‘WONDER WOMAN’ (2017) MOVIE REVIEW – Gal Gadot Once Again Slays as Wonder Woman!
Wonder Woman has landed so cue all of the Wonder Woman poses in the Youtube review thumbnails. It appears that the newest entry in the DC Extended Universe is the first one that is not suffering from unanimously unfavourable reviews……. finally they have a hit (even though I still think Man of Steel is great). This movie was a great blend of fun, action, drama, suspense, and even had a dab of very well executed humour spread lightly throughout. Gal Gadot once again absolutely slays as Diana Prince, finally shooting down all her critics that she wasn’t the right choice for the role. She handled the humour very well and was a very strong, charismatic, and fierce woman who proved she can very convincingly kick total ass…. at this point why do we even need Batman and co.? She IS the Justice League. Aside from a small handful of shots, visually the film was undeniably stunning. In terms of pacing it was handled for the most part very well making the 2 hour and 20 minute runtime feel like a breeze.
The performances at the forefront of the film were all fantastic and not one character came across as tonally out of place. Gal Gadot as I mentioned is fantastic in the role of Wonder Woman, she pulls off the subtle humorous moments with exquisite timing but her real starring moments are during the many action sequences which thankfully there are quite a few of. She kicks a tonne of ass and no man even stands a chance against her, her sword, and that trusty whip. But the best part is she does it all so damn convincingly and you completely buy into the fact that she really would be wrecking fools if this was real. But on top of all the serious hard hitting action moments she also has a few strong emotional scenes throughout and man is she powerful in them, she really commits and when she feels pain you better believe you’re gonna feel it too.
Chris Pine is in the film as the male lead Steve Trevor and he was just as great as he always is. It should be noted that he does not take over the film from Gal Gadot, she is undoubtedly the star of the film and he performs in her shadow the whole time. He is her ‘secretary’ if you will. He contributed to the humorous moments, the dramatic moments, and does as much as a man could do in the action scenes when you have a goddess running around. One of my biggest concerns going into the film was that Lucy Davis’ character Etta would just be there for all of the comedic hits and cheap jokes and feel very out of place. But all that was shot down as she had impeccable comedic timing and thankfully wasn’t overused at all in the realm of comedy. The other supporting roles including those by David Thewlis, Danny Huston, Elena Anaya, and Robin Wright were all good fit within the world, serving their various purposes accordingly.
The plot of the film at its core is very much an origin story of the hero coming into one’s own and stays very focused, never really straying away from Diana’s core mission whilst still executing various side plots involving Chris Pine’s character very well. Aside from 2 or 3 scenes towards the middle of the film where i feel it dropped slightly the rest was very entertaining. I liked the fact that Patty Jenkins put a good story first and foremost over trying to be a big OMG style superhero film. There are times where you forget this is a DC property and just see it as one woman taking on an enemy with WWI being the background setting. This gives the film a very human element that allows you to better connect with the story, the characters, and what they go through. There is something that happens pretty late in the film that i’m not a huge fan of especially in terms of the execution, I liked what came after but just the execution of the sequence was a little odd.
Then you have the action and if there is one thing all or most of the DC films have done amazingly so far it is the action sequences. The cinematography during these sequences is insane, the sweeping camera long takes are great and combined with the slo-mo sequences it makes the whole thing very cinematic and beautiful to look at. The scenery and cinematography outside the action scenes is also at times very stunning and the filmmakers did a really good job at transporting you back to that era. As i mentioned, there are a couple of scenes where i’m not quite sure the special effects were as good as they could have been and one in particular was noticeably distracting. But aside from that the rest of the stuff was absolutely top notch.
So that being said credit must go to Patty Jenkins here who did an incredible job directing this film and for becoming the first female director who helm a live-action film with a budget over $100M. It is sad that this is only something happening now but any step forward is a good one no matter how late it may have come. This was a very good movie with stunning action sequences, a great plot, fantastic character, and some minor hiccups towards the middle of the film. But i think it’s safe to say this is definitely a film everyone can enjoy and for me is right up there virtually on par with Man of Steel for me as the best the DC Extended Universe has to offer right now.