Title: Wonder Woman
Director: Patty Jenkins
Starring: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright
Synopsis: Before she was Wonder Woman she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained warrior. When a pilot crashes and tells of conflict in the outside world, she leaves home to fight a war to end all wars, discovering her full powers and true destiny.
Wonder Woman has her own movie!!! Wow. It only took 76 years for that to happen. The character of Wonder Woman was created in 1941 by DC Comics, and has always been regarded as one of the most popular characters in the comics and DC franchise in general. She is part of The Justice League, and for many people the definitive female superhero. It only makes sense that she would be the first female superhero to have a film at this stature, but what doesn’t make sense is how long it has taken for this to happen. Superman got his first big movie in the late 70s, Batman in the late 80s, but Wonder Woman in 2017? It just doesn’t make sense, but we at least got to be grateful that we are alive when it happened. And that the movie is actually really good! And a big part of that is because of Gal Gadot’s portrayal of the iconic comic book character.
Gal Gadot is the actress who has been chosen to portray this character, and to be perfectly honest, she was born to play the Princess of the Amazons, Diana Prince. Not only does she have the look to pull it off, but the acting chops as well. Gadot really embellishes a sense of warmth, confidence, and resilience. She’s tough, without being masculine, and vulnerable without being too fragile. She’s a character that woman can relate to and more especially look up to. The character is a great role model who is strong, willing to fight for the greater good, and generous. Gadot really does a marvelous job, and I am excited to see what she does next with the character.
DC took a gamble and gave a relatively unknown filmmaker a shot at directing Wonder Woman, and boy did it pay off. Patty Jenkins is the director, who has only one other previous film under her belt, 2003’s Monster which won Charlize Theron an Oscar for Best Actress. Jenkins proved that she has talent directing that film, but she hasn’t proved she can run an entire big-budget blockbuster film at this caliber, but she does a wonderful job. One of the best things that Jenkins did was create a world that is not only memorable but believable. Watching this film, especially on the big-screen, it will transport you into the breathtaking landscapes where Wonder Woman grew up in the beginning of the film. The color palette is much more colorful and luminous compared to the previous DCEU films. When the movie changes gears to other landscapes that are more brooding they are still very believable and realistic. Jenkins also does a great job of combining different tones, but still remaining true to the story and not overbearing. This film can be very funny at times, and also very tragic, but the overall tone of the film is still very earnest and consistent. This film is not only a superhero flick, but also a genre exercise. Even though it is overall a superhero origin story, there are touches of other genres like adventure, action, war, romance and even screw-ball comedy. Chris Pine plays the American WWI pilot who ends up meeting up with Wonder Woman and the two of them form this instant bond, and because they are both very different, a lot of great humor comes out of it.
Overall, Wonder Woman is a giant step forward for the DC franchise, and a very important landmark in a movie industry that has always been male-centered. Wonder Woman is the first big-studio superhero movie to star a female actor/character and be directed by a female. Not only is it important for the movie industry going forward, but it’s also just a really well-made stand alone superhero origin story. It doesn’t rely on what the previous DC movies have done so far, and it does not set up any future installments going forward. It’s just a singular film that has a beginning, middle, and end, which may not seem like a big deal, but in modern-day Hollywood, it sure is.
Is it perfect? No. The third act does get a little jumbled up and relies too much on CGI compared to the previous two acts. The villains are also pretty forgettable, but since it’s an origin story, Wonder Woman was the main focus, so that isn’t a big concern. Wonder Woman was extremely memorable and satisfying to watch on-screen, so the movie accomplished that with ease. It’s easily one of the best superhero movies in years, and probably the best DC superhero film since The Dark Knight. I’m excited to see what both director Patty Jenkins and actress Gal Gadot do next, and to see Wonder Woman kick even more ass in future DC films. My grade for this movie is: