Wonder Woman- Movie Review

14 06 2017

Wonder Woman poster

Wonder Woman tells the story of how when all seemed lost, a group of desperate people turned to a superhero to save them, where others had failed. I’m referencing, of course, to how this film just redeemed the flaming trash heap of current DC movies for all those Warner Bros executives. It’s not a perfect movie, and it doesn’t come close to dethroning Dark Knight as my favorite comic book movie (and one of my top movies in general). However, it is unquestionably a few levels higher from the rest of the DC Justice League Movie Universe Extravaganza, or whatever they’re calling it these days.

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Chris Pine the Lucky Guy

Gal Gadot and Chris Pine worked well together, and were basically the meatiest characters of the film. And yes, part of that is because they’re in loooove, but also Steve Trevor was there to show Diana that mankind was not complety corrupt and evil, and could even show selfless heroism, which ultimately catapulted her into her full powers in the finale. It was also important that he act as the audience’s connection in the movies, grounding all the crazy Amazon shenanigans with appropriate reactions. That said, people were just a little too chill when that woman blew up a church steeple by flying into it. Is everyone just overly jaded from the Great War?

Everyone else served their purpose as a character, including the rest of her surprisingly diverse crew. Ares was a little under-cooked as a villain (partly because of him staying in the shadows for the twist), but was still worlds better than this movie universe’s awful versions of Joker and Lex Luthor. I know that’s not a high bar, but it was refreshing not to cringe through a ridiculous performance (remember Enchantress?!). Creating his own armor from burning metal wreckage on the fly was pretty BA, as well.

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Wonder Woman saves Wolverine from Stryker?

Speaking of visual effects, the CGI was OK through the movie. Boss Mode Ares looked better than Poop Troll Doomsday from Batman V Superman (again, pretty low bar to hurdle). But honestly, Gal Gadot jumping several stories while throwing a tank is going to look a little wonky no matter how much money is spent. The best bit of CGI was a detail I didn’t find out about until later- apparently during some of the re-shoots, Gal Gadot’s 6-months-pregnant belly was given its own hole in the Wonder Woman costume, and painted green for removal later. How crazy is that?!

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It’s weird that Amazons fighting in WW1 is a more coherent storyline than Batman fighting Superman, but here we are.

I realize most of my grading so far is in comparison with the earlier DC movies, but it’s kind of what happens when a studio decides to make these movies all connected. In case you didn’t notice, I’m not really a fan of those films. That said, let’s run through what I liked about just this movie. I enjoyed Gal Gadot’s portrayal of a powerful yet innocently naive Diana, someone who likes ice cream and babies (not at the same time), but who is still a warrior trained for fighting. She’s possibly the best woman superhero we’ve seen in movies yet- who’s not there just to look sexy while fighting impassively in slow motion(though she is gorgeous). She also did not play some impersonal, arrogant figure who seems more machine than woman. I already said I thought her moments with Steve and his merry crew were great. As a history nerd, the World War 1 backdrop was fantastic, and also made sense since it was “the war to end all worlds.” Also, this film focused on being a story about a superhero, not a commercial for five upcoming superhero movies.

Diana’s unveiling scene in No Man’s Land (little on the nose) also may go down as one of the more iconic comic books scenes. The only other moment I could compare its vivid imagery and striking score to in DC’s current lineup would be Superman’s first flight in Man of Steel, or Enchantress belly-dancing in Suicide Squad (haha!). While this movie has certainly elevated DC back to a fighting position, it’ll be interesting to see if Justice League continues to even higher heights, or drags us back down to the brooding, overly-inflated ground.

NIGHTINGALE

I still needed more Fashion Time With Etta.