I’ve never done a movie review before,but I just had to do this one,being a DC fan and all…Actually,I think this just might become a thing,reviewing movies and all.
So,let’s get this out of the way… Wonder Woman had a lot riding on it’s shoulders. Besides having to prove that the DCEU is capable of entertaining the general audience and keep them invested in the DC Extended Universe, it also had to prove that female-led superhero flicks are profitable and have a wide audience, being the first female led super hero movie and all.
On that count,Wonder Woman very much succeeds!!!
While the movie is not without some flaws,Wonder Woman has some strengths that kinda brush aside the flaws of the movie.
So the story is told in flashback,when Diana receives the original photo from Bruce Wayne of her exploits during World War I,and how she came to be…The movie also highlights the tragedy of war, to a good extent.
Diana is the princess of Themyscira, an island consisting only of women called the Amazons and it is obscured in plain sight by magic.When an American spy called Steve Trevor lands on their shores,Diana learns of WWI and she travels to London to stop the war.
So,I’ll break down this review into what works and what doesn’t.
Anyone who’s seen BvS can agree that Gal Gadot was the best thing in that movie.While she proved that she made a good Wonder Woman,not all were convinced with the choice.
Here she puts all those doubts to rest, as she slays the role. Be it the acting or the action or the comedy, Gadot pulls it off neatly. I think we can say that she’s made the role her own!
The Supporting Cast
Not to say any less of the supporting cast either, they did a commendable job as well. Chris Pine pulls equal weight with Gadot as Steve Trevor, and Robin Wright does a great job as General Antiope, and then there’s Lucy Davis’s Etta Candy for some good ol’ comic relief. The others such as Said Taghmaoui, Ewen Bremner, Connie Nielson and the others did a good job with what little they were provided.
The Action (for the most part)
I have to say this,the action is great for 2/3rd’s of the movie..(Yeah,we’ll get to that in a while).
The standout moment has to be the assault staged by Diana and Steve’s crew in No Man’s Land,where the best part of the action happens in the movie. While there are some things that annoy me, like too much slow motion scenes, the action is very much great for the most part!
So far the DCEU movies have all been grim-dark affairs,and frankly,it did the company no favors. So,it’s nice to see Wonder Woman tone down the darkness and opt for a some what lighter tone. The humor isn’t in-your-face or forced, but it comes pretty naturally.
Most of the humor here stems from Diana’s fish-out-of-water predicament and her naivete. Those scenes in the island and the boat were enjoyable and while the second half takes a more serious turn, the humor is still present, here and there.
I’ll admit that I was worried when I saw the run time for the movie clocking in at about 2 hours and 21 minutes, that this could become a slug fest. Luckily enough, the movie runs at a brisk pace, making you forget that the movie is that long at all.
While the first half sets up Diana, Steve, the villains and their motivations, it doesn’t feel like the movie is plodding, and the second half is where the action is at, and the movie feels evenly paced as a result.
It’s it own movie
In an age where every franchise movie these days have to have a scene that sets up the next umpteen movies, it seems most of them are forgetting to make a good movie in the first place.
While BvS had a bevy of problems, this also contributed to the film’s drubbing. Sure,I was salivating at the prospect of seeing the Justice League, but that’s because I was a DC fan. Most of the audience in the theater, save for the DC fans and fans of the Flash, had no idea what was going on…Marvel had the same problem with Iron Man 2, when it tried to set up the Avengers as much as possible.
So it’s refreshing to see Wonder Woman have none of that stuff! Save for the Bruce Wayne bit, there’s no other setups to future movies and callbacks to previous movies. It’s a standalone movie that can be enjoyed by anyone and everyone, even if you haven’t watched the previous movies.
What Doesn’t Work
The Final Act
Most of the critics lambasted WW’s final 15 or so minutes and rightly so.
It seems that every super hero movie these days have to have this final boss situation..You know what I’m talking about, the crazy explosions, the action, the CGI monstrosity, the whole works….
And Wonder Woman has the same problems as well. Let’s just the final act of the movie kinda lets down the movie to a degree…The action wasn’t great, the scenes were not great to look at, the villain’s motivation wasn’t strong enough etc etc.
Now you might say that’s how most super hero movies end..and while I do agree with you, the execution was very much a swing and a miss here.
Another problem with modern super hero movies is the lack of a compelling villain. Now we are not expecting a Joker out of every damn movie, but would it hurt these movies to give us some good villains?????
While I can understand the MCU’s problem on the villain front,(It’s my view that most of their best villains are under Fox and Sony’s control) and the fact that Marvel’s movies are light-hearted affairs in general, the DCEU can’t parade that excuse around. It’s got the best villains compared to Marvel and most of the time, the heroes at least in these three movies have an existential crisis and what not..Here, halfway through the film, Diana starts to doubt whether she should fight for man at all, after a particular incident.
So it’s annoying to see that Wonder Woman has lackluster villains, that don’t exactly back that up.
Elena Anaya is wasted as *ahem* Dr.Poison, Danny Huston’s General Luddendorf is your generic power hungry villain..and of course, Ares….The CGI monstrosity that was unnecessary and was just a pain to watch…All in all, rote villains that you will definitely forget.
I don’t see any excuse for this..WW has some of the worst CGI I’ve seen in a movie in some time..Some times, the CGI looks very bad, as if in a movie from 2008 or so. I was seated in the front row, so I might be exaggerating a bit.
But even at it’s best, the CGI looked very wonky and uneven, and that kinda takes away from the experience as a whole.
Adherence to Snyder’s playbook
This is in reference to the visuals of the movie.
For all his faults, it can’t be denied that Zack Snyder is a terrific visual director, with an eye for action and detail. But the man has some indulgences that can screw his films.
So, it’s annoying to see Patty Jenkins somewhat adhere to Snyder’s school of filmography, instead of creating her own movie…These might be small quibbles, but they are kinda annoying all the same.
First off, there’s a bit too much slo-mo scenes than necessary….While Jenkins doesn’t over use them like Snyder does, and he does it in the most unnecessary scenes at times, it is my opinion that the slow-motion scenes could have been reduced.
Then there is the color gradation of the film…Wonder Woman has a pretty drab greyish look, once Diana leaves Themiscyra and it could have used some lighting and color in my opinion.
Should you watch Wonder Woman??Yes
Frankly it’s a win for the DCEU that they desperately needed after three strikes..Now with this, they can be more confident with Justice League..
All in all, it’s the movie that DC fans needed and a movie that the audience will like.