Wonder Woman

    Movie » Wonder Woman released on June 02, 2017.

    Wonder Woman's first big screen feature film starring Gal Gadot.

    thespoiler's Wonder Woman review

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    It's Wonderful

    Ever since I got into comics, I didn’t understand why there wasn’t a Wonder Woman movie. When I started reading her books and got into the character, I was still confused why there wasn’t a Wonder Woman movie but now knew I definitely wanted one. After years of waiting, it’s finally here and I’m extremely happy with the result.

    “Wonder Woman” takes place during World War I and involves pilot Steve Trevor crash-landing on Themyscira. Diana hears about the war and believes it to be caused by Ares, so she sets out with Steve to kill Ares and stop the war. Overall I really liked the plot to the movie. It managed to be simple and easy-to-follow without feeling like they didn’t put effort in, was compelling, and very well-paced. I will say that it was kind of predictable, but I can overlook that since the execution was so good. There were a couple twists towards the end, both of which I sort of predicted but they managed to reveal in ways I didn’t expect, so I do give them credit there.

    As for Wonder Woman herself, I thought the movie did a great job with her. She was a really inspiring and heroic character, and they added enough depth to her to make her an interesting character but not lose the heroism as a/the core aspect of her. She’s sort of naive at certain things, enthusiastic, etc. She managed to feel kind of child-like, yet mature at the same time (if that makes sense). It led to plenty of opportunities for great scenes, whether it’s her pushing to help people or being put off by seeing terrible things. This could have been hard to pull off, but the script and Gal Gadot’s great performance made it work. I know a lot of people, myself included, were unsure about Gal, but she did great as Diana. Gal, I apologize for doubting you.

    The other major stand-out was Chris Pine as Steve Trevor. He just gave a great performance and fit the character well. He managed to feel charismatic without over-shadowing everyone else, he had good comedic timing, and felt really believable in all the serious/dramatic scenes. I guess the best description of him would be that he’s been through the war for a while and it is really starting to affect him (being sick of it and people dying), but it still hasn’t broken him and he’s keeping his spirit alive, which Pine pulls off really well. The fact he & Gadot had excellent chemistry made things even better. I think those two are now my favorite couple in any comic movie.

    As for the rest of the supporting cast: They work well in what they do. There’s a few people who help Diana & Steve and travel with them. They all have memorable personalities and you probably will enjoy some moments with them, but they really don’t stand out when I’m reflecting back on the film now. I honestly don’t even remember their names. Same with Etta Candy (played by Lucy Davis); she has some good moments, but ultimately doesn’t add that much to the film.

    In terms of villains, there’s two main ones we see throughout the movie: Erich Ludendorff (played by Danny Houston) and Doctor Poison (played by Elena Anaya). First off, I want to praise the movie for using Doctor Poison. Cool choice, and not a predictable one (when you first heard this movie was happening, did you expect to see any villain other than Ares, Cheetah, or Circe?) As for how her character was: She worked for what the movie needed. A stand-out character to work for Germany that feels more comic-booky. I would have liked some more screen time with her, but between Elena’s natural screen presence, a good design, and a unique gimmick with the gases made her stand out. Not a top-teir comic movie villain, but certainly serviceable for the role the movie needed to fill. Erich is pretty much the same, only doesn’t stand out as much; he’s a German general who can give orders to Dr. Poison and has a recognizable face for the audience. He has a role in the plot, but it’s not much memorable. Danny Houston does a solid job, but again, it’s not much memorable. While I did enjoy Dr. Poison, the biggest issue with “Wonder Woman” is probably that the villains could have been stronger.

    One of the things I was really looking forward to was seeing Themyscira on film, and I can say I’m satisfied because the island looked gorgeous. I really liked all the scenes that took place there; they were all interesting, looked great, and didn’t try to change things to make it more grounded or whatever (it seemed respectful to the comics to me). It didn’t even feel overloaded with exposition like you’d expect; they only go heavy on that once and do it in a creative way that flowed naturally with the film (when Diana was a kid, Hippolyta was telling her the story of the Amazons while the screen had some pictures up with an art style to go along with what she was reading from). My biggest issue with Themyscira was that there wasn’t enough of it. The island and all of its inhabitants aren’t seen again after the movie’s first act. I know it wasn’t the focus of the movie, but still disappointing since it’s such an interesting world.

    In terms of tone, the movie balances everything perfectly. It’s not really dark or grim, but it never feels like a comedy with nothing serious either. It has plenty of comedy and jokes in it, but it was never too much and they were all placed well enough that it never hurt the serious moments (so I didn’t mind them, even if most of the jokes were a miss for me). There were also scenes showcasing the horrors of war that were a little uncomfortable, but they never went overboard with it and it managed to feel in place despite the more out-there and mythical elements the movie has. They also paced everything really well so that we didn’t just jump from a comedic scene of Diana trying on clothes to her feeling bad over wounded soldiers; they gradually shifted to it over several scenes. And of course you had several scenes in-between that were serious, but more for the characters and their interactions & development than the content.

    While they weren’t the highlight for me, the action scenes to this looked really good for the most part. The way Diana moved around looked great, and they did some cool stuff that just made me smile (mainly involving the lasso). I think they may have over-used the slow-motion, but it looked good enough that I see why they did. I do think the CGI during the climax was kind of weak, but the character-driven parts of that managed to overcome that issue. The action was made even better when mixed with the really good soundtrack that I’m listening to as I write.

    While the movie was well-put together overall, there were a couple shots that looked really odd to me. The main one I remember was a scene where Diana and a few others were sitting at a table, someone else approached the table, and she got up and grabbed his arm, but I don’t recall them actually showing her getting up. One shot she’s sitting down, the next she has his arm. Just some weird editing there.

    While I don’t want to give too much away, I want to highlight what is now one of my favorite movie experiences of all time: There’s a scene where Diana and Steve (and the others) are in the trenches traveling, the two argue for a moment, and Diana delivers a little speech. She then takes off the top layer of clothing she had, revealing the costume underneath, and heads into probably the best action scene in the movie (at the very least it had the best atmosphere of them). I nearly starting crying out of happiness when I saw it. Part of it was just everything she said fitting into what I said earlier about how heroic & inspiring the character (and film in general) is, and part of it was just the pure joy from not only having a Wonder Woman movie but realizing it was everything I could have hoped for (not the best wording, but I don’t know how else to put it). Not only was it was a beautiful sequence, but the feeling after it was over (for me and in-film) just felt so satisfying (and had some great Diana/Steve moments). This genuinely could beat out the “We need you to hope again” scene from X-Men: Days of Future Past as my favorite scene ever in a comic film.

    I absolutely loved “Wonder Woman”. It had great characters, was well-acted, is one of those works that truly defines what a superhero is, and was just beautiful. It’s without question the best DCEU movie so far, and possibly my favorite DC movie ever. I don’t know where it’d rank on my all time favorite comic films list (I want to give it some time to sit and see how I feel more removed from it), but my initial reaction is in the Top 3. Again, I absolutely loved this movie and I’m glad it looks like everyone else is.

    Overall Rating: 9 out of 10

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