Review: Wonder Woman

Nevertheless, she persisted. 

We've already met Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) in Batman v Superman but in her solo film we see her as Diana, a princess in her hidden land of warrior women called Themyscira. They're sworn to protect man from Ares, the God of war. When a WWI pilot, Steve (Chris Pine) breaches their barrier and washes up on shore. Diane goes with him to help save innocent lives after he tells her of the Great War. 

DCEU finally has a film on their hands that isn't a complete trainwreck, and that feels good. But am I going to lose a little blogger cred here if I say that I didn't like all of it? Don't get me wrong. The majority of this film is amazing. The first time we see Diana dawn her costume, walk into "No Man's Land" solo, with her perfect theme music picking up at just the right moment was masterful. I couldn't believe how emotional I felt watching it. It was stunning, I thought I was actually going to cry for a minute, but the climatic fight scene at the end is horrendous. They had elegant and strangely gorgeous fight choreography through out, but the 3rd act sacrifices all that to special effects that don't live up. I'm actually shocked that something so bad happened in a film that was so good right up until that moment.

Thankfully, that's not enough to sour the movie. Gal Gadot really captures Diana's naivety. Whether she's seeing a baby or tasting ice cream for the first time, it's so sincere to witness. Because of that, I couldn't really get behind her and Steve's eventual romance. Or at least one part of it. It just felt strange. Pine does a good job too. He's an actor I always find easy to watch. The supporting cast is diverse and fun, with the exception of David Thewlis for reasons I can't really get into without spoiling. But most of all, I'm so happy for director Patty Jenkins. She hasn't directed a feature since 2003 and she opened this one to 100 million. Now that's wonderful.

I think it's a testament to how great comic book movies can be when they make us love characters we didn't when reading said comic books. I never liked Wonder Woman until now. Just like I didn't care about Iron Man until Robert Downey Jr. stepped into his shoes. Gadot and that glorious theme music will make me root for her from here on out.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B+

Memorable Quote: "Well...that's neat." - Steve Trevor (Chris Pine)

28 comments:

  1. Great review!

    I'm with you on not really digging WW till now, but go ahead and put me down as a huge fan (well, as long as Gadot is playing her anyway).

    You are totally on target with the climactic battle being the lamest of the bunch...buttttt I still loved it. I guess there's no poetry when two gods are just kicking the shit out of each other.

    "He's an actor I always find easy to watch." Hahaha...hmmm. About that...

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    1. I mean, Pine is a good looking dude lol. He did feel like he was just playing the less womanizing version of Captain Kirk, which I was okay with because I love Star Trek.

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  2. "The first time we see Diana dawn her costume, walk into "No Man's Land" solo, with her perfect theme music picking up at just the right moment was masterful"

    I actually found this moment rather problematic as it seems to show that a superhero was the impetus for the British Army (and fellow allies) to go over top. The film kinda pushed aside the bravery of the millions of servicemen who lost their lives, and failed to acknowledge them either as a critical part in the war (yet did acknowledge their suffering). It’s depiction of WW1 being a good vs evil war it greatly at odds of the ambiguity of the actual war where there isn’t a clear good vs evil narrative.

    I haven’t seen the first Captain American for seven years, but I don’t recall Captain American having an effect on a real battle (correct me if I am wrong) hence I didn’t have a problem with it.
    I enjoyed the film, and liked Gal Gadot in the role, and I found myself engaged emotionally in the film even if the central narrative had a few problems

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    1. When you put it that way, yeah, I definitely see your POV. That's a very good point that I didn't consider.

      In The First Avenger, they showed Steve fighting alongside soldiers but he didn't take control of any battle until he dealt with Red Skull face to face IIRC.

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  3. I didn't care much for Wonder Woman either but this film totally changed my mind. I loved the climatic fight scene but there was too much effects involved and there was something about it that reminded me why I never really enjoy Snyder's movies. But it was about time for DC to wake up and I'm glad they did it with a movie about a woman and directed by a woman.

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    1. I couldn't take Ares seriously. That was also the only part of the film for me that truly felt like Snyder, allergic to daylight and what not. lol

      Yes for Patty Jenkins. I'm so happy for her.

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  4. This was the breath of fresh air DC needed for their Extended Universe. I thought Gadot was one of the best things about Batman v Superman and she was only better here. I agree with you that the No Man's Land scene was wonderful. It is easily one of my favorite action sequences this year. Great review, Brittani!

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    1. She was THE best thing about BvS, IMO. I'm glad DC has this too. I may like Marvel better but I take no pleasure in DCEU's failings.

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  5. A huge yes to your thoughts on the final battle. Like you, I still really enjoyed the rest of the film. And Gadot killed it!

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    1. She did! I was like you too in the sense that I worried about her acting, because she doesn't exactly have a lot of range, but she was good.

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  6. Oh my God I loved Steve and Diana! That felt very believable to me that they would fall for each other and their dynamics with them disagreeing on several things was very interesting to watch. I did cry during No Man's Land scene. It was just so triumphant

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    1. It's strange how emotional that scene was. Like, I loved the Airport battle in Civil War, or fighting with Ultron in the Avengers but I never felt like I was going to cry over them.

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  7. Wonder Woman kicks ass! Now i haven't seen this film yet and love your review. She was the best thing in that Batman vs superman thing. I thought they should just have arm-wrestled after a few pints of beer. Anyhoo, I loved the music with her so looking forward to this film.I used to watch the Hokey TV show with Linda Carter who was great but I also remember 2 other Wonder Women that were done long time back. One had long dark hair if I can recall and the other was blond! I think she was Cathy Lee Crosby and i actually liked her but haven't seen it in 30+ years.

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    1. I've never been able to get into Wonder Woman until now. I thought it was so cheesy. But yes, her music is great.

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  8. That No Man's Land sequence is fucking awesome and is really a crowning achievement. I'm happy Patty Jenkins got to make a film that scored big $$$$$$$ and hopefully give women the chance to helm these films and show the untalented men (Michael Bay) how it's done.

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  9. so good right?!

    I actually loved the effects the whole way through

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    1. I'm glad you did! I just thought the climax was a mess.

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  10. I loved the little humour with the gender role reversals. Gal Gadot really sells it. Excellent casting there.

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  11. You're 100% right in your last paragraph about a movie's potential to engage viewers who haven't read the source material. Completely agree. This movie does a spectacular job with that and has me seriously invested in this character. As a whole though, I was somewhat disappointed. Check out my review if you get a chance :)

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  12. Nice review! I loved Wonder Woman, and could definitely see where it has some minor flaws. Gadot was absolutely perfect, I got emotional watching her too. A lot of reviews have commented on the special effects/final fight ruining the ending, but I didn't quite understand that. It'll be something to keep an eye on the next time I see it.

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    1. I think it's because Ares felt so ridiculous to me after seeing the rest of the film be so grounded. Since WW is always compared to Captain America: The First Avenger, for example Red Skull never felt over the top as a villain even though he had a bit of supernatural to him. Ares and that entire performance felt like it should've been in a different movie.

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  13. Yeah, it really was a pity about that ending. I liked the IDEA behind the Big Bad, but I don't think the actor performed the character all that well. And that final battle was EXACTLY like every other final battle in every modern superhero movie, which was a slight disappointment. But still, Gadot was so kick-ass that I didn't mind too much.

    And GOOD LORD, Chris Pine. *fans self* He's freaking PERFECT in this.

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    1. I agree it's not a huge problem, but it stops the film from being perf.

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  14. Reaqding so many positive reviews about it makes me smile. It was truly amazing. And I had to check out Jenkins' imdb page after I read she hadn't worked since 2003 - and she pretty much hasn't.. which is just woah. She needs to get so much attention now and she needs to take on the sequel because I would hate this to be another one of those situations where a woman does all the hard work and then a man comes in and takes the credit (The Hunger Games was just like that and so was Twilight - though those movies are so not comparable to Wonder Woman).

    Nice review!

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