Release Date: June 1st 2017
Run-time: 2h 21m
Director: Patty Jenkins
Rating: PG 13/ 12A
Starring: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, David Thewlis, Danny Huston and more
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 93%
IMDb rating: 8.2/10
Trailer: Wonder Woman
Before she was Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on a sheltered island paradise, Diana meets an American pilot (Chris Pine) who tells her about the massive conflict that’s raging in the outside world. Convinced that she can stop the threat, Diana leaves her home for the first time. Fighting alongside men in a war to end all wars, she finally discovers her full powers and true destiny.
Hi there, strangers! It’s been ages since I’ve written a Movie Monday review, and that’s simply because I haven’t been to the cinema in a long while, nor have I really watched many movies in the last month or so. But yesterday, to my great excitement, I finally went to see Wonder Woman and I was not disappointed! DC films have not had the greatest rap lately, with Suicide Squad and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice being letdowns for a lot of people. So it’s safe to say people were holding their breaths in anticipation for this movie. I know I was. And I’m so relieved I left the theatre with positive thoughts. There’s much to say, so let’s discuss:
The first thing I have to say, before I say anything else, is hell to the YES for our strong female lead! Holy crap, it feels like I’ve waited a lifetime to see a movie like this one, and considering that I’m a huge superhero fan, watching Gal Gadot bring Wonder Woman to life on the big screen was outstanding! The movie wasn’t faultless by any means, but that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a great film. I think the box office figures and fantastic reviews speak for themselves: everyone anticipated this movie, and love or hate it, it delivered.
Like the synopsis says, Gal Gadot embodies Diana, who is an Amazonian princess who trains all her life for one purpose: to protect mankind. When an American pilot crashes onto her hidden island, she discovers that war is brewing, and she must help end it. We follow Diana and Steve Trevor, as well as a group of others, as they throw themselves into the looming threat of the war, intent on stopping it. So, from the offset, we get to see the warrior in Diana as she grows to become a skilled swordsman and fighter. I loved seeing the island she was raised on; I was always intrigued by the Amazons and their origin story. So seeing the amazing cinematography that brings Themyscira to life, as well as the powerful Amazons themselves, is simply stunning! On to my opinions of the film now:
What I Loved:
The actors. I think I would have been happy with any woman they cast for the role, but it is a huge role to fill. Gal Gadot did a fantastic job as Diana/Wonder Woman. She is beautiful (naturally), athletic, confident and a great actress. Her preparations for the role were intense, and it was great to see her take on the role fully and show off her training. Chris Pine is amazing in pretty much every role he’s in, and he definitely didn’t disappoint in this one! His chemistry with Gal was one of the things that made the movie great, and his performance is pretty much faultless.
The other actors, from Robin Wright to Davis Thewlis, all fit into their characters so well and I was really pleased with that.
The characters. Anyone who knows me knows that there is nothing I love more than a team of strong characters banding together to fight for the greater good. What I also love is a strong female protagonist, and Wonder Woman is simply perfect. Critics are hailing this movie as one of the greats, and one of the reasons for that is Diana’s moment in the spotlight as a female superhero we can all get behind. I love how at almost every moment Diana isn’t afraid to challenge norms, nor does she ever have an inkling of doubt of her own abilities. It’s so amazing that we have an icon like this to root for, and to avoid this review turning into a long-winded feminist empowerment speech, I’ll just say this: I was overjoyed to see Diana kick ass with no fucks given, because that’s what a superhero does. Gender be damned.
The fact that there is a female director. Patty Jenkins doesn’t have a lot of superhero movie directing under her belt, but that didn’t matter. It’s a well-known fact that not many women get to direct huge blockbuster films such as Wonder Woman, so it’s a massive step forward that we can get amazing films like this made and directed by women. Again, it’s just empowering. And the fact that the movie has done so well? Another bonus.
The action. The film itself is just what I look for in a superhero movie: it’s fast-paced, with some awesome action scenes and strong characters kicking ass pretty much the whole time. Diana gets to show some serious strength in every scene she is in, and she can carry the action herself. At no point are we made to think that she cannot achieve something, because she isn’t presented as anything other than a brilliant superhero: superheroes win. Because I’m so used to seeing men as superheroes onscreen, every few minutes I’d alternate between forgetting that I was watching a bad-ass woman onscreen (because she was such a tough superhero I forgot about gender completely!) and thinking “oh yeah, it’s Wonder Woman I’m watching up there right now!” And then I’d get all emotional because she’s such a strong role model to girls everywhere. We don’t all need to look or fight like Wonder Woman, but it’s great to know that women can be strong contenders, too. As well as action, we get some great comedic and even tender, touching scenes between the characters which I also loved *cough cough* Steve and Diana 🙂
Finally, the cinematography. The finished film is fantastic to look at, because there was great attention to detail undertaken by the production team. Every scene was well-filmed, and the musical scores were also stunning. All in all, I was super happy with how it looked. The CGI wasn’t flawless, but with a film of this magnitude (mythical hidden islands full of warrior Amazons, hello?) I wasn’t expecting it to be.
What I disliked:
Like I said, the film wasn’t perfect. I did have some problems with it, and these are mostly plot-oriented.
The pacing. I know, it’s a lot to cram into a 2-hour film: Diana’s backstory, her rise to power, her true identity, the main conflict, stopping the villains, and more. But I felt at times that the pacing was a little off. There would be periods where lots was happening, then slower periods were there wasn’t much but hurried exposition, and then a frantic final act that came all at once and relentlessly. That doesn’t mean I didn’t like it, because one of the reasons I adore superhero films is the messy, action-fueled scenes between hero and villain, but still. A little better pacing would have been great.
The villains. I felt like the villains weren’t that well-developed, and this may have been because of the World War I setting. I know comic book villains largely follow the same plot origins, but these villains felt even more stereotypical than usual, and not really strong contenders as Diana’s enemies. The parts were played very well by the actors though, so I think it’s just the balance inequality between “terrifying” villains and strong superhero.
The plot and character reveals. Again, they felt a bit too rushed and not enough attention was given to certain plot points. The characters, like I said, were great. But it didn’t feel like we got to know them well enough, except for Diana and to a lesser extent, Steve.
Finally, attention on Wonder Woman. I know that superhero movies rarely have the focus on the main superhero 100% of the time, but I do wish that the other characters didn’t take so much attention away from Diana. I really wanted to see more of her as a fighter, but despite that it was great to see her break boundaries in smaller ways too. Like complaining about restrictive fashion in England, walk around in her bad-ass warrior gear without a care, and give out to men who sit on their asses while a war is raging! You go, girl. 😀
So, to conclude, this is one of the best DC movies I’ve seen in a while, as well as a fantastic representation of the power of female superheroes. It’s not as if Wonder Woman is the first female hero ever to come up on the big screen, but she is a major character in the comics and to see her brought to life, in her own modern film, in such a great way….it certainly feels amazing to see. Again, the movie isn’t flawless, and I wouldn’t hail it as the greatest superhero film of all time, but it’s a serious contender. Wonder Woman is strong, but not just because she’s a woman; I honestly forgot at times that I was watching one of the few movies with a female hero in the lead. She just gets on with it without her gender restricting her (and if it does, she carries on anyway!) So, I definitely recommend this film, and it’s got me psyched for Justice League too!
My rating: 7.5/10 stars
Thank you for reading! If you have any thoughts, let me know down below 🙂