Wonder Woman Review

Wonder Woman is a 2017 superhero war film directed by Patty Jenkins, based on the DC Comics character of the same name, starring Gal Gadot (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice), Chris Pine (Star Trek), Robin Wright (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo), Danny Huston (30 Days of Night), David Thewlis (Veronika Decides to Die), Connie Nielsen (Gladiator), and Elena Anaya (Van Helsing).  It is the fourth installment in the DC Extended Universe and follows Princess Diana who aids American pilot Steve Trevor after he crashes offshore of the island of Themyscira during World War I.


Positives:

  • Great performances
  • Great special effects
  • Great characters
  • Great soundtrack
  • Good story
  • Good direction
  • Great cast

Negatives:

  • Bugs in the script
  • Flat antagonist
  • Slow paced

Plot: The story starts off with Diana Prince receiving a photograph from Wayne Enterprises and recalls her past.  Born and raised on the hidden island of Themyscira, Diana joins the world of men after a pilot named Steve Trevor crashes near Themyscira, informing her of the World War.  A subplot follows Diana’s journey to kill General Erich, who she believes is Ares fueling the war, so that mankind may find peace. The story is slow but it gives time for focus on the characters. Now, for fans of the Wonder Woman franchise, I can see them actually not liking the origin story which suited me just fine. However, as interesting as the story is it isn’t standout, it isn’t memorable.  The climax is absolutely epic with a battle between Ares and Diana which is highly entertaining. (3 out of 5)

Characters:  The film has a lot of just great characters.  Diana (Galdot) is a great character and a great strong lead character. She is a bit naive to the ways of the modern world but she doed undergo a strong developing arc. Steve Trevor is a captain of the United States Army Air Service and love interest of Diana. He’s roguish and cynical but he is a likable character with charisma and loyalty.  The two characters have really good chemistry together onscreen. A surprisingly good character is Etta Candy, Steve’s secretary. She is definitely a character that does bring humor to the more serious characters.  Other supporting characters that help Wonder Woman are Steve’s allies Sameer, Charlie, amd Chief. The film features three antagonists; Erich Lundendorff, Isabel Maru/Doctor Poison, and Ares.  Ares was just beast as hell. Despite being a total douchebag he actually had personality and depth. Isabel was pretty interesting but unfortunately she doesn’t get enough screentime to fully flesh her character out. What’s her motivation, what’s her backstory; these questions are never addressed. Erich was an alright villain but he wasn’t really all that interesting.  The movie probably would’ve been better had they focused less on him and more of Isabel, but Erich’s personification of Ares in Diana’s perspective does make him necessary for the story. (4 out of 5)

Cast:  Great performances by the main and supporting cast.  Gal Gadot (Diana Prince) is again perfectly cast for the role of Wonder Woman.  She gives the character a lot of strength without it usurping her feminity.  Chris Pine (Steve Trevor) deserves praise and the two definitely have a lot of great chemistry together.  Thumbs up to Robin Wright (General Antiope), she was just amazing, giving great presence to her role.  David Thewlis (Ares) was surprisingly good.  Totally loved the guy.  Loved Lucy Davis as Etta Candy.  She brought some really good humor to the cast.   The main cast also includes Said Taghmaoui (Sameer), Eugene Brave Rock (Chief), Elena Anaya (Isabel Maru), Ewen Bremmer (Charlie), Connie Nielsen (Queen Hippolyta), Danny Huston (Erich Ludendorff), and Lisa Loven Kongsli (Menalippe). (4 out of 5)

Visuals: Visually the movie is just stunning. First, the whole design and detail of Themyscira is absolutely beautiful; even magical.  Second, the slow motion shots do seem a little unnecessary and can be distracting.  Third, there is a really good use of special effects especially when it comes to the action sequences and the motion capture, however there are some moments where CGI is wasted and the scene would’ve come out better with practical. The Lasso of Truth was cool and the design looked magical. Four, I’m a sucker for believable costume designs and the Wonder Woman design looked great.  True, it’s different but the mesh with armor makes it look tactical, which is shown several times throughout the movie.  Liked the Doctor Poison design, it looked pretty cool.  Ares looked straight up awesome; he was menacing and the armor design was great. (4 out of 5)

Score: Thumbs up to Rupert Gregson-Williams for delivering a really powerful soundtrack.  The musical composition is just wonderfully distributed.  There is this awe inspiring feeling. (4 out of 5)

Writing:  The script is pretty good though it does have its share problems.  First, Patty Jenkins does a really good of directing the movie.  Though it is focused on female superhero is the main lead it doesn’t feel like an overly focused on feminism.  Second, the script takes its time establishing who Diana is and how she was raised, so the focus of the character is sound.  Even how the character is written to be more hopeful and naïve works for her.  Third, one of the things that doesn’t make sense is the gas Isabel gives Erich which fives him super strength.  That part really didn’t make any sense to me.  Now for the sake of an interesting fight against Diana, I understand.  But the idea for her to randomly have some gas she invented that gives the user increased strength was kind of stupid.  And even more so by the fact that he didn’t give it to his soldiers.  Wouldn’t that make them more efficient killers? And possibly more of a challenge to Diana?  Fourth, Ares killing all of the gods is an interesting premise but the lack of any actual scenes of him doing it make it questionable.  Though admittedly at the climatic battle, he is shown to be quite powerful.  Fifth, there is a good mixture of humor, drama, romance, and action that helps to keep the story well rounded.  So all in all, the script was done really well. (4 out of 5)


The Verdict:  In the end, Wonder Woman is a pretty impressive movie.  Despite some of the problems with the antagonists, some superhero origin troupes, and some loose issues with script; the movie does have a great cast and performances, great characters, great action, great special effects, good direction, and a great soundtrack.  Wonder Woman gets 4 out of 5.

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