While Wonder Woman shouldn’t be viewed as a tentpole franchise that is here to right all of the (alleged) previous wrongs of DC, the harsh truth is a lot is riding on its shoulders in terms of its box office success as well as the general acceptance from the public in order to help thrust DC’s movie installments back on the right path forward to compete with Marvel. In short, Wonder Woman delivered on these hopes and expectations and more!
FULL DISCLOSURE: I liked Batman vs Superman and easily forgave Suicide Squad b/c of WB meddling with its vision.
Gal Gadot embodies Diana Prince perfectly as she encounters Capt. Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) who serves as her window into the world outside of Themiscyra during a time where the world is at war. Diana and the Amazonians know this to be the work of Ares, the God of War, who they have sworn to protect the world from and so Diana embarks on a journey to the frontlines of the war in an effort to face him head on. The film handles the concept of war and man’s motivations for power in terms of how Diana understands them exceptionally well because to her it is very black and white; find Ares, stop the war, but in truth it is far more complicated than that.
The best aspect the film is its pacing. Wonder Woman spends the perfect amount of time explaining the backstory of not only Diana but the Amazonian way of life while then quickly moving into the modern world during the first World War in which Diana is having to rapidly comprehend. From there, the frontlines seeing firsthand the devastation it has caused, to the hunt for Ares and so on and so forth. All of this to say, Patty Jenkins, the director, did an excellent job knowing just how much time to dwell in each major setting which helps avoid any bogging down of the plot.
What also struck me as well done was the casting. From Hippolyta (Connie Neilson), Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), Ludendorf (Danny Huston), Gal Gadot to Ares himself, the cast is solid from top to bottom which is major because such indecisions can make or break a film of this magnitude and with this much pressure to succeed. Each brings their own gifts and perspectives to their characters and truly shine when interacting with Gadot’s Diana, which not enough good things can be said about her as the main heroine. Obviously we have already seen her in Batman vs Superman, but it had remained to be seen if she could carry an entire film by herself. Put all doubt to rest because Gadot was fantastic.
I would have to say that the only knock on Wonder Woman would be it’s use of CGI early on in the film. Please take that statement with a grain of salt because it’s not badly executed CGI it is just noticeable in the film which is the opposite of what you want to see. However, where the CGI truly shines is at the climax between Wonder Woman and Ares. Trust me, I’m not giving anything away.
Wonder Woman needs to be seen and marks the step in the right direction for future installments of DC and their heroes. This could not have come at a better time before Justice League is released in November. If it delivers, then I think we will have an interesting race to the top between both DC and Marvel going forward. Wonder Woman has a lot riding on its shoulders and while the critics seemed to love it the public acceptance is still a major aspect that matters once it’s released. Time will tell if that indeed does occur, but for now rest assured that Wonder Woman is an exceptionally well executed superhero film in which much is asked from the titular hero and much is delivered. This is a summer must-see!
WONDER WOMAN – 4 GARYS