Weekend Superhero: Wondering about WONDER WOMAN

 Gal Gadot Wonder Woman

Weekend Superhero: Wondering about Wonder Woman

The third “Wonder Woman” trailer was released last week, and I’ve been hearing more of the same from fans-in-denial.

The third “Wonder Woman” trailer was released last week, and I’ve been hearing more of the same from fans-in-denial.

“It looks like fun!”

“Not as dark as the other DC movies.”

“It looks like it’ll be much better than ‘Batman v Superman’.”

Honestly, I can’t disagree with any of those knee-jerk reactions (except maybe the first one). However, I’m also not particularly enthused by any of them. While I admit to a mild interest in a female-led superhero movie, that’s not enough of a draw to make me blind to the shortcomings I see in this – and all – of the “Wonder Woman” trailers.

I saw an article recently in which a producer of “Wonder Woman” talked about how they wanted to avoid the cliche of the origin story in this movie. Origin story fatigue is real, and it’s nice that producers are picking up on that. However, this trailer seems to contradict that statement a little. It opens with Diana Prince as a little girl being shown the greatest weapon of her people. It’s then followed by a brief montage of her training as she gets older. That’s kind of what an origin story is.

Sure, the whole movie won’t be an origin story, but the origin is going to be present and it’s surely going to take up a good chunk of time. Or, they’ll gloss over the origin and it’ll feel slapped together and unnecessary, like Batman’s origin in “BvS”.

So what’s the big deal if the origin story is present for 10 or 20 minutes? Not everybody is as familiar with Diana Prince as they are with Bruce Wayne, so it may help to actually have that background. But this ties in to a larger issue that I’m worried about, which is how much time will this movie actually cover?

In the previous trailers, it was clear that the movie would start on Themyscira and then shift to the modern world. On Themyscira, Diana would meet Steve Trevor, he’d learn about the Amazons, and then Diana would learn that the rest of the world needs help and agree to help Steve. Once off Themyscira, there’d be a series of probably groan-worthy fish-out-of-water scenes featuring Diana acclimating to a weird culture. The danger would rear its head, then Diana would blow everyone away by donning her outfit and beating the Hell out of the enemy.

That in itself would take up a feature-length movie. Now we have to consider they are going to try and squeeze scenes of Diana’s childhood into the mix as well. Immediately, I get flashbacks of “Man of Steel”, which felt like an overly long movie trailer because it was so sloppily edited. On top of that, we are going to need some scenes that the villain gaining power, as all superhero movies need a good antagonist.

Perhaps I’m cynical, but Warner Bros has not proven to me that they can handle all these moving parts with any sort of grace. Marvel could handle this task easily. In fact, they did in “Guardians of the Galaxy”. But given the track record of DC, paired with the general style they have molded these films to be like, I just don’t have faith that all these elements are going to come together smoothly. Either they will touch all of them, but in a rushed manner and with no real depth, or they’ll just forget some and the plot will feel incomplete (again, like “BvS”).

For arguments’ sake, let’s say the story comes together really well. The other big thing that people are pointing out is the action. Much is made of how much brighter “Wonder Woman” looks to the other DC movies, and it’s true. I agree that I can see all the action in the trailers thus far. Unfortunately, what I’m seeing looks totally generic and more of the same loud, ugly CGI destruction I’ve already gotten from DC. It’s not enough to increase the brightness of the picture; we also need to see some creativity in the action.

Finally, and I may truly be alone on this, but I don’t like Gal Gadot in this role. I didn’t like her in “BvS” because her ESL skills were subpar, and I’m just hearing more of the same in these trailers. She has great physicality, but her acting chops just don’t look to be up to snuff. Maybe seeing the compete performance will surprise me, but I am incredibly wary going in to this.

Will “Wonder Woman” be better than “Batman v Superman”? Almost certainly; I mean, not many things can be worse. “Suicide Squad” tried really hard to be worse, but failed even in that task. I think “Wonder Woman” has a 60% Rotten Tomatoes score written all over, which would be a massive success for WB and DC.

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About the author

Nick DeNitto

Nick DeNitto graduated with Honors from Adelphi University. He began writing movie reviews in middle school and has worked tirelessly to mold his own unique critical voice. He is currently affiliated with the National Board of Review and hopes that one day he is remembered as “The People’s Film Critic.”

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