Release Date: June 1, 2017
Director: Patty Jenkins
Writer: Allan Heinberg, Zack Snyder, Jason Fuchs, William Moulton Marston (based on characters from DC: Wonder Woman created by)
Cast: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Connie Nielsen, Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Said Taghmaoui, Ewen Bremmer, Eugene Brave Rock, Lucy Davis, Lucy Davis, Elena Anaya, Lilly Aspell, Lisa Loven Kongsli, Anne Wolfe, Ann Ogbomo, Emily Carey, James Cosmo, Wolf Kahler, Alexander Mercury, Martin Bishop, Flora Nicholson, Pat Abernethy, Freddy Elletson, Sammy Hayman, Michael Tantrum
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 141 minutes
Production Company: Atlas Entertainment, Cruel & Unusual Films, DC Entertainment, Dune Entertainment (in association with) (as Rat-Pac Dune Entertainment LLC), Tencent Pictures, Wanda Pictures, Warner Bros.
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Budget: $149,000,000 (estimated)
Wonder Woman has impacted the lives of millions over the past several decades, and now she finally has her grand moment to shine on the big screen. It was a long time coming, being well deserved, and director Patty Jenkins (Monster) is one of the best in the business to take on such a property. So much is riding on this film and for departments over at Warner Bros. to deliver a great film that not only meets expectations, but jump starts a fresh launch of films that the previous 3 were divided on. It’s easy to say that Wonder Woman is far superior than Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Suicide Squad, but to say it’s better than Man of Steel (which I loved) is a tough decision to make. Both films accomplish tropes that the other didn’t, and cater to different audiences. Overall, Wonder Woman is a film that will please nearly all movie goers, and is a great film that empowers women.
When Diana/Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) was first cast, there was an uproar across the board. For such a beloved character that dates back seventy-five years, fans everywhere were confused on why a no name, slim actress got such a titular role. I had my concerns too. With her debut in BvS, it showed promise; but that performance centered on the hero and costume, not the acting. Now, with Gadot in her own film, all those concerns will be washed away. Not only do you fall in love with Diana as an adult in the film, but as a child too in the beginning of the film. Wanting to be like her older counterparts, little Diana is brave, strong, and the sweetest little girl you could come up with. The directing here was a wonderful way to get the audience on board with her character to carry you through the film. Though it doesn’t stop there. Gadot shows her acting chops, and she delivers every line with class and authority. Her character Diana is the perfect role model for class, beauty, and sophistication. When she’s passionate about something she doesn’t hold any punches, whether through dialogue or on the battlefield.
Though the battles are probably what most are interested in, her relationship with Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) is just as important. The chemistry between these two on screen was spot on perfect. A match made in heaven in other words. It’s possibly the best part of the film, as they bounce off each other like fish out of water discovering each other’s style of living. Their relationship is honest, adventurous, and hilarious all at the same time. I wanted these two to get married immediately due to them getting along so well. And it’s not just those two that make you smile, but a few of the surrounding characters as well. For both characters to have such wisdom, it was refreshing to see both of them take a step back with humbleness as they realized they both still had so much to learn about the world. It’s this type of character development and story that make the action have that much more stakes when it explodes on the screen.
I’m not suggesting this is the best action/adventure movie ever made, but for this particular film it was a homerun. The island of Themyscira (where Diana is from) was to die for, and the Amazons felt the same. These ladies are fierce, strong warriors that won’t take any crap from anyone. If you invade their land you will die! These aren’t normal deaths either. The way the women fought as one was truly inspiring. Let’s just say if they taught classes in real life, I would sign up in a heartbeat. For enhanced beings, they felt like normal humans do too. Which pulled your heart strings if one met their demise, and this is all towards the beginning of the film. Shortly after, it’s a great build of story and more characters until you get to the real action towards the middle. When Diana is throwing blows to baddies, you’re in your seat mimicking her in all her epicness. She’s a true leader that you want to follow, and all the credit goes to Gadot.
The first two acts of the film were flawless, but the film took a dip in quality when it came to the third. It didn’t flow as smooth as the rest of the film, coming across very uneven. It was confusing to determine where the enemies’ line began and ended. In and action/adventure film, with both good and bad guys, it felt at times either side wasn’t using their full advantage to reign on top of their adversary. It’s a small complaint, but still stood out. And while the final reveal of the antagonist was creeping up, it didn’t land as strong of an impact as it had potential for. The threat itself was worthy, with all the magical powers and abilities used quite well, but the entity behind the mask and pulling the strings felt like Pee Wee Herman in costume.
This film, while not perfect, still did so many things well that another director wouldn’t have been able to handle. This is a game changer of sorts, and will leave its lasting impression over time; not only in this film, but in real life. If, as a whole, society would recognize women as this film did, it would only be for the better. Patty Jenkins was able to make this point clear without beating you over the head and begging for sympathy. Out of the four DCEU films, I can say that Wonder Woman is the best, with this film shining a bright light for the future regarding films such as this one.