It’s about time that the DCEU got back on its feet!
Despite being one of the most popular superheroes ever, Wonder Woman never had her own solo movie. Sure, there was an animated movie back in 2009; a live-action film from 1974; and who could forget Lynda Carter’s TV show which ran from 1975-1979? Other than these examples, I don’t remember any other time Wonder Woman was the star of her own movie/TV show, especially compared to Superman and Batman.
Female-centered superhero movies always flopped, and it’s because the audience didn’t care for the characters since the people behind the films didn’t care enough to make them work. So when Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman had her cinematic debut in BvS, there was finally a chance to see her in her own film. And now we have it! Wonder Woman officially clocked in for the biggest US opening for a female director, and is, as of now, the queen of the box office. And there’s good reason to all of that: the film was a win not just for the audience, but for good character writing and other female directors. And even if it had some downs, it had plenty of ups.
Wonder Woman is an origin story, recalling Diana’s days in Themyscira and her involvement in WWII. The story doesn’t disappoint and was able to blend in DC’s gritty overall theme with much welcomed humor. Personally, I enjoyed the first and second act much more than I did the third act. Even with the twist at the the third act, it felt rushed to wrap up, but at least it came back with a satisfying ending.
The crew behind the film really worked hard to make Wonder Woman look authentic as a set piece. From the Amazonian armory down to the smoke-filled London, nothing seemed short of vibrancy in color, as all DC films are good at. Despite this, most scenes that used plenty of CGI looked obviously made with CGI. There were also a lot, if not too much, action sequences that used slow-mo effects. It was fine at first, but when every action sequence is slowed down, it could get tiring.
The soundtrack composed by Rupert Gregson-Williams is nothing short of stellar. I’ve been playing the track “Wonder Woman’s Wrath” all day!
And let’s admit it, Gal Gadot was BORN to play Wonder Woman. This film would’ve been much more different if Diana was played by a different actress. Chris Pine plays as Captain Steve Trevor, the romantic partner of Diana, along with some of my favorites in the movie, Danny Huston (Ludendorff); Robin Wright (Antiope); Saïd Taghmaoui (Sameer). Ludendorff and Dr. Maru were forgettable villains played by really good actors, who couldn’t help but say a few cliche supervillain lines.
Wonder Woman respects its characters. Steve Trevor isn’t turned to a male version of the damsel-in-distress and neither are the men in the film painted as too cowardly to make Wonder Woman seem much better. . Being set in WWII, it gave much perspective to the war and to the people in the war–both from the good and bad sides. While it would’ve been much easier to portray certain characters as wholly bad or wholly good, Wonder Woman takes an honest look at them, and sees them as people who can be both good and bad at the same time.
Yes, Wonder Woman has some problems, but they’re not enough to cast a shadow over the whole movie. Most of the remarks I made are mostly out of personal taste. I know others who enjoyed them. It is definitely an improvement from the DCEU in many ways and is the best female-led superhero movie out there; but it isn’t the best. Even with what I’ve pointed out, this IS one of my favorite superhero movies of all time, and I’d gladly watch it again.
It’s official: The DCEU has been saved by a woman. This film isn’t solely about an agenda, and if that is all that’s keeping you from watching this film–you’re missing out on a legitimately great movie.
Thank you Patty Jenkins, Gal Gadot, and the rest of the cast and crew for making this film. Crossing my fingers for the sequel.