Why Steve Trevor is the Quintessential Movie Boyfriend
It’s not an easy feat to play the male counterpart to a female as heroic and iconic as Wonder Woman, but man does Chris Pine deliver as Captain Steve Trevor. Not only do I need to talk about my new non-superhero boyfriend, but I need to talk about the captivating chemistry between Steve and Diana. So let’s dive right in (pun intended).
When we first meet Captain Trevor, he’s crash landed a stolen plane in the blue seas of Themyscira, otherwise known as Paradise Island. Having witnessed the crash, Diana fishes Steve out of the sea, and comes face to face with a man for the very first time. Imagine never seeing a man before and the first one you lay your eyes on looks like Chris Pine, which would undoubtedly lead you to set the highest of standards for men. AND THOSE BABY BLUE EYES. Looks aside, Steve instantly proves himself as “the good guy” when he helps the strong, fearless, beautiful women of Themyscira take on the Germans who have invaded the beach. Still weary of their unwelcome guest, Queen Hippolyta of Paradise Island, otherwise known as Diana’s mother, orders they wrap him in the lasso of truth and demand to know who he is and why he has come to their happy home. I must admit Steve handled this situation much better than I would have, considering the lasso isn’t exactly pleasant and he is still absorbing his current surroundings. He answers their questions honestly—thanks to the lasso—and Chris Pine has wonderful comedic timing throughout this scene.
We later see Steve in the healing pools, looking both puzzled and amazed as Diana enters. This was easily one of the best scenes in the film and beautifully displays the effortless chemistry between these two gorgeous individuals, despite knowing very little about one another. The two have friendly banter and are curious about the other’s background, all while making heart eyes at one another. Basically this scene can be summed up in two words: ABOVE AVERAGE.
After their discussion and Diana’s own motivations, she decides to leave Paradise Island with Steve and have him lead her to the frontlines of WWI. Even though this leaves Steve a bit baffled, he agrees and the two share a few more intimate moments aboard the ship. Steve—ever the gentleman—creates a makeshift bed for Diana to get some sleep and she offers the spot next him which he initially declined. The two have a chat about what it means to be married and how men aren’t necessary when it comes to pleasure—taking a bit of wind out of Steve’s sails. Even though the latter is an accurate statement, it’s very clear these two are becoming quite fond of each other. Not that we blame either side, they truly are two beautiful individuals, inside and out.
Once they arrive in London, it’s evident that Diana’s attire is going to draw a lot of attention and Steve has his lovely secretary Etta pick out a more subdued outfit. Steve even manages to pick out some nice threads for himself, adding impeccable style to the list of reasons to love this man. It’s important to note all of Steve’s attire throughout the film is incredible and makes him one of the most stylish men in the superhero universe.
After their change in wardrobe, Steve needs to get Dr. Poison’s journal into the right hands before he can lead Diana to the battlefield, as this could turn the tides of the war. Dr. Poison is a Spanish chemist recruited by German General Ludendorff who wants to use her significant skills to create a deadly poisonous gas to lead the Germans to victory. In order to stop this from happening, they pick up a few of Steve’s friends along the way, a comical and slightly skeptical bunch in Diana’s presence. Then it’s off to the frontlines as Steve is a man of his word and it is here where Diana truly shines as her alter ego Wonder Woman. She storms No Man’s Land as she is in fact a woman and is stronger and more capable of doing what no man could, and proves why Steve would unquestioningly follow her into battle. The two fight side by side and it’s beautiful to witness both Diana’s sheer power and Steve’s willingness to trust her and let her take the lead, something that is rare to see—especially in that time period. He not only assists this powerful and fearless woman, but begins to understand the depths of her abilities. Together, along with his very capable companions, they are able to rescue a village of innocent bystanders.
That evening they take some time to enjoy themselves and indulge a little, Steve having to be nudged away from his duties as he is worried what tomorrow may bring for the rag tag team. Wartime has made Steve a bit cynical and guarded, and it’s nice to see him let down his guard a bit around Diana. Plus any man you don’t have to force to dance is most definitely a keeper! He delights Diana with a slow dance—or swaying as she likes to call it—and the two grow even more intimate. While it’s insinuated that Diana and Steve spend the night together, we aren’t shown much outside of a tender kiss and I think it makes it all the more romantic. We know Diana and Steve have impeccable chemistry and the pair make an excellent team, so there’s no need to show much more than that on screen. Plus we already got a glimpse of ALMOST ALL of Steve, a product of 6 months of hard work from Chris Pine which is more than appreciated.
After the dynamic duo spends a special evening together, things get a bit messy. Diana is convinced General Ludendorff is really Ares the God of War in disguise, and will do everything in her power to stop his reign of terror. When Steve stops her from taking a swipe at him with her sword—in the middle of a party they crashed filled with German soldiers I might add—the repercussions are too much for Diana to bear. General Ludendorff releases the poisonous gas, created by none other than Dr. Poison herself, and it decimates the villagers whom Diana and company had just saved not even 24 hours prior. Beside herself and furious with Steve for stopping her efforts to take down General Ludendorff, she charges after him on her own.
Here is where I think Steve really shines. He could have easily wasted time explaining to her why she couldn’t stab General Lundendorff in the middle of a crowded party or stopped her for fear that she would be injured or killed. He did none of that. Instead, he directed her towards the General’s location and followed after her. Its apparent Steve has fallen for Diana but he sets aside his own ego and selfishness and allows her to do what needs to be done. More than that, he has faith that she is the right woman for the job. It’s refreshing to see a man wholeheartedly supporting a woman and by no means holding her back, all while being a true ally by her side. In this moment, I believe Steve deems himself worthy of Diana’s love and respect.
To no one’s surprise, Diana channels her alter ego Wonder Woman and is able to defeat General Lundendorff. However, Diana is deeply saddened and angered by the fact that the General did not appear to be Ares and that the war didn’t immediately end upon his death. In one of the most sincere and touching moments in any superhero franchise—and in any film in general—Steve tries his absolute best to explain why killing one man won’t end the war. He believes that all mankind is to blame for their actions and for ruthlessly killing one another, and even holds himself accountable. Despite human beings and all their flaws, Steve begs Diana to help him stop Dr. Poison from releasing her treacherous gas and brutally killing hundreds of innocent people. She refuses as she had now seen the dark side of mankind and the many flaws in man, and Steve tells her he has no choice but to stop Dr. Poison himself.
As Steve and his comrades find a way into the compound, Diana is joined by a God—but not the one she was planning on coming face to face with. It appears the God of Truth had been scheming in the shadows and giving General Lundendorff and Dr. Poison the tools they needed to cause mass destruction. He believes man deserves to perish at the hands of each other and desperately tries to convince Diana to leave mankind to its doom. They engage in a bit of fisticuffs—as Etta would say—and for a moment it seems Diana may be overpowered by this reckless God.
High above this fight for the good of man,kind Steve is fighting a different type of battle. In order to save the day, he has decided to destroy all the vials of poisonous gas where no innocents will be harmed—all innocents excluding himself. Making the ultimate sacrifice, Diana watches in horror as the plane Steve is piloting explodes before her very eyes. With no hope of survival, Steve’s apparent death fuels Diana and gives her the strength to overpower the God of Truth and reminds her that men are worth saving.
In an emotional flashback to moments earlier, we see Steve say his goodbyes to Diana—which she initially does not hear due to a large explosion that temporarily knocks out her hearing—and he informs her that while he can save today, she can save the world. He endearingly hands over his watch and let’s Diana know he loves her before he chases down the plane filled with deadly gas. He momentarily pauses when he hears her yell after him, but ultimately knows he is making the right decision for the greater good. Although their romance was short lived, it’s one that will forever change the way we view a romance subplot in superhero films for years to come.
While Diana has all the attributes, abilities, and attitude to be a hero, Steve undoubtedly played a role in her becoming Wonder Woman. The special bond these two share shaped both of their lives for the better and brought out the best qualities in each another. Through him, she learned that mankind is capable of love, loyalty, and leadership. Through her, he learned that compassion, courageousness, and cheerfulness could still exist in a war-torn world. They challenged each other to be the best versions of themselves and portrayed a healthy romantic relationship.
I can only hope we see more Steve Trevors, not just in superhero films but in any film genre. It’s refreshing to see a love interest that is a three-dimensional character and has their own storyline outside of their significant other. May other films should follow suit, no matter the gender of their love interest.
So I end this by saying thank you to Chris Pine for bringing Steve Trevor to life with beauty and grace, and giving us all the ultimate movie boyfriend of our dreams!
Photo Credit: Warner Bros