Well gosh golly me DC managed to finally put out a good movie this century that wasn’t about Batman. Considering the painfully awful 2016 releases of Batman VS Superman and Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman being just good is almost a miracle.
Honestly though the more I think about this movie the less I really have to say about it, if I were to sum up this whole movie in a single word it would be competent. It knows what it’s doing, how to do it and probably most importantly why it wants to do what it does. So what is it doing? It’s being a Marvel movie. There is an obvious comparison between Wonder Woman and Captain America: The First Avenger as they’re both fighting Germans in world wars (WWI for Wonder Woman and WWII for Captain America), both main characters are driven by their seemingly unquestionably good senses of morality, both are big fans of blue and red in their wardrobe and just in case it wasn’t obvious enough yet they have wonder woman frequently use her shield. I wonder why…..
If it sounds like I’m condemning Wonder Woman for following the Marvel formula I promise I’m not. The way Marvel movies are made are really smart ways to do the first film in a franchise, to do origin stories. What you ultimately want from an origin movie is to have audiences relate to and connect with the main character so that they’ll be excited to see what future adventures they have, that means that the story doesn’t have to be rock solid, and neither do villains. Neither of those two things will be present in the sequels so really they don’t matter. Wonder Woman pretty much nails this to a T as Ares matters just enough as a bad guy to cement what Wonder Woman is all about, that being to protect humanity, even from themselves. That is really the only thing Ares does in the movie, other than have a big CGI battle with Wonder Woman, but it’s a blockbuster and you need something to show in trailers.
Speaking of the big battle at the end, it’s kind of lame, as is most of the action in this movie. I get that they’re trying to show how Wonder Woman grew up in a different society and culture and therefore doesn’t fight like you or I, but most of the action shots, especially those in the first act feel out of place, like someone thought “This would be a really cool looking shot” and then just did it without thinking how it would look within the context of the rest of the movie. That leaves the action feeling weird and janky. The exception to this is the sequence near the end of the second act where Wonder Woman and her crew liberate a town from the Germans and the action starts to click together as you watch Wonder Woman lay the smack down in a one woman army sort of way. Plus her dropping the knee like she’s Captain Falcon is just awesome.
I think the real saving grace of this movie though is in the performances, specifically Gal Gadot as the titular character and Chris Pine as Steve Trevor. Gal Gadot really nails the childlike naivety one would expect from someone seeing the real world for the first time, and the chemistry between her and Pine is great. Great enough that I might actually be convinced one day that Christ Pine is more than a charming face and actually an actor worth noting.
Two small things before I wrap up. Wonder Woman’s theme continues to be totally awesome and the best superhero theme music since the original Superman theme. Also I know there are some people that are worried that this movie is going to be drowning in anti-men feminist propaganda. It’s not, It takes a couple of jabs but it’s all in good fun. It’s not odd that a movie shows off a powerful woman without needing to make all men look awful.
So in the end Wonder Woman is a good film, and one folks should go out and see. I know you might be nervous since the rest of the DC films are lackluster at best, but trust me. Wonder Woman is solid, now you just have to get nervous about the sequel actually adding something to the character and her story or not. Peace out!