The savior, Wonder Woman, has arrived in all her Amazonian glory – bearing a shield to protect itself from the seemingly inescapable DCEU criticisms, a lasso to round up all the critics, and a sword to make sure they know who’s calling the shots. Get ready for something truly wonderful.
Wonder Woman follows the story of the Amazonian Princess Diana as she leaves her home only to find a world at war.
Gal Gadot reprises her role as Wonder Woman, and with acclaimed director Patty Jenkins at her side they become a force to be reckoned with. It seems Gadot has improved greatly since her time spent filming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and you can really feel the emotion in some of the more intimate scenes. Finding a tempered balance between strong and sensitive, while adding a layer of humor to the character, Gadot really makes this character her own. She does struggle to pull out some of the more intense emotions, especially in battle sequences, and the distinct lack of worry on her face means you aren’t fearful that her character will lose a battle at any given point. While she does need to work on her battle face Gal Gadot has proven that she is the Amazonian Princess audiences were hoping for.
One of the best performers was Chris Pine, he adds a portion of serious acting to the movie where Gal Gadot could not supply it, this layer of emotion raises the stakes for all the characters and the entire story as a whole. Pine makes you care about outcomes of the story and is almost essential in the quieter and louder moments of the film. Much of the supporting cast were also great – Robin Wright, David Thewlis, and Danny Huston were all great in their respective roles – while they don’t add anything massive to the film, they are essential in understanding how Wonder Woman became who she is now.
Wonder Woman succeeds where the other DCEU films failed – finally audiences are given a story that worked almost entirely on character development, inch by inch this movie carefully fleshes out both Gadot and Pines characters, this is exactly what the DCEU needed when it comes to integrating a character driven film into their universe.
The chemistry between Gadot and Pines was fantastic, some of the best seen in a superhero film in LONG time; their scenes together are slow but layered with intimacy and genuine care for one-another, it was refreshing to see a superhero film that properly explored a love interest effectively and kept things interesting instead of pulling the whole “the people I care about get hurt” tactic. This film had a solid structure from beginning to end, some parts in its third act were a bit unstable but for the most part it leaves you entirely satisfied with the outcome. Yes the film will have its slow moments, but those slow moments are ESSENTIAL for building these characters, and it’s something Snyder and Ayer had forgotten when developing their installments. One of this films greatest strengths was its overarching message on war, truth, and humanity – the villain is fantastic at outlining these messages and it all makes for a genuinely well thought-out story.
While the story and characters were fantastic, this film lets itself down on visuals in many parts, with some seriously blurry CGI, and fuzzy explosions – it seems there was an overall degradation in visuals since Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016). While the sets and practical effects were some of the best parts of the visual experience, the queen of the visuals is the cinematography. Patty Jenkins use of color and panning shots make for some of the best parts of the entire film. I’m glad to see the DCEU stay true to its grittier tone while increasing the amount of color in the film.
Wonder Woman is by far the DCEU‘s best film and it will hopefully bring about a tidal shift in Warner Brothers decisions on where these films need to go – Gal Gadot was splendid and Patty Jenkins stands at the top with the other great Superhero directors; overall Wonder Woman was satisfying and truly is the savior of the DCEU. Wonder Woman smashes all expectations and delivers a satisfying origin story into the DCEU, hopefully spurring the way for more successful future installments.