purpose of being powerful enough to kill Ares.
Steve pulling a Heroic Sacrifice by blowing himself up in the plane carrying all the toxic gas. It's a Tear Jerker, but Steve goes out after telling Diana he loves her and he ends up saving thousands, if not millions, of lives.
The film's final message, which is unique and arguably more realistic than the message of most other films in the same genre. In the end, superheroes can only do so much for the world because human nature is fallible. True, lasting change can only come from a collective choice from each individual to choose love and light over hatred and darkness.
Diana: It's not about what you deserve. It's about what you believe. And I believe in love. Only love will truly save the world.
Wonder Woman's leitmotif is not diminished by its exposure in advertising and previous appearances "Na-Na-Na-NAAAAAAAAA-NA!"
When the studio had to reshoot some scenes around the same time Gal Gadot was 5 months pregnant, she stepped right up to the task.
Patty Jenkins: Shes pregnant during part of the movie, in a suit out in a field in the freezing cold in others. There are so many things we asked her to do: "Now do it on one foot. Now shout while youre doing it. Now its raining in the freezing cold and youve lost your voice, go." Everyday it was a hilarious gauntlet and she would do it.
What's even more more awesome is perhaps how a female-led, female-directed superhero film has skyrocketed to the top of RT and become one of the highest rated superhero films of all time. For comparison, previous forays into female led comic book films include the massive stinkers that were Supergirl, Catwoman and Elektra, and there haven't been any major female-driven solo superhero films since the latter. Then Wonder Woman comes out and manages to grab scores on par with films such as The Avengers and The Dark Knight and makes over $200 million on its opening weekend alone. Talk about averting Girl-Show Ghetto to its fullest extent.
On the directorial side, this is the first film in its budget range (roughly 150 million USD) to be directed by a woman.
Some box office accomplishments to show how big a deal this movie was:
It had the largest opening weekend box office and largest overall gross for a live action film ever for a solo female director.
The film had far more staying power than than the the previous entries in the DCEU, which all enjoyed similar huge first weekends only to then suffer a large decline immediately afterwards. In contrast, this film only dropped 43% on its second weekend. Noticeably, despite having the smallest budget and opening weekend of the DCEU, it has surpassed the total domestic gross of Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad. It also surpassed the worldwide grosses of Man of Steel and Suicide Squad.
On the domestic box office again, Wonder Woman surpassing The Hunger Games means it's now the highest grossing non-sequel action heroine film.
By the end of 2017, Wonder Woman became the highest grossing Super Hero Origin movie worldwide unadjusted, with $821.7 million, surpassing Spider-Man.
When all the numbers have been crunched, Deadline estimated that it had a net profit of $252.9 million. To put things into perspective, the closest superhero competitor, Spider-Man: Homecoming had a net profit of $200.1 million. Furthermore, this movie's profit is more than twice as profitable as Batman v Superman despite having less hype and brandname recognition.
In the MCU vs DCEU rivalry, the success of this movie was a major win for DC. After years of being overshadowed by the MCU, the DCEU has beaten its rival to landmark event by releasing the first universally acclaimed female superhero movie. In just 4 movies, the DCEU managed to release a solo female-led movie, something that took MCU 21 movies to accomplish.
Age representation; the signs of age in the elder Amazons aren't hidden in any way, instead giving a realistic portrayal of women who are both old and badass.
The general lack of gratuitous sexuality and Male Gaze that action films so frequently use as a crutch. And while Gal Gadot is clearly in peak physical condition and very beautiful, the film doesn't alter her to appear unrealistically flawless, shown best when Diana's thigh visibly ripples when making contact with the ground in one shot.