This review is Spoiler free
Directed by Patty Jenkins, “Wonder Woman” is the 4th film in the DCEU. It also happens to easily be the best installment in the franchise.
Following the exploits of Diana (Gal Gadot), Princess of the Amazons, “Wonder Woman” begins on the hidden island of Themyscira where Diana is raised and trained in the arts of war, diplomacy, and culture. The tranquility of Themyscira is abruptly shattered, however, when Diana brings ashore an Allied spy being pursued by German soldiers. It is quickly revealed that the rest of the world is currently engaged in the first World War. Based on ancient Amazonian legends, Diana believes that the Greek god of war, Ares, is responsible for the war and sets off with Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) and his ragtag band of criminals and ex-soldiers to put an end to the war that would end all wars.
Being part of the DC film franchise, Wonder Woman has a lot going against it. Already gaining a reputation for gaudy, over-produced, poorly written films, DC has yet been able to release a feature that can critically compete with its Marvel competitors. “Wonder Woman” may be the film to break that mold. Wielding a standard super hero movie budget of $149 million, “Wonder Woman” sports a fairly impressive cast including: Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, and of course Gal Gadot. Gadot’s performance in particular is especially impressive. Wonder Woman is fierce, sensitive, intelligent, and independent. This is a very welcome development of character as we only got a short glimpse of her in Zack Snyder’s “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” (Though she was quite possibly the only saving grace of that particular flick.) Pine and Huston also deliver solid performances, if not slightly more simplistic ones, given that their characters are fairly cliched staples of super hero films. Unfortunately Thewlis leaves something to be desired, never quite convincing us of his role or really making himself stand out as an interesting character.
The plot of “Wonder Woman” is strikingly similar to that of “Captain America: The First Avenger,” which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. While obviously there are some core differences, the mechanics of “a band of misfits against an overwhelming enemy in a war of yesteryear” are still very much the same. “Wonder Woman” brings a healthy dose of action, humor, and feeling to the screen without ever delivering less or going above what we might expect. This is a story we’ve seen numerous times, but it’s one that seldom grows old and “Wonder Woman” isn’t the least bit stale, if a tad uninspired.
Aesthetically “Wonder Woman” is a delight. Themyscira looks like a true Mediterranean paradise, from its rustic Greek ruins to its beautiful beaches and seaside cliffs. The battlefields of WWI Europe are bleak and depressing. In particular, the choreography of the action scenes are phenomenal. While clearly Jenkins drew a large amount of inspiration from the playbook of Zack Snyder, Wonder Woman’s style of fighting while blocking bullets with her signature bracers is reminiscent of scenes from The Matrix trilogy.
Overall, Wonder Woman is easily the best DCEU film to date. While it doesn’t really offer anything we haven’t already seen from Marvel, Gadot’s performance alone makes this worth the watch. “Wonder Woman” looks good and with a few exceptions flows well through its 2 hour run time. If you have any interest at all in the DC universe, definitely check this one out (As a side note, “Wonder Woman” thankfully skips teasers at upcoming DC movies, unlike its predecessors.) Bearing all this in mind, this critic gives Wonder Woman a solid 8/10 as one of the best blockbusters of the Summer.
With Tiger Media Network I’m Chris Jacobs