Movies: Wonder Woman Review
Plans for a Wonder Woman movie were put on the shelf in favor of Superman and Batman despite her being a major staple in the DC Comics roster. However, 2017 has delivered a long-anticipated film that promised to bring Wonder Woman back into the fold. Here is my (mostly) spoiler-free review of the recent release: Wonder Woman.
The film explores the origin of Wonder Woman before her appearance in Dawn of Justice. We see Diana in her home of Themyscira, the home of the Amazons, growing up alongside her mother, the Amazon Queen. Circumstances arise from the outside world during World War I that force Diana to make a choice which could change the course of history.The film relies on exposition more than you might expect, which may not be for everyone. However, the action scenes are beautifully shot and showcase the awesome power in Wonder Woman's hands. Tastefully applied comic relief follows pacing to a T and does not diminish the action or themes within the film. Wonder Woman touches on the issues of misogyny and the violent nature of humanity without delving too deeply into the subject for better or worse. A superhero movie, especially from DC, should include some of the moral and existential questions that fans expect from their universe. It is the opinion of this writer than they could have done more and explored these themes, and others, with greater depth. In spite of this, the plot does not suffer greatly.
Gal Gadot reprises her Dawn of Justice role as the titular heroine and does so without missing a beat. Her interpretation of the role does Diana justice; Gadot has fantastic presence and poise, incredible fight choreography, great chemistry with co-star Chris Pine, and faithfully represents the forceful, yet still gentle personality of Wonder Woman. Chris Pine co-stars as Steve Trevor, which fans of the comic will note as her love interest. He gives a more than competent performance in the role; Trevor shows that your average human can still get it done in a universe of superheroes with a little grit and elbow grease. Connie Nielsen, Danny Huston and David Thewlis, along with the rest of the star-studded cast, give great performances in their respective roles.
CGI and special effects feature seamlessly during massive battles, blending finesse with chaos. The Amazons, Wonder Woman, included, fight like madwomen; flips, spins, and multi-kills galore punctuate a disciplined force from antiquity with flair and style. Wonder Woman's dismantling of foes, human or otherwise, establishes her as a major power in the universe. Props and lighting help to firmly establish Wonder Woman as the hero she is; her bright colors and shining armor among the backdrop of brown palette trenches and mud portray her as a cut above the muck and grime.One complaint this writer has is with the ending sequences, where the use of special effects becomes much more apparent to the viewer. This causes entertainment quality to diminish in the final battle, the sudden change catching viewers off guard. Some of the effects, such as Diana's speed and bracers, become almost cartoony in some cases. This film is far from low-budget, so what was the reason for this poor quality? Despite this sequence, visuals were largely pleasant.
It is in the opinion of this writer that Wonder Woman is the best DC release in recent years. Zach Snyder, the producer of Wonder Woman, suffers a great deal of criticism for some of his previous offerings in the DC universe. Regardless of your thoughts about his past work, he and his crew, including director Patty Jenkins, have created an excellent movie, and one that does the world's most famous heroine justice.
What Comes Next
Excitement should be buzzing for other future DC releases; upcoming films include the much anticipated Justice League, a few films on other major heroes, and the potential for a new Batman trilogy with standout performer Ben Affleck reprising his role as the Dark Knight are on the horizon in the years to come. If DC can find more winning formulas as they did with Wonder Woman, it could lead to a cinema resurgence for some of our favorite heroes.Curious about some of the other movies coming out in 2017? Click here to learn about more recently released or upcoming titles!