I’ve only touched on comics with The Lego Batman Movie and a few random panels from occasional Superman comics, but I am a HUGE fan of comics. I am a much larger fan of DC than Marvel for personal reasons but I completely respect what Marvel has done for the genre. Last night I saw Wonder Woman, and loved it.
The movie itself was what I’ve been hoping to get out of DC movies. I wanted action, personal struggle, great visuals, good music, strong set pieces, a complete story, and clear vision. For the most part, I got everything I expected with zero major complaints. I could nitpick but I will save that for later.
The action throughout the movie was great. Slow motion was used in a very appealing way, even though sometimes a little too heavily. Choreographing was strong and it wasn’t many “shaky cam” moments that make action scenes so nondescript these days. Chris Pines had a lot of moments of awesomeness even without super powers and was one of the more interesting people to watch throughout. The action was super but not completely over the top.
Let me get this out now. Gal Gadot is not a strong actress. Her portrayal of Wonder Woman seemed to combine gorgeous innocent foreigner sex trope with super powered heroine but felt somewhat lacking. Outside of her beauty and being a very close ringer for Lynda Carter, nothing about her connected outside of her being a life-sized doll. The moments when she was supposed to draw attention for major soliloquies really seemed dry. She had some good one-liners written for her that were good though.
On the other hand, Chris Pine was phenomenal throughout most of the film. He was charming and realistic minus a random bath scene inserted for the ladies. His comedic timing was strong and he really covered Gal’s weaknesses well. The rest of the supporting cast all seemed 3-dimensional and likable but my biggest gripe is that most of the characters had little purpose outside of one or two scenes. Most characters lacked the permeance of existing outside of scenes that didn’t revolve around Gal or Chris but I enjoyed every scene they were in.
The story was good. It’s a summary of all the Wonder Woman origin stories while seeming like it set out to do Captain America better than Captain America (The first movie, not Winter Soldier or Civil War). War Movie of an unlikely hero fighting against a larger villainous empire with a quirky cast. My issue comes from the resolution of the film which could have easily had a stronger lesson than a simple cut and paste ending that I have seen a thousand times in cartoons, movies, anime, and comics. Yet, I didn’t expect high-class theatre. I expected a streamlined and clear movie which I got.
The majority of scenes in this film were dramatic set pieces. Some of the CGI was a little over the top, but the majority of it had me truly enjoying myself. Explosions were big, scenes were dramatic, visuals really stood out, and they really used Gal’s beauty to the fullest. Costume design really worked well even though I question some of the feasibility in the plot itself. Overall, nothing felt out-of-place and everything looked great. I left the theatre super satisfied.
My complaints have little to do with the movie as a whole but more on the movie industry itself. Ethnic diversity was relatively nonexistent as I guess there were only 10 people of color in the entire film with the majority of them being caricatures of their races. The Native American man dressed like a stereotypical Native America, the Scottish character wore a kilt and drunk continuously, the Middle Eastern character was a smooth talking trickster, and all of the black women were physical barrier characters to be beaten to prove Wonder Woman’s strength. This isn’t a new concept or foreign, I just expected more. Even though we finally have a female-led superhero movie, it still needed romance for romance sake and relied visual representative shorthand instead of building a realistic world. This could be applied across the board to every superhero movie so far but I will easily say, this was the best DC movie since Nolan.
Super Small Issue
It bothered me that her sword and shield would disappear and reappear randomly especially in the middle of a fight.
I recommend everyone go out and see this movie. It’s a truly an enjoyable experience. It does everything very well compared to its peers in the genre. Plus, looking at its sales, it makes it clear that women can do anything a man can do. In fact, it didn’t go for cheap nostalgia grabs in the soundtrack that Suicide Squad did, it didn’t need seven villains, and didn’t overly explain things to the audience. I enjoyed the film thoroughly and would definitely see a second one. This series has a lot of potential for a super powered espionage film set in a different time period or some more daring choices in the future. Wonder Woman was the first DC movie that I could say has been done right in years. Women save the world daily, leave it to Diana Price to save the DC Universe. Girl Power!
Turn Your Brightness Up!