3 / 5
Ever since Man of Steel the DC movies have had to compete with MARVEL as well as distinguish themselves. Unfortunately their idea of distinguishing themselves is to make the image bleak and their Superheroes not so heroic. It has been one failure after another and now comes the time when Wonder Woman is to finally get her own movie. This does not stand on the shoulders of giants and history has been anything but kind to female Superheroes.
This is a glorious time to see your favourite characters from the comic book panel adapted for the big screen. Except if they’re female, of all these recent movies in the last ten years there has been no shortage of female supporting roles that have been well acted and developed, but sadly lacking for being on the title and main focus. So there is indeed a lot riding on Wonder Woman, because it cost hundreds of millions of dollars to make, because DC movies have been consistently poorly received and if this does badly it will probably set female driven action movies back another decade or so.
Firstly who is Wonder Woman? Well she is one of biggest names in the DC universe, her setting is usually mythology and she stands for truth. There are other elements I could get into but lets focus on this, she deserves respect and stands for honesty.
For me Wonder Woman was the best thing in Batman v Superman but maybe that’s because she was only in it for about fifteen minutes. Well luckily it wasn’t just luck, Gal Gadot embodies the character and is able to carry her own movie. She is a stern warrior able to take down any other fighter (with or without superpowers) but is also filled with optimism and compassion seeing the beauty in many things. It’s a tough order to fill I wont lie, but Gadot fills it. She also masters her confidence in her own skin and the costume, embodying absolute nobility.
For the plot we open in modern day with Diana/Wonder Woman looking at an old photograph and how she had intentions of saving the world but something changed. We then cut back to years ago on the island of Themyscira where a great race of women named Amazons live, they don’t interact with the rest of the world and have existed in peace for hundreds of years. This is told to us very beautifully through animation that looks like a moving Peter Paul Rubens painting. The only child on the island is Diana and she grows up with love form her mother Queen Hippolyta and taught the ways of combat by Antiope (Robin Wright). However, one day mans world finds it’s way to Themyscira in the form of pilot Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), he’s on a mission of importance for The Great War. When Diana hears of this she concludes that it must be Ares doing and must now leave her home.
Pine and Gadot make a fine on-screen couple, both are very attractive and the script gives them a lot to work with, from fun subject matters to discuss and the more heavy ones, from etiquette to duty and end goals.
The movies color pallet is varied from setting to setting. Previously the DC movies have drained nearly all the vivid color from their movies in an attempt for you to take them more seriously, it hasn’t worked, they’ve just created something un-engaging to look at. This movie opens with more luscious colors while on Themascira then drains it when we move away from that, this shows a tonal shift for each setting. Plus there are some other settings where it’s a warmer tones. This is a more realised and smart look for a movie.
Being that this is a Superhero in the middle of a World War, fighting soldiers it will inevitable draw comparisons to Captain America: The First Avenger. This isn’t the worst thing for me because I like that movie quite a bit and there’s nothing wrong with channeling a fun tone for your movie watching. However Wonder Woman and Captain America are very different characters and this is still it’s own movie, so no harm no fowl.
This is, without question, the best DC movie to be released since Man of Steel. It is a Superhero movie that knows what a Superhero is, has colour, a consistent tone and a lead character and actor that make you believe in them.
This is not a great movie; there are some basic logic and directorial choice movements that did have me questioning the moment as it played. I wish it was a modern day The Dark Knight, but it’s not. It is however a solidly made movie, with a consistent tone and a message to deliver with a character that gets it right.
For fans of Wonder Woman I’m sure they’ll be satisfied (I was). For others that seek an action, Superhero movie they will get that. For the people that aren’t fans and go to this movie to be convinced, harder to say. I’m sure they will see her appeal and elements of why she is so loved by some. I wouldn’t say this is the highest movie caliber the character is capable of but it does do her justice.