Wonder Woman Review
Wonder Woman (2017) Film Review, a movie directed by Patty Jenkins, and starring Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Connie Nielsen, Robin Wright, Danny Huston, Elena Anaya, Lucy Davis, Said Taghmaoui, Ewen Bremner, Eugene Brace Rock, and David Thewlis.
DC hasn’t had a good track record for successful superhero movies since launching the DCEU, but their latest entry Wonder Woman has turned that around for the better. Director Patty Jenkins does what no other DC film has done before, which Is creating a definitive comic book film based on a female superhero. Not only has she crafted a superhero film with a strong female lead, but she also has made a film with the core comic book standards. Wonder Woman represents justice and heart while making it into a pure American film.
Gal Gadot takes stride in her role as Diana Prince after her stellar debut in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. We witness her humble beginnings as an Amazonian warrior living among her kind in her homeland of Themyscria, which looks gorgeous on screen with it’s luscious locales and colorful landscape. She lives under the protection of her mother, Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen) while training under the tutelage of her aunt General Antiope (Robin Wright). Diana aims to become a warrior like her aunt but goes against her mother’s wishes. Everything changes for her when a US pilot and spy Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) crashes into her island with Germans on his tail. The huge battle between swords and guns takes place on the beach with some casualties, bringing outside influences into her home.
Diana learns of her family’s history that mankind’s atrocities are influenced by Ares, the God of War. Knowing that the world is at war, Diana joins Steve in the fight in order to find and kill Ares. Heading to London, Diana gets a culture shock when she learns of the customs of living among humans, especially women’s roles during World War I. Along the way, Diana, Steve, and his team try to thwart German General Ludendorff’s (Danny Huston) plans to bring the world at his knees with help from scientist Doctor Poison (Elena Anaya). What transpires is a film about identity, hope and female empowerment.
Wonder Woman stands out in the superhero genre with its early 20th Century setting and Gal Gadot’s electrifying performance. Blending fantasy with historical fiction, Patty Jenkins delivers a well-balanced film. She also manages to put some humor in Diana’s integration into modern society. Gal Gadot handles the facades of being a woman that are normal by showing concern over victims of war and fighting for what’s right while showing maternal instincts whenever she sees an infant. Her little knowledge of the real world is appealing but it’s not her Achilles’ heel.
Chris Pine does what he can as Steve Trevor, Diana’s partner and love interest. Without sidestepping, Pine gets to portray his character with the tough and classy attitude that works for the film. His chemistry with Gal Gadot is uncanny with their squabbles and comments on the human anatomy. Pine also showcases Steve as a hero who has courage and is willing to sacrifice for the good of mankind, which inspires Gadot to become the heroine that the world needs.
The visuals on Wonder Woman become the one of the film’s greatest strengths as well as one of its flaws. The highlight of the film is when we see Diana walking into the trenches of No Man’s Land with nothing but her signature outfit, sword, and shield. We see her deflecting bullets off her bracelets in order to keep her team safe. It’s a powerful scene as Diana defies the etiquette of war by going staring into the battlefield and fighting in a territory that men won’t enter. The film does falter in the third act when the CGI gets overloaded in the final battle between Diana and Ares. It often feels a little bloated with the explosions, making it more of a distraction from what’s going on in the epic fight between the two immortals.
Even the villains seem to be much more isolated and disjointed from the action, which focuses more on Diana learning about the costs of war than dealing with militarists. The film does spend a disputed amount of time with Steve’s old team, a bunch of lively and amusing scoundrels who add nothing to the story except for some comic relief. However, they do give Diana a sense of what it’s like to be human. The film also suffer in the end with it’s heavy action and the silly notion that Diana figures out that love is what will drive her to victory.
Overall, Wonder Woman’s strengths lies on its lead actors, period setting, and an unanticipated emotional quality that one doesn’t get in a comic book film. The movie gets the tone right for a DC film but at the same time, it isn’t like DC’s previous slate of films. It builds on creating the perfect origin story for Wonder Woman, showing us that a woman can rise to become a warrior and inspire others to follow her example. The film represents the direction that this cinematic universe should be going towards. DC should take note of how well this film was put together for their next line of films. For now, it’s a big win for a franchise that is in need of one. Wonder Woman is a defining cinematic treat from start to finish, which helps it stand out from other superhero films that tend to worry more about what’s in store for the future rather than the story itself.
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