Follow TV Tropes

This is based on opinion. Please don't list it on a work's trope example list.

Following

Tear Jerker / Wonder Woman (2017)

Go To

Film

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/wonderwoman_1.jpg

Advertisement:
  • In modern-day, Diana looks at the original photo of herself and her friends in World War I with tears in her eyes while a voiceover admits she used to want to save the world, before she found out how cruel it could be. It is more saddening the fact that at the point most of her human friends are either dead because of the war or simply of old age while she is still alive and remains relatively unchanged.
    • Special mention goes to when she looks at Steve Trevor.
  • During Diana's training, when she unleashes her shockwave on Antiope and injures her. Everyone, Diana included, is mortified. It's at this moment you realise just how close knit the Amazons are, that the sight of one getting hurt would give them such sorrow.
  • The attempted German invasion of Themyscira:
    • Diana sees the death of an archer Amazon who shot a rope arrow, witnessing the power of firearms for the first time in her life.
    • The death of Antiope, who takes a bullet for her niece Diana.
      • Worse, a seemingly random Amazon lets out a Big "NO!" and collapses at Antiope's side, clinging to her body. It's heavily implied that this woman was Antiope's lover.
    • Indeed, any Amazon death is a sad one. This is a tribe comprised entirely of women isolated from the rest of the world, so they can't replenish their population. When you see one die, the entire Amazon race is that much closer to extinction.
    • Advertisement:
    • Even on the villainous side, in the distance, the viewer can see the German warship that the soldiers disembarked from slowly capsizing and sinking into the ocean, presumably after grounding on reefs around the island. Whatever the German marines could do, even if they were to best the Amazons in combat, they would most likely never go home again.
  • Queen Hippolyta saying goodbye to her daughter Diana before she leaves Themyscira. Diana is about to cry, and Hippolyta is crying.
    Hippolyta: Be careful with in the world of men, Diana. They do not deserve you. You have been my greatest love. Today, you are my greatest sorrow.
  • Diana's naivete when they set out on the mission. Sure, she seems to realize how difficult it will be: She must track down Ares, the God of War who killed the rest of the Olympians, and kill him. But she also believes that once she does that, this huge War to End All Wars will end, just like that. What follows is the gradual grinding down of Diana's worldview as she is exposed to both the horrors of war and the casual injustice of mankind. From the time they reach the harbor for the ship across the Channel, she keeps encountering examples of its horrors in the forms of wounded and amputated soldiers, exhausted horses drowning in mud, and desperate civilians. She desperately wants to help them all, but Steve has to tell her to keep on going, knowing that no matter how powerful Diana is, she cannot save them all. Still, she stubbornly hangs on to her belief that all of this is simply because of Ares and all she has to do is kill him.
  • Ludendorff tossing in the gas mask when killing the rest of German High Command, demonstrating to the audience that mankind can be weak creatures who would fight each other just to save their own skin.
      Advertisement:
    • The reason that he kills them in the first place. They would rather sign the peace treaty than allow countless people to die in order for Ludendorff to carry out his plan with Doctor Poison. Even Evil Has Standards indeed.
    • An interview of Patty Jenkins showcases this: "My approach was to focus on telling the story of mechanized war and how that would look to a god visiting our world for the first time. I wanted the audience to understand the horrors that a war on this scale makes possible and how shocking that would be to someone who comes with a strong sense of honor and justice. She doesn’t realize yet just how senselessly dark the world can be."
  • Chief works for both sides of the conflict because he has no personal stake in the war, and bluntly tells Diana that Steve's people essentially wiped out his people.
  • The war left Charlie an emotional wreck; he became a heavy drinker once discharged and has regular nightmares, freaking out upon waking up from them. If you listen closely, Charlie seems to hallucinating a deceased loved one, begging him to not enlist or leave the trench and die an awful death at the front, a nightmare all too common for those suffering PTSD throughout the war.
  • Diana's first appearance in full costume, charging across No Man's Land to rescue the occupied town Veld. The scene is notably not scored with the rousing main Wonder Woman theme, but a somber piece reminiscent of Adagio in D Minor that fully captures the sheer awe of a true hero making her entrance into the middle of one of the darkest periods of human history.
  • Sameer tells Diana that his con man skills are due to being an actor before the war, and then adds with a resigned air that he's the "wrong color" to truly be a success at it. It's such a casual reference to the racism of the time.
    • The later scene with the act to get to the gala might add to this, since it's another reminder that the respect he gets from the team is the exception, not the rule.
  • When Steve and Diana share their dance after the liberation of Veld, Diana asks him what will happen when the war is over. Steve stumbles through a response about how people will go home, get jobs, get married, start a family, and generally live happy lives. Diana then asks what that's like... and Steve has no answer for her.
  • When Steve flirts with Dr. Maru trying to get her to give up the location of the gas, her reaction to his kindness and professed admiration makes one wonder about the good she might have done had war not drawn her into weapon development. It's also clear she's genuinely confused as to why a man is flirting with her, thanks to her badly scarred face, which has no doubt caused her all sorts of image issues. She slowly starts getting wooed by Steve, as she probably has been lonely and wanting love like anyone else.
    • Also the fact that Steve gets distracted by seeing Diana. From Maru's perspective, a handsome man seemed attracted to her for her mind and accomplishments, which is probably something she's dreamed of happening... and then a pretty girl walked by and he forgot all about her.
  • Diana walking into Veld after it's been hit by Ludendorff's gas bombs. She sees the dead townspeople lying in the streets and all she can do is look around in despair. When Steve shows up, she's angry with him for not letting her kill Ludendorff when she had the chance to stop it.
  • Before Veld is gassed, Diana fights in a purely defensive manner. Her enemies might get killed by deflected bullets or rubble, but she's only blocking what they're throwing at her—once she gets up close she just clobbers them so that they're knocked out of the fight and then destroys their weaponry. Afterwards, she begins fighting with the sword, and using lethal force as her first move.
  • After Diana kills Ludendorff, she is completely unable to understand why the war isn't over and why the soldiers haven't stopped fighting. Steve clearly has to struggle to get the words out to explain to her that people aren't always good, Ares or no Ares. They both look on the verge of tears.
    • Steve's tortured explanation that, while he knows full well the unfathomable cruelty humans are capable of, it doesn't change the fact that he wishes that peace and understanding among mankind can simply be accomplished by "killing the bad guy."
  • We already knew that Steve planned to hijack the plane, but it was when he gave Diana his father's watch that it became brutally clear he wasn't coming back.
  • Steve's death. After hijacking the plane, he's laughing exhilarated before remembering what he must do next and then looking completely terrified as it's very obvious he doesn't want to die. He needs to mentally and physically psyche himself up enough to pull the trigger to blow up the gas bombs. Kudos to Chris Pine, who conveys all of this with no dialogue and with facial acting alone.
    • His final parting words to Diana before getting into the plane? "I love you!"
  • Diana's reaction to the above. Ares has her trapped, and even though all seems lost, she's thinking of Steve, and especially what he said to her when she was deafened by the explosion. She finally understands what he said and realizes he's on the plane, which explodes just as she's calling his name. With a Big "NO!" as she writhes in bereaved agony, she enters a Despair Event Horizon that allows her to fully tap into her powers for a Heroic Second Wind. She didn't even get the chance to give Steve a proper goodbye as their last proper conversation was more of an argument and when Steve came to say goodbye her battle with Ares had temporarily deafened her, thus she couldn't fully understood what he said until after he died.
    • Later, as the people of London celebrate the end of the war, Diana, her comrades, and Etta approach a picture of Steve on a memorial wall. The teary-eyed look on Diana's face as she mourns her fallen love is absolutely heartbreaking. Also, the photo of Steve shows him looking younger and happier than the world-weary man we were introduced to, making it clear just how badly the war affected him.
  • While Ares has her trapped, Diana looks over and sees Sameer, Chief, and Charlie, who are fighting the Germans to buy her and Steve time but have run out of ammunition. They clasp each other's arms in friendship and prepare to go down fighting. Fortunately, Diana defeats Ares and everyone stops fighting before it becomes necessary, but it's a very brief and heartfelt moment.
  • The realization that Ares actually wasn't behind World War I like Diana had assumed this whole time; sometimes humans can be bastards and the real monsters, cruel and destructive all on their own. This comes close to sending her into a nihilistic mindset before she's able to reconcile her feelings.
  • Ares by himself is a Tragic Villain, despite what Hippolyta said. He actually doesn't want to hurt Diana because they are siblings, and the Last of Their Kind. It also means that Diana wasn't destined to defeat him; she always had a choice, and she was never in the danger that Hippolyta feared. Instead he wants Diana's help to rebuild the world after wiping out humans, and to create a better paradise. It's not so much that Ares is evil but narrow-minded about humanity, in fact very similar to how Hippolyta feels. The difference is that Ares seeks to destroy, while Hippolyta seeks to protect her people. Diana seems to realize this as much when she tells him she decides to believe in love, and refuses to kill Dr. Poison. As Ares falls, she tells him sadly, "Goodbye, brother," before delivering the final blow.
  • Even though she was a unapologetic Mad Scientist and a war criminal, it's hard to not feel sorry for Dr. Poison when it looks like an enraged Diana is about to crush her with a tank while she is cowering in terror.
    • Not only that, but she initially tries to steel herself, to Face Death with Dignity. But then the winds peel away her prosthetic mask. Only then does she start to cower and visibly start wanting to cry. She so obviously wanted to at least be killed without anyone seeing her scars, but even that privilege was denied.
    • On top of this, it's Ares — who influenced/used her — who is encouraging Diana to slay her now that she's outlived her usefulness. And his pointing out that she is a symbol of humanity's inherent ugliness is an especially low blow given her situation.
  • The German Gas Mask Mooks removing their masks during the ending of the film, revealing many of them to be frightened, malnourished teenagers. This is Truth in Television, as many soldiers by the war's final stages were barely out of their teens, due to previous generations of young men having been annihilated by the war, and the movie had stated repeatedly that the Germans were low on supplies.

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report