Wonder Woman tells the origin story of the beloved lasso-wielding, Amazonian Princess Diana as she journeys with American pilot, Steve Trevor as they attempt to stop the “War To End All Wars.” Wonder Woman stars Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Elena Anaya and is directed by Patty Jenkins (Monster).
My Thoughts On The Characters And Story
There are only a handful of new releases that make me wildly excited to write a review on. Saying a final goodbye to Logan certainly gave me that excitement as well as the marveling Japanese anime, Your Name – Another addition to this list is this year’s big screen adaptation of Wonder Woman because this film is fan-fucking-tastic. Now as I have mentioned with other reviews in the superhero/comic book realm, I am one of those people that enjoys well-made films of that genre regardless of which studio is behind it. There are certain superhero flicks that are in the “Top Tier” of films in the genre that feature a riveting narrative, developed characters and incredible action – Such examples may include The Dark Knight, The Avengers, X-Men: Days Of Future Past, Logan, Deadpool (to some) and my personal favourite, Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2. In this day and age, we have the growing popularity that is the glorious Cinematic Universe that features multiple installments of a property in hopes that they reach some semblance of the peak that the aforementioned Top Tier have managed to reach.
When dealing with the two monstrous Cinematic Universes (Marvel‘s MCU and Warner Bros.‘ DCEU), I enjoy certain MCU films although they are far from perfect. Currently with the DCEU, Man Of Steel was great whereas Batman V Superman had its flaws but wasn’t terrible and Suicide Squad was… hm. With this brilliantly Patty Jenkins-directed installment to the universe, I am finally psyched to see where it is headed and add it to my personal list of Top Tier films in the superhero genre.
Gal Gadot‘s portrayal of Wonder Woman was one of my favourite aspects to last year’s BvS and I thoroughly enjoyed her performance in this standalone. Her chemistry with Chris Pine and everyone really was charming and absolutely hysterical at times. As Diana is (in essence) a time traveling fish-out-of-water, seeing her experience life in the early 20th Century and the unintentionally funny observations made by her is executed in a way where the humour is genuinely well done. There was not one moment where I found myself rolling my eyes at the attempts at humour because it added to the sequences rather than hindering them – A common mistake a number of big screen superhero adaptations seemingly have.
Patty Jenkins’ remark on Wonder Woman essentially sums up my overall feelings of her:
“The greatest thing about Wonder Woman is how good and kind and loving she is, yet none of that negates any of her power.”
The genuine good and unbelievable power instilled in Diana allows her character to have the emotional range commonly associated with other beloved cinematic characters. She is developed wonderfully in the film and although Gadot’s performance isn’t flawless, she embodies Wonder Woman. The heart, the strength, the laughter, Gal Gadot is a fantastic WW. All the secondary characters she works off of are brilliant as well, particularly Lucy Davis who came out of nowhere to steal my heart as Etta Candy, the lovably loyal secretary to Steve.
Expanding on the emotional aspect of the film, it actually got me once or twice right in the cold, dark depths of my heart. Because of how well Gadot and Pine work off each other, their relationship develops naturally throughout the film and when the right notes hit, they hit hard. The spectacular action sequences were immensely enhanced because of the emotion you felt for these characters which I will address a bit further down in this review.
Danny Huston and Elena Anaya (who portrayed a character named Doctor Poison, obviously the saviour of the story) were serviceable antagonists, nothing too special or crazy. I appreciated the mask on Dr. Poison as it reminded me of Jack Huston‘s stint on Boardwalk Empire. I will also forever associate Danny Huston with the jazz loving axe murderer on the third season of American Horror Story so there’s that…
Fun Fact! Wikipedia has informed me that Danny Huston is Jack’s uncle. They just can’t get away from those masks, man.
How Were The Other Aspects Of ‘Wonder Woman’?
My biggest gripe with the film was probably the German soldiers insisting on speaking English to each other when German-speaking/English subtitles could have sufficed. There were instances where characters spoke another language and subtitles were utilized so that’s a simple nitpick. The usage of slo-mo also could have been turned down a smidgen. MILD SPOILER I’ll keep this as vague as I can: a final nitpick I had was during the final sequence when one character spoke normally while the antagonist was shouting at the top of his lungs because it is a battle. You have to shout to communicate! END MILD SPOILER
That’s pretty much all the cons I have with it. As mentioned before, the action sequences were remarkably well done. Jenkins’ direction placed emphasis on where it should be placed and there are specifically two sequences that stood out the most involving No Man’s Land and a small village where a sniper was at play. There is a superb rewatchability factor for these action sequences, I wish a few clips were on YouTube right now because I loved them… The only way to enhance these scenes were to include the perfect musical score and holy dickens, was the score for this thing ridiculously good.
For all that I felt about BvS, when we were given that introduction to Wonder Woman during that abomination of the Doomsday scene and Junkie XL’s magnificently composed da na na naaa na na happened holy SHIT I felt goosebumps. Honestly watching this clip again almost makes me want to watch Batman v Superman again… Almost:
The inclusion of her theme with its various incarnations are woven throughout the film and I frigging adore when a film has that – a theme or official song that has certain beats you hear throughout the film. I really didn’t have any wild expectations going into this and I left unbelievably surprised in the best possible way.
If you’re a fan of a well-made superhero flick and want to see a virtual perfect blend of humour, badassness and heart, check out Wonder Woman.
It will have you feeling like Gal Gadot perfecting the lazy dance:
Wonder Woman receives 4.5/5 Matt Damon heads.