Warner Bros. DC Extended Universe has finally produced a good, solid movie. It has taken four movies over four years, but ‘Wonder Woman’ has broken the mold to be an adventure for audiences, fans, and critics to all enjoy. DC has taken a step back to focusing on plot and character in order to craft a grounded story separate from their past three attempts. Despite it not being perfect, this first modern female superhero film is inspiring, engaging, and a great improvement from the numb grittiness of DC’s universe.
‘Wonder Woman’ takes us back to her origins as a young goddess living with the Amazons and then joining a spy for the British to help end World War I and defeat Aries, the god of war. This change of setting helps to make this distinct from DC’s other installments and keeps it fresh, bright, and colorful. The “World War setting as an origin for a superhero prequel movie preparing for an upcoming major team up film” can make it seem from afar like it is similar to the first Captain America movie The movie does have typical prequel issues since we know that Wonder Woman won’t die and we can be fairly certain that most other characters won’t be seen again. The exposition is kept to a minimum so that we learn about the world more organically as Diana does. he plot moves smoothly and isn’t cluttered by twists and complicated side stories. The narrative is refreshingly straightforward.
The focus here is on the two leads. Gal Gadot shines as the titular heroine. Diana Prince is strong, courageous, passionate, caring, but also overzealous. She is a DC hero we can look up to and cheer for from beginning to end and I’m thinking that she was tragically underutilized in BvS. Some may see her as a too good Mary-Sue type character, but her stubborn overzealousness shows how she still needs to grow. Speaking of growing, she doesn’t start as the powerful, confident hero we met in BvS and the audience is able to see her growth gradually through the entire movie.
Joining Wonder Woman is Steve Trevor played by Chris Pine (who may be jealous of all of the other Hollywood Chris’es playing in superhero movies). He is also quite fun to see on screen and frequently steals the show. His character is grounded, relatable, and always wants to do what is right. Some of the best moments are seeing the dynamic between him and Diana in gender roles, social status, mindset, culture, and philosophy. Most of the other characters are not fleshed out enough for us to truly really care about them.
The movie still has issues with editing, dialogue, predictability, and a fairly typical 3rd act. These can be overloooked, but keep this movie from achieving the greatness we could have hoped for.
Rupert Gregson-Williams’ music score shifts with each setting to be more stylistic than thematic. We still hear the famous high-energy guitar theme several times in the move, as well as the underlaying drum beats, both of which were introduced prominently in BvS. With the several cultures that are shown (Amazons, British, and Germans), the composer gives each of these a distinct sound making us feel how far Wonder Woman has come and the foreign natural of these environments.
Even though it isn’t a high standard to achieve, Wonder Woman is hands down the DCEU’s best movie. It is an inspiration film of potential, courage, and fighting for what is right. Most of all the movie is filled with hope of humanity, female lead films, and for DC. After this and Lego Batman, this year is hopefully the beginning of a winning streak from DC that won’t end soon. Fingers crossed for Justice League.
Patty Jenkins’ superhero origin fantasy action adventure WONDER WOMAN from Warner Bros. Pictures & DC Entertainment stars Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, David Thewlis, Robin Wright, Connie Nielsen, Danny Huston, & Elena Anaya and is out in theaters June 2nd, 2017.
PG-13 – 2hrs. 21min.