Wonder Woman is NOT the shitshow early reviews painted it as, nor is it the shining perfect beacon of cinema we hoped it was. It *is* a perfectly acceptable entry into the DC Comics Warner Brothers filmography.
We first met Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman in forerunner for worst superhero film title ever Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. She stole every scene she was in, hair flips and music video slow motion sequences galore, with one of the best theme songs written for a hero this decade. Hopes for her solo film were high.
After several false starts, the film finally moved forward with director Patty Jenkins (Monster, The Killing) at the helm, the first female director to tackle a superhero film. Kind of a big deal, and one that Warner Brothers seemed to reluctantly admit was the right choice. Casting soon followed, with Chris Pine (Star Trek, Smokin’ Aces) as Wonder Woman love interest Steve Trevor, Robin Wright (House of Cards, Forrest Gump) as General Antiope, and and Connie Nielsen (Gladiator, The Following) as Diana’s mother Queen Hippolyta.
Wonder Woman takes place during the end of World War 1, right as the Allies are negotiating the Armistice. Steve Trevor’s plane crashes into the hidden island paradise of Themyscira, home of the Amazons. Diana rescues him from the waters, and he becomes the first man she ever lays eyes on. He’s followed by a small group of enemy ships, and this of course means a battle breaks out between the women warriors and the Germans on the beach. Diana learns the horrors of what the Amazons believe God of War Ares has brought men to do, and decides to leave the safety of the island to aid Steve in his mission- to stop the chemical warfare planned by General Erich Ludendorff (played by Danny Huston) and Maru/Doctor Poison played by Elena Anaya. That’s the gist in a nutshell, without spoilers.
SCORE: 4 out 5, viewed in standard non 3D
The multiple cuts during fight sequences, ESPECIALLY during the Themyscira beach attack, pulls from the finesse of the scene. The worst thing you can do in a hand to hand combat scene is break up the action in a movement, and there were several instances of that. Some of the Etta lines are ill conceived, like the quip about corsets and how “only women who don’t need to hide their tummies say that”, and the glasses comment. Sure, that’s her character, but they really didn’t need to be added into the film as they miss the mark and come across as insulting rather than charming. The final fight has some continuity errors, but not ones I’ll go into detail in this review.
Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman does exactly what it needs to, continuing the proper introduction to the beacon of truth and justice in the JLA. Not perfect, but not the “terrible mess” early slanted comments painted it as. Chris Pine reminds us what we loved about him back in Star Trek 09, Gal Gadot is a force to be reckoned with (even without the weapons), and I want a full film of the Xena tastic Themascyrian residents in action.
Wonder Woman tonally shifts the DC universe, and sets up for some interesting changes in what Warner Brothers thinks audiences want to see. Hopefully, the box office will reflect audience enthusiasm and support of a female hero.
Wonder Woman opens worldwide on Friday, June 2nd 2017.
Why not try out Secret of the Booze’s 21+ Wonder Woman themed cocktail, the Martini of Truth?