When I walked out of Man of Steel I thought to myself that was good but not great. When I walked out of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice I tried to convince myself I liked the movie by asking: “that was good, wasn’t it?” When I walked out of Suicide Squad I looked at my partner and we both said, “That wasn’t good, was it?” Needless to say I was nervous for Wonder Woman. It took me a while but I finally boarded the hype train and was excited to see the movie-opening day. When I walked out I said out loud “I loved it.” The film was fantastic. It has a great origin story, great humour and perhaps the best scene in the DCEU to date that will be hard to beat.
Taking place almost 100 years before the events of Batman V Superman, Wonder Woman is the origin of Diana, Princess of the Amazons on the island paradise of Themyscira. When an American pilot crashes on their island bringing a conflict from World War I, Diana must chose between staying with her people or joining The Great War to defeat her greatest enemy. Wonder Woman was directed by Patty Jenkins and stars Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Connie Nielsen, David Thewlis, Lucy Davis, Lisa Loven Kongsli and Danny Huston.
Director Patty Jenkins is the reason this movie is such a successful film and she achieved that by playing to the strengths of her cast and building on the basics of story telling. She told a strong story using the three-act structure that keeps the audience engaged from start to finish. She also does not try and create an overly complicated plot instead Jenkins follows a heroes journey as we see Diane grow from the Princess of Themyscira to the Wonder Woman we saw in BVS. Jenkins understands the character needs to grow, both physically with her powers and maturity as she develops the view of the world she has in BVS. I believe that it was through the direction of Patty Jenkins that the audience were able to see such a strong hero in a great solo film.
I though the casting of Gal Gadot was fantastic. Here is a woman who would look like an Amazonian warrior and can handle the physicality of the role. She was a stand out in her small role in Batman V Superman, though it was a role that did not require much in the way of acting but more a physical role where she excelled. When it came to Wonder Woman I was blown away by how funny she was, in particular the naïve nature of her character and the customs of the human world. Her scene talking about sex with Chris Pine may have been one of the best of the movie. I think Gadot did some amazing things with this character, but she also has some flaws with her acting. She carried the humour and the action incredibly well, when there were a few scenes that required her bring a certain level of emotion that I do not believe she was able to reach. This does not ruin the movie and I do not want her recast, it was just something I noticed. Her working with Patty Jenkins would have only strengthened her ability as an actor, similar to how James Gunn plays to the strengths of Dave Bautista in Guardians of the Galaxy. A great Director will play to the strengths of their cast.
Building around the great work that Gal Gadot did as Wonder Woman is her awesome supporting cast. Connie Nielson and Robin Wright give strong performances as the Queen and General of the Amazonians respectively, with Wright standing out to me with her physicality and passion shown when training Diana. I can’t wait to see more of the Amazons in future DC movies. Chris Pine is a fantastic leading man and always gives a convincing performance no matter what role he is in. His ability to work with Gadot as she plays the naïve foreigner and he has to guide her through the world is phenomenal. Another great character with a rather small role was Lucy Davis as Etta, Steve Trevor’s secretary, she plays the comic relief perfectly without over doing it.
The DCEU has been off to a rocky start with fans being divided about the three previous films. Whether it was the length, the tone, the editing or the story, there were aspects of the movies that left fans dissatisfied. Wonder Woman does not suffer from these problems. Whilst I thought it was a little too long, there was nothing I felt that could have been shortened without drastically altering the story; once again credit to Patty Jenkins. The film understands the balance between action, humour and plot so that everything that happens, happens with purpose to create an enjoyable experience. The best experience of the movie is the No Mans Land scene, which includes the Wonder Woman theme from BVS. This scene was incredible and inspiring and may even be the best scene in the DCEU (Or equal with the Warehouse scene from BVS).
Wonder Woman was a brilliantly made film with great humour, incredible action and the perfect tone that would allow any audience member to enjoy it. Hats off to Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot for making a great superhero movies lead by one of the biggest icons in Comic Books. The flaws I have with the movie do not detract from the overall experience that comes with seeing this movie off the big screen, and are out weighed by the large number of positives.
If you are a fan of comic book movies check out Wonder Woman, doesn’t matter Marvel or DC, this was a great film. This an already enjoyable and well made film that anyone could go and see regardless of how many DCEU Movies they have seen.
Thanks for reading my review of Wonder Woman. What did you think of the movie? Let me know in the comments section below.