I don’t think I can take anymore whining and complaining associated with this film. If it wasn’t for all the talk about people complaining about armpit hair, vagina only (or those who identify with having a vagina) movie screenings, and the country of Lebanon banning the movie because the star is a former member of the Israel Defense Forces, you would have almost forgotten how poorly the film was marketed in the first place. Wonder Woman is a title that sells itself (at least DC hopes it sells itself), arguably the most popular female superhero of all time after many decades of waiting to finally get a solo film. However, Warner Bros haven’t had the best of luck with their cinematic universe so far, but to be fair, I believe they got too much flack for Suicide Squad last summer. But this is about Wonder Woman and whether or not the film matches the hype, and I can safely say it passes the test.
The film is set as a flashback to Diana Prince’s (Gal Gadot) Childhood growing up the island of Themyscira, the land of the Amazons. The story is told of the battle of Zeus and Ares, Zeus created man and Amazons to live and love together and a jealous Ares corrupts them and forces them to fight each other in wars. Themyscira is hidden from the outside world and from the reach of Ares, that is until Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) crash lands on the island and brings an army of WWI German soldiers with him. After the ancient battle of Amazons vs Pre Nazis takes place, Steve tells the Amazons about the current World War. Convinced this is the work of Ares, Diana sets out into Europe to find and kill Ares ending the War.
I feel like you can break this film down into three parts, first being the upbringing in the Island of Amazon. Second, being a WWI tale, and the third being the superhero action film guaranteed in the title. Wonder Woman draws many similarities to me with Captain America: The First Avenger with the way it mixes a wartime setting with Superhero Lore. However, I believe that this movie handled the War-era setting and tone of the period better than Captain America did. I was initially pretty harsh on the casting of Gal Gadot was Wonder Woman, even in Batman vs Superman I had my doubts, but given time to develop her character in a solo movie, she knocks it out the park. Gadot gives a charming fish out of water performance as a woman isolated from the real world to shield from her true purpose. All doubts of her as Wonder Woman are completely erased.
Wonder Woman provides some bad supporting characters like Charlie, who is a drunken Scottish Marksman who doesn’t do anything the entire film outside of choking in his one useful moment. You also have General Erich Ludendorff who is nothing more than a cannon fodder villain who sole purpose is to be defeated. The one character I surprisingly really liked was Doctor Poison played by Elena Anaya. Her character has the best arch in the film and it’s really subtle. A mad scientist who is obsessed with her work to create chemical weapons for the war. While she initially comes off as a wacko chemist, a short 2-minute sequence between her and Steve Trevor shows that she is not really an evil person but a damaged one. She simply has never been appreciated for her work and clearly wasn’t shown much mercy given her disfigured face. When Steve shows her some admiration for her work even if it was false admiration, it exposes the character’s true motives which aren’t killing millions of people, but to be accepted which plays a big role in Wonder Woman deciding her fate towards the film’s ending.
There is much to like about this film, but it did have a few key issues which knocks down the overall rating. One glaring problem was the poor execution of the film’s CGI. It is so blatantly obvious that Wonder Woman is standing in front of a green screen at times, you wonder how this could not have been fixed with a 150 million dollar budget including reshoots. While the movie has charm, it also tends to be too hokey at times. You know this was done because the major criticism of DC movies is that they are too serious and don’t have enough humor. I get wanting to have your movie be enjoyable, but it gets to be a point where your humor gets corny and takes you out of the film. Not to mention the casting of Ares was VERY poor.
Is Wonder Woman the best DC comic film to date? Probably not, but it is the best Warner Bros/DC project to date since they threw their hat in the race for a massive superhero universe. I actually like the direction that they have taken with their last two films. This is a damn fine movie, all the Reddit talk is just people projecting their own views into the film, it isn’t Feminist Propaganda and it’s not a film to be concerned about what image it gives to little girls. If you grew up reading comics while patiently waiting to see Wonder Woman on the big screen for years, this film is the heroism movie you have waited for.