Well, this is it for the DC extended universe for me at least. I’ve adopted the three strikes ruling when it comes to watching a DC film, the first two offences were the result of the disappointment that was Batman V Superman and Suicide Squad. Now we come to Wonder Woman where it is most certainly thre…
That small introduction there was what I thought I would end up writing about Wonder Woman, but right now I feel I’ve been transmitted to an alternate dimension because I just saw a film set up for massive disappointment, and thought it good, maybe better than the average superhero film.
So how was this conclusion reached? I shall tell you. the first point in case, and what stood out to me the most in this film is the respect for the Wonder Woman or Diana character, not just from the source material, but also how they showed the scenes that are the beginnings of her changing. When Diana is first introduced to Steve (played by Chris Pine), this marks the first time she has seen a man in her life, she has all these questions that her character must ask and her curiosity sells her character being out of her element and makes her step into another world even more desirable to witness.
Not only does she have to adapt to being in the world of men, she also must adapt to being a woman in World War 1. In her home world Themyscira, she is shows as one of the strongest Amazon warriors but when she is taken into the world of men, she is seen by others as just another woman with very little societal involvement. You see this internal power identity clash superbly when she is dressed appropriately but carries her sword and shield around. By adding this not only has director Patty Jenkins created something that is genuinely comical but intentionally adds depth to Diana’s character.
Moving on to performances, Gal Gadot is simply superb. She has the intensity when the film requires it and portrays the conflicts that Diana has to face with the right amount of energy that gives the audience a hero to root for. Chris Pine as Steve was also very good, specifically very good at providing the charm that is needed for a film like this, what’s even better is that he keeps his performance in check and is careful as to not overshadow the importance of the Wonder Woman character. His chemistry with Gal Gadot is also to be noted.
This film throws out so many elements of the average superhero film that is doesn’t even set up future installments. Do you know how long it has been since audiences can just sit and watch a superhero film that isn’t a glorified advert for the next one? It’s so refreshing and a big move by the producers of the film, is very tempting for producers and studios to intervene and we all know how those usually go down (*cough* Fant4stic *cough*).
The colour palette of this film is very grey for the most part, very different from a vibrant showcase we’ve expected from DC films, but it adds to the darkness and horror feel of the being on the front lines of a World War 1 battlefield and matches the emotions that Diana is going through where she is unable to help anyone. There are so many elements of this film that are so indistinguishable, you’ll forget that you’re watching something that takes place in the DC extended universe, almost.
I say almost because two-thirds on this film are completely different from normal DC films, the last third of this film however, it the moment where you start to see Zach Snyder’s influence over this project, unfortunately for the wondrous Amazonian this is the moment that almost spoils the film.
The audience has already become used to the styling of Wonder Woman’s action sequences, to being thrown into an array of bright lighting with bright special effects is very off-putting and throws the audience off. Put it this way, right now a film analytic could place the films two focal action sequences side by side and point out every film element in those sequences and tell you why one is better than the other, but even for someone completely alienated from DC, it won’t be difficult to realise which sequence is better overall.
The main villain Ares, cements the film going back on itself into its safe space so to speak. If Ares has stayed a man, the villainous side of him would have been more impactful on the audience, however giving him his armour while staying true to its source material, is also very jarring from its time and place therefore his visual appeal is very weak and will most likely displease fans of the comic books.
This brings me back to the classic argument that DC film looks good rather than being good, luckily Wonder Woman isn’t heavily affected by this because the first and second act spend time making sure that its characters are fleshed out before putting them into glorified action sequences with no internal motivation or struggle. Wonder Woman is hope for the DC universe and has fans of the extended universe have a little more faith in the execution of these characters.
Final Result: 8/10 – Very Good
Have you seen Wonder Woman? What did you think? Please let me know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below.
Next Time: The Mummy