2017, dir. Patty Jenkins
The DC Extended Universe (DCEU) has only released four movies thus far (as opposed to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe with nearly 17 already).
Two of these four films weren’t able to fully connect with the audience. Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad had too many new/unestablished characters to follow and thus shoe-horned too much stuff into one movie. I really wanted to love these films, but the continual overflow of flaws prevented them from being epic.
The other two, focusing on a single main character, gave room for emotion, which sufficiently fueled the action. Man of Steel and Wonder Woman left us wanting more rather than guessing what it is we just watched.
We haven’t seen a leading female superhero movie since Catwoman and Elektra – both of which became Hollywood disappointments.
Thankfully this incarnation of Wonder Woman is far from a disappointment.
REASONS TO OWN THIS FILM:
Those Action Sequences
When it comes to good action these days, we are spoiled for choice. If everyone is filming great action sequences – then no one is filming great action sequences.
Wonder Woman delivers the coolest action sequences of the year, which aren’t cheesy at all. I was waiting for some little giveaway or slip-up that would betray the epic fight scenes – but it never came. All I wanted to do was jump up and join in the fighting, just so I could look as cool as everyone on the screen.
It Improves Batman V Superman
Okay, maybe not entirely, but the tone of Wonder Woman certainly lends some sense to BvS: At first, Wonder Woman herself is so hopeful and optimistic about the human spirit. But gradually, and sadly, she learns that humans are inherently NOT good. Her entire worldview is shattered and rebuilt in the light of this grim reality.
But when she starts fighting alongside Batman and Superman she feels ‘at home’. These are people willing to risk their lives to make the world a better place.
And that’s why this makes her far more kick-ass than before.
An Origin Movie That Doesn’t Feel Like An Origin Movie
Another interesting thing about this movie is that it feels like a whole lot of good ol’ fashioned filmmaking went into it. With most other blockbuster superhero films, there’s a sense that it was all thrown together by a committee. This film seems to ‘go back to its roots’, which is a perfect attitude for an origin movie.
The entire film is a flashback, so when we step back into the past, there’s an underlying sense of how this is all going to lead up to modern day events.
But what makes Wonder Woman so watchable is that her origin story is not about how she got her powers or how her world was created (although that could possibly be an origin-origin story one day).
Her origin story is about her character and how someone so powerful and intelligent can still have a lot to learn. It’s the kind of story that resonates with a lot of us viewers (we can’t truly relate to being bitten by a spider and waking up with amazing powers) and it’s THAT connecting point that makes Wonder Woman a great film.
Iain’s verdict: Wonder Woman
Unfortunately Chris Pine’s character is purely there for exposition. As fun as he is, Steve Trevor, is just there to explain and point out things to move the plot forward.
However, because his character is a bit feeble, it only makes Wonder Woman that much more impressive. Even when she’s bumbling around a la Clark Kent.
This is pure action entertainment – and not just for the guys, this time.
I wanted to love this movie so much. Instead, I just liked it. It started really well, despite some really obvious foreshadowing, and the tone was much lighter than previous DC fare. The CG of the final battle felt like exactly that, CG. It never really had that visceral feel of danger. I’m hoping that they build on this and come out firing with the sequel, but before that, we’ll see her return in Justice League. It’s great to finally have a strong female role model for my daughter but I’d actually rather she watch the Supergirl TV series. Hopefully this kick-starts a trend of strong female-led superhero films (that aren’t Harley Quinn, for obvious reasons).
Ever since she first appeared in BvS, I have been completely under the spell of Gal Gadot and her portrayal of Diana Prince. And I have to give a shout out to the brilliant musical theme created for the character by Hans Zimmer, which also gets re-used here. I’m a sucker for anything with a mythological angle (hence why Thor is my favourite Avenger), so I immediately bought into Diana’s origin and her belief system. Throwing her classical way of thinking (but also her child-like innocence) into the mess of World War I created a healthy mix of comedy and drama. Besides Chris Pine, I would also list the character of General Ludendorff as a weak point.