“Wonder Woman” directed by Patty Jenkins with a script penned by Allan Heinberg and based off the iconic DC comic series of the same name revolves around Diana (Gal Gadot), a princess of the island Themyscira who after an encounter with WWI American Pilot Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), embarks on a journey out of her island home in a quest to stop the threat of Ares (David Thewlis) from corrupting mankind during the time of war as the titular hero Wonder Woman. The film also stars Connie Nielsen as Queen Hippolyta, Diana’s mother and Queen of the Amazons, Robin Wright as General Antiope. Diana’s aunt and mentor, Danny Huston as General Erich Ludendorff, a German Army General and antagonist, Elena Anaya as Doctor Poison a scientist working for Ludendorff who produces a lethal gas poison intended to harm lives, Lucy Davis as Etta Candy, Steve Trevor’s secretary and ally, Sameer (Saïd Taghmaoui), a multi-lingual secret agent, Charlie (Ewen Bremner), a PTSD-ridden alcoholic sharpshooter and Chief (Eugene Brave Rock) as a opportunist.
Going into this movie, I went in with low expectations. Having endured both Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad, we were presented with disjointed messes and unlikable characters, I can say that it isn’t the case so much for Wonder Woman. The pacing and script was certainly a lot better compared to past ventures resulting in an easily digestible film barring some cheesy dialogue during various points in the movie, especially during the first act. Gal Gadot has finally found and hit her stride when working with Patty Jenkins. She brings to life an idealistic superhero that embarks on a fantastic character arc and calls back to Christopher Reeve’s take in Richard Donner’s Superman. It even goes as far as given a subversive callback to a scene from that movie too.
One big standout was the unmistakable chemistry between Chris Pine and Gal Gadot. Both held their own on the big screen and both had decent story
arcs. The innuendos and humour highlighting the contrasting cultures and background had the whole theatre in laughter. Conversely, during the big emotional moments whether in action or not, they maintained that chemistry and both learned from each other and grew during the movie. Going further on the topic of contrast, set design whether you were on Themyscira, London or the front lines and the use of colour in certain scenes should also be praised here and were rather impressive and kept you immersed. The DCEU films have had a tricky history when it comes to colour filters and always maintaining this dour look, it isn’t really the case here, and comparisons can be drawn to Captain America: The First Avenger.
I also enjoyed the team aspect of the movie. This worked a lot better here than it did than I expected it too and everyone got to shine the way they rightfully should and both Gadot and Pine played off of them just right. I only wished that we could have seen a little more toward the end from Etta Candy, Sameer, Charlie and Chief. It would have been really nice to see a sort of “goodbye scene” with the rest of the supporting cast of this movie thus giving a sort of closure to the character arcs of the survivors including Diana herself rather than the abrupt ending to this over-extended flashback. It is unfortunately unlikely, given the setting and likelihood that Wonder Woman 2 may set itself in present time where all of these respective characters are likely to be passed away by now.
I can’t talk about a superhero movie as big as this without talking about the action. As seen with the visual aesthetic, the action also proved itself to be quite immersive especially right when the music kicks in. Fine examples of this include the first act fight between the Amazons and the invading German forces. Everyone had a real chance to show off their prowess Amazon or not. It was also the same during the second act action whereby Wonder Woman went into the front lines fighting the German forces. The third act climax with Ares however plays out how you think it would in a movie like this with a villain like this in the form of a deity. One gripe I do have however is that in every action scene within this movie, there seems to be at least one moment where slow-mo is used. Sometimes it’s good especially during the trench fight and the first act Amazon vs. German fight however it became a little too gratuitous.
Overall, Wonder Woman proved itself to be a breath of fresh air to the troubled franchise that was the DCEU with many things done right and some more room to grow. The characters proved themselves to be likable and funny with immersive action and visual look to back it up. Let’s bring on the inevitable sequel!