Movie Review – Wonder Woman

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Image via Coming Soon

Rated PG-13

Directed by Patty Jenkins (Monster)

Written by Zack Snyder (300, Man of Steel), Allen Heinberg (Grey’s Anatomy), Jason Fuchs (Ice Age: Continental Drift)

Cinematography Matthew Jensen (Fantastic Four, Game of Thrones (3 episodes))

Music by Ruport Gregson-Williams (Click, Hacksaw Ridge)

Produced by Charles Roven (The Dark Knight, Man of Steel), Deborah Snyder (Watchmen, Suicide Squad), Richard Suckle (Fallen, American Hustle)

Starring Gal Gadot (Fast Five, Keeping Up with the Joneses), Chris Pine (Star Trek, Hell or High Water), Robin Wright (Forrest Gump, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Danny Huston (X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Robin Hood), David Thewlis (The Big Lebowski, Kingdom of Heaven), Connie Nielsen (Gladiator, The Devil’s Advocate), Elena Anaya (Van Helsing)


☆☆☆☆

If you are not a fan of Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice, than you will probably enjoy Wonder Woman. You can cast aside the deep, dark, and dreary ambiance in the movies that DC Comics has provided thus far. No multiple, splintering story lines and characters that we endure in Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice, where Batman, Lex Luther, and Wonder Woman are all introduced, and we’re not quite sure of the movie’s direction until the end, which leaves us wanting. Honestly, I came away thinking that the movie only was good because it had Batman; I’m just a sucker for any Batman flick.

Wonder Woman does not rely on the super heroes to carry it, nor the grandiose, cliché, end-of-the-world setting. It is just a good movie, and I think the best DC Comics (besides the Christopher Nolen Batman movies) has given us yet. Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman, Diana Prince) and Chris Pine (Steve Trevor) both turn in marvelous performances. The dialogue between the two is witty, humorous, serious, and moving throughout the film. There are some predictable elements and events that we see between Gadot and Pine, but we do get our share of surprises as well. To avoid any spoilers, I will remain vague as of what events I’m speaking. Now for a bit of the story.

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Image via Bleeding Cool

☆☆☆☆

The story begins with Diana Prince in the Louvre, receiving a mysterious package from Wayne Enterprises. Upon opening the package, we discover it is the photograph of Diana during World War I that we saw in Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Attached is a message from Bruce Wayne telling Prince that he’d like to hear her story some time. Now we get to hear it.

Daughter of Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen), queen of the Amazons on the island Themyscira, Diana Prince wants nothing more than to learn how to fight. The queen will have none of it, but Diana is determined and convinces her Aunt Antiope (Robin Wright) to train her. Antiope realizes and embraces Diana’s full potential, as Queen Hippolyta resists. According to Amazonian lore, the Greek god Zeus created man to be good and in his image. Unfortunately, his son Ares, the god of war, placed jealousy and envy into man, which caused man to fight and to kill each other. To counter, Zeus created the Amazons who were to be a good influence on man and bring about peace. Peace did not last long; however, as Ares killed every god but Zeus. In a last ditch effort, Zeus used the remainder of his power to wound Ares and hid the Amazonians on the island Themyscira while giving them a weapon to destroy Ares. Diana becomes fascinated with the stories her mother tells her, and determines to fight in a war someday. That day is swiftly approaching.

Enter Steve Trevor, an American spy whose plane crashes near Themyscira, accidentally discovering the island once hidden for so long. Diana rescues him from drowning, but he is not alone. German soldiers, hot on his trail, have discovered the island as well and end up killing numerous Amazonians before they are dispatched. Outraged, Queen Hippolyta demands of Trevor his purpose for being there. Once he explains his mission and the millions of deaths in “The Great War”, Diana insists that they must do something. She is convinced that Ares is behind the war and must be stopped.

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Image via Screen Rant

☆☆☆☆

That will have to do for the narration since I don’t want to give too much away. Wonder Woman told a good story, provided plenty of action, and left me satisfied. With so many super hero movies being pumped out from Marvel and DC, character development always seems to get put on the back burner when it is more entertaining to blow up buildings and throw cars around needlessly. The time spent in Themyscira gives us a great picture of Diana’s origins as a girl, and give us perspective on the woman she grows up to be. She is rebellious and spirited, but kind, and sees the best in others.  Steve Trevor seems to be making up for lost time. When Diana asks him why he fights in the war when he doesn’t want to, he says it’s because he spent a lot of time doing nothing. Both characters in the film have a greater purpose than just living on Themsyscira or just doing nothing. Will they find their purpose? Watch the movie and see.

I’m going to give Wonder Woman an 88%.

3 thoughts on “Movie Review – Wonder Woman

  1. Just saw it Saturday, and I’m glad you liked it! If I remember, you were pretty skeptical before. Weren’t we all? I still defend Man of Steel, but BvS was certainly a mess, and Suicide Squad just wasn’t good. Not only did Wonder Woman show us the DCEU can produce good movies, it was also a great story on its own!

    Here’s what I liked:
    – The fantasy/mythology elements
    – The acting from Gal Gadot (she did a great, though not perfect, job), Chris Pine (if people didn’t know it after Hell or High Water, yeah, he’s a dang good actor), David Thewlis, Lucy Davis, Connie Nielsen, and Robin Wright
    – The protagonists’ character development
    – The overall implementation of CGI (Some people are complaining about it, but I thought it was done well.)
    – The optimism! So refreshing.
    – The visual and thematic references to Richard Donner’s Superman and Captain America: The First Avenger
    – How the filmmakers didn’t make Diana powerful by surrounding her with idiotic men. The men were strong characters too.
    – How the filmmakers resisted the temptation to go political. They had so many chances and stayed away, unless you count Wonder Woman’s politically correct entourage.
    – The beautiful color palette, foregoing both the darkness of the other DCEU films and the blandness of most Marvel movies
    – The story really transports you rather than constantly being self-aware and trying too hard
    – Accurate representation of the original intent of Wonder Woman, when she was first created, without being too corny
    – The movie takes time, both through its cinematography and its story, to show us the characters and their world, to let us really see them and not just cut away constantly. The little moments count as much as the bigger moments.
    – The comedy is actually organic.
    – The personal, wonderfully balanced way Jenkins directed the movie
    – The WWI setting
    – The score, especially that Zeppelin-influenced Wonder Woman theme
    – The chemistry between Gadot and Pine
    – The fact that slo-mo was actually used effectively
    – How the pacing, though a not perfectly smooth, never either rushed or bored me
    – That battlefield scene in “No Man’s Land”
    – They succeeded in giving Diana a version of the original Wonder Woman costume without objectifying her.

    What I didn’t like:
    – The over-the-top evil but meh villainy of Danny Huston’s and Elena Anaya’s characters
    – The antagonists’ character development, or lack thereof, though that did allow other characters to breathe more
    – The scenes where greenscreen was just a bit too obvious
    – The superhero movie cliches, though done decently well
    – The lazy linguistics
    – The bait-and-switch way the red herring was handled
    – The third act was weaker than the very strong first two acts.

    This was everything I could have asked of a Wonder Woman movie and more, and it’s definitely a welcome shot in the arm for the DCEU.

    Liked by 1 person

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