I don’t think you can find a review or written piece about "Wonder Woman" (2017) that doesn’t take a moment, or more, to rave about the No Man’s Land scene. Every successful movie has that one awe-inspiring, breathtaking scene that everyone has to talk about. It was That Scene.
Not only is it visually glorious, but No Man’s Land is also beautifully symbolic. There’s the straightforward, in-universe fact that “no man can cross it”. In this instance, “man” simply means “human” and “mankind”. No mortal man can cross this battlefield. Diana can because she’s not man. She’s a goddess. From a writing standpoint, it’s a genius way to convey that storyline. Jenkins is bringing together character, setting, and plot to create a scene that’s both poignant and epic.
Take it out of the context of the story, and you have a much deeper meaning. No Man’s Land is crossed by a woman, a female superhero. It’s symbolic of the movie and its place in modern media. The first female-led superhero movie… within a genre dominated by men and within an industry dominated by men. "Wonder Woman" crossed that threshold and had booming success. Contrast this with recent superhero movies ranging from lukewarm to complete flops, especially within DCEU, and you have a strong comparison to the scene itself.
The LA Times penned an article about how this scene brought tears to many people’s eyes, and they really hit home…
Witnessing a woman hold the field, and the camera, for that long blew open an arguably monotonous genre. We didn’t need a computer-generated tree or a sassy raccoon to change the superhero game; what we needed was a woman.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the "Guardians of the Galaxy" revival technique, but you can’t turn every superhero film into a rocker space comedy. Thor Ragnarok barely managed it, and they only did because that story easily lends itself to a comedic spin.
I’ve been pretty vocal about my distaste for superhero movies in the past, and I honestly still hold that opinion. For instance, there are way too many superhero TV shows on the air right now. It’s an over-saturation of the same cookie-cutter plots.
Yet, "Wonder Woman" is easily one of my favorite films of the year. Why? Because it took a stale genre, and instead of simply adding in cool music and ample one-liners, it managed to make a beautiful, fresh superhero movie that doubles as a spectacular war film.