Wonder Woman (2017)
“Wonder Woman” stars Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Connie Nielsen, and Elena Anaya. Released on June 2, 2017, the film is about an Amazon princess who teams up with a U.S. military pilot to bring an early end to World War I.
The film is directed by Patty Jenkins, who also directed Monster and Five, and it is the fourth installment in the DC Extended Universe. One of the big highlights of last year’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is Gadot’s amazing portrayal as Wonder Woman. While everyone wasn’t too happy with the final result of that film, there are at least a good amount of people (including me) who are pretty darn excited to see Gadot’s version of the Amazon princess once again on the big screen. This is a pretty big deal for this film because the first three DCEU films have been bombarded with negative critical reviews and a lot of upset DC fans, with the fourth one determining the fate of the DC cinematic universe. To be completely honest, I did enjoy all three of them, especially Batman v Superman. They’re far from perfect, but that doesn’t mean they deserve the harsh responses. After hearing about the early reviews it has gotten as of this writing, all I can think about was this: “OK, now we’re getting somewhere.” But all that matters right now is what I think of the movie. Do I think it does the Wonder Woman character justice? (No pun intended)
The film’s story takes place way before the events of the first three DCEU films and focuses on how an Amazon princess became the superheroine we all know and love. If there’s one thing that this film and Captain America: The First Avenger have in common, it’s that they both have a superhero fighting in the World War timeline. The only difference is that while Wonder Woman fights in World War I, Captain America actually fights in World War II. If you’re wondering why I’m comparing a DC film to a Marvel film, blame it on the Marvel vs DC war on social media. Anyway, the story is just like any other superhero origin film that we’ve seen countless times, so if you’re expecting it to be anything different, you might be a little disappointed. However, I did manage to have a very good time watching it. Gadot once again delivered a near-perfect performance as the title character, who dreams of becoming an Amazonian warrior. What I liked about her character is that she’s inexperienced with the outside world and throughout the entire film, she’s learning to adapt to it while also learning about the true meaning of heroism. She’s still the type of person that you don’t want to mess with, but at the same time, she’s a person that’s filled with both curiosity and determination. I believe Patty Jenkins was a splendid choice in bringing this type of character to life on the big screen. The rest of the cast delivered some solid performances as well, including Chris Pine as Steve Trevor. The action sequences, mostly from Wonder Woman herself, were nicely shot and visually stunning, although a lot of them have plenty of slow-motion shots that try to make them look more epic. As for the visuals alone, they were pretty darn good, especially the third act. The last two films in the DCEU have these third acts that were filled with a lot of CGI. This one looks like that it took the overabundant CGI down a notch so that it’s not as overcrowded as its predecessors. It also included a bit more humor than the last two DCEU films, but it doesn’t stray too far from the cinematic universe’s own formula: realism with a dash of epicness and Zack Snyder’s stylistic slo-mo shots. This film definitely has its share of epicness and humor. Besides its by-the-numbers superhero origin formula, the only flaw I had with this film was the main villain in the third act. He’s just a typical bad guy who wants nothing but world domination, and I already figured out who he’s disguised as a few seconds before his reveal. But that’s basically what you get when you’re watching a superhero film. An evil person who wants to take over the world or destroy it or corrupt it .
Overall, as a stand-alone, “Wonder Woman” is a wonderful, yet formulaic, origin story that truly resembles her personality and her determination. It has its usual ingredients from the other superhero origin films and the antagonist is your usual super-powered bad guy that has to be stopped, but when it comes to Gadot’s amazing portrayal and its visual style, this is the type of superhero film that will definitely fill your hearts with wonder. As an installment in the DCEU, I would say that this is the film that managed to find the right balance of epicness, style, and humor without trying to be like the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I would highly recommend this film to die-hard fans of Wonder Woman, people who enjoy superhero films, and comic book fans, respectively.
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