Movie Review: Wonder Woman (Spoilers)

Ever since it was announced, and ever since Gal Gadot debuted as Wonder Woman or Diana Prince in “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”, fans of both movies and comic books have been eagerly awaiting “Wonder Woman”. Fans wanted to see how Gadot, who impressed many in “Batman v Superman” with her performance, would handle herself in her own movie, and many also wondered whether or not “Wonder Woman” would break the trend and be that beacon of hope that the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) needed. Aside from this, it would provide mainstream cinema with a great female led superhero film, which opens the doors for more of its kind to follow, as well as raises expectations for the MARVEL Cinematic Universe’s (MCU) first female superhero led film, “Captain Marvel”, which will be released in 2019. Thankfully, “Wonder Woman” did what it set out to be, and by far, by my reckoning, is the best that the DCEU has made so far.

The movie starred Gal Gadot as Diana Prince or Wonder Woman; Chris Pine as Captain Steve Trevor; Lucy Davis as Etta Candy; Danny Huston as Erich Ludendorff; Robin Wright as General Antiope; David Thewlis as Sir Patrick Morgan; Connie Nielsen as Queen Hippolyta; Elena Anaya as Isabel Maru or Doctor Poison; Said Taghmaoui as Sameer; Ewen Bremer as Charlie; and Eugene Brave Rock as Chief.

It was directed by Patty Jenkins, edited by Martin Walsh, with a screenplay by Allan Heinberg, with cinematography by Matthew Jensen, and with music by Rupert Gregson-Williams. It was also produced by Charles Roven, Zack and Deborah Snyder, and Richard Suckle.

This is the fourth DCEU movie to be released, with the other three being “Man of Steel”, “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”, and “Suicide Squad”. So far, as I mentioned earlier, “Wonder Woman” is clearly at the top of the list in my ranking of all of the DCEU movies so far.

It was rated PG-13 for the violence in the movie (it’s a superhero movie and war movie, after all), and for some innuendos in the dialogue, and as there is some kissing and an intimate scene that is cut right away in order to keep the movie for a more general audience.

To be honest, going into this movie, I didn’t have as much previous knowledge about the character as much as I did with movies that had Batman in it. However, that didn’t take away anything from my movie experience, and, in fact, now, I honestly want to know more about her in the comics. (Any suggestions as to where to start anyone?)

The movie had a different flavor to it as compared to the other DCEU offerings, with its brighter color palette, and its gorgeous cinematography. The production design and costumes were also well done, and to be honest, I see more World War II movies than World War I movies, so I’m glad that we were brought to this era instead of the latter.

The story itself was well paced, and most of the dialogue was really well done and very organic all throughout. The pacing of the story was well balanced as well, and the humor that was injected throughout the movie was organic and didn’t feel too forced.

Gadot as Wonder Woman was definitely a sight to behold. We already knew that she could hold her own in “Batman v Superman”, but here, not only did she have the physicality of the character, but she was also able to give a solid performance as well. Her chemistry with Pine was easy, comfortable and very believable, as was her chemistry with her other scene partners in the film.

Pine was also good in the movie, and he gave a solid performance as well. It wasn’t exactly mind blowing, but nevertheless, it was a good one. Again, he had great chemistry with not just Gadot, but with all of his other scene partners as well.

I would have loved to see more out of the characters of Sameer, Charlie, and Etta, but I do understand that we had to prioritize more on Diana herself and Steve for this movie.

I guess my only complaint would be the fact that the villains were quite underdeveloped, and I couldn’t understand what Ares was saying once he was in his CGI glory (which I wasn’t really a big fan of either).

However, all in all, “Wonder Woman” is a good and fun superhero film that definitely shows that there is hope for the DCEU after all.

Now, you know the drill- SPOILER TIME!

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First off, I just have to say that I loved how gorgeous the cinematography of this movie was, especially all of the scenes that took place in Themyscira. The color palette that they used was bright, colorful, and very unlike anything we have seen in the DCEU before. Plus, it served as great contrast to the gray and busy streets of World War I London, and the griminess of the battlefront.

All of the Amazons were amazing and awe inspiring, and in particular, Nielsen and Wright, who portrayed Queen Hippolyta and General Antiope, respectively. Also, Emily Carey, who portrayed the young Diana at ages eight and twelve, really resembled Gadot, and portrayed the young Diana really well.

I liked that we spent just enough time on Themyscira to be introduced to the main mythos and lore of the movie, and so that we would get invested enough with the Amazons to the point that you do really care about the fact that Antiope was shot and that Diana, in leaving the island, couldn’t come back.

Gadot was brilliant as Diana, and showed that she had some acting chops to spare. I loved how there is a big difference between the Diana in modern times, who is now older and a more experienced fighter; and the young, naiive, eager, and idealistic Diana that we see in “Wonder Woman”. I also loved how, when they arrived in London, she was able to organically deliver a more humorous performance, with her trying on outfits, doing stuff that defies social norms because she isn’t aware of it, all the way to her carrying around her sword and shield while wearing her new outfit.

My favorite scenes of Diana included the boat scene with Steve, all of her scenes in World War I London, the battle sequence in No Man’s Land, that battle in the French village, and of course, the the final battle with Ares.

Her chemistry with Pine’s Steve was effortless, as was her interactions with Sameer, Charlie and Chief.

Steve’s ragtag group of sidekicks was also well handle, and I loved every single one of them. I thought that they did get enough screen time as well as dialogue, and although I wanted more from them, it is understandable that they wanted to focus more on Steve and Diana.

Pine, as I mentioned earlier, did give a very solid performance as Steve, and his worldly view of things made a great contrast with Diana’s naiivete. He grounded her, yet at the same time, he was also made stronger and was inspired by her. I think his best performance in the film came when he told Diana after she killed Ludendorff that maybe humanity and not Ares was the main cause of the war, and that it’s more important to fight for what you believe; that moment when he’s saying goodbye to her; and the moment in the plane before he blew it up. I also found it interesting that they chose to kill Steve off, and I think it was the right decision to do.

My biggest gripe in the movie is that the villains were a little bit underdeveloped, and that Doctor Poison was a little bit cartoonish and over the top at times. Having Thewlis’ Sir Patrick Morgan be Ares also made sense and was a great bluff, because many would have easily believed that it was Huston’s Ludendorff who was Ares. However, during the final battle sequences, the CGI wasn’t as great as I wanted it to be. But, I do love that Thewlis was the villain, as I have gotten used to him as the good natured Remus Lupin from “Harry Potter”.

Davis was wonderful as Steve’s secretary Etta Candy, and she had such great comedic timing to the point that I truly did want to see more of her as compared to what we got on screen.

I did like the fact that they bookended the movie with scenes of Diana in the present day, because it also allows the movie to be connected to the current timeline of events happening in the DCEU. For those who are wondering, it seems as if Diana’s modern day scenes takes place a little bit after the events of “Batman v Superman”, and before the events of “Justice League”.

I also love how they touched on how humanity can cause their own destruction, and how love really is the solution to everything. I’m also very glad that it didn’t come off as too cheesy or heavy handed at all.

Of course all of the action sequences were great, and I didn’t mind the slow motion parts, because it only enhanced and showcased those sequences more.

For all of this, I give all kudos to Patty Jenkins, and I love that we had a female director for a female led superhero film.

Another thing that I loved about watching a superhero film during troubled times like this is that it gave me a sense of hope and the sense of a fighting spirit to never back down and never give in, especially when you think that all hope is lost.

All in all, I had a great time at the cinema watching “Wonder Woman”, and I am so glad that the DCEU is capable of producing things like this.

What did you think of “Wonder Woman”? What were your favorite moments, characters and quotes? What did you think of Ares? Did you like that the film was bookended by scenes that took place in modern day? What do you think this movie means for the DCEU, for female superhero movies, and the upcoming MCU movie “Captain Marvel”? Let me know what you think in the comments below!

 

 

 

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