D.C. Finally Enters the Race With “Wonder Woman”
By Scott Kurland
Film: Wonder Woman
Starring: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, David Thewlis, Danny Huston, Robin Wright, Connie Nielsen, Lucy Davis, and Elena Anya
Director: Patty Jenkins
I never thought the day would come where I would leave a live-action, D.C. Comics/Warner Brothers film feeling happy. Up until this moment, I thought we were doomed to suffer the same torture over and over again. You know... like what Michael Bay does with 80’s based cartoons. At last, D.C. made a worthy film thanks to one very special woman, and I think we all know who that is. Patty Jenkins. Oh, you thought I was going to say “Wonder Woman” didn’t you? Well, Jenkins deserves all the credit because, if you know your comic book film history, Marvel approached Jenkins to do “Thor: The Dark World.” However, negotiations broke down due to creative differences and Jenkins came to D.C. This week’s film is indeed “Wonder Woman.” Let us find out how good it is, shall we?
“Wonder Woman” opens up on a young Diana (Lilly Aspell), who lives alongside her fellow Amazons on the hidden island of Themyscira
. Diana possesses unique abilities that set her apart; abilities that her mother,
Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen), wishes to remain hidden
. Even so, headstrong Diana demands to be trained by the best warrior on the island, her aunt Antiope (Robin Wright) and thus grows into a powerful Amazon. Now an adult, Diana (Gal Gadot) is desperate to unearth the truth about her abilities. Problems arise however when a man, Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), washes up on what is supposed to be an impossible to find island. Trevor informs the Amazonians that World War I is occurring beyond their shore and that Earth is in trouble. Diana takes it upon herself to leave home and help humanity against General Lundendorff (Danny Huston) and Dr. Poison herself (Elena Anaya). Will Diana prove to be the Wonder Woman the world needs? Or, do we need to wait until “Justice League” to learn if the D.C universe is really worth saving at this point?
First off, bravo D.C.! You have reached Marvel 2009 level film-making. “Wonder Woman” reminded me of the first few MCU movies like “Iron Man,” “Thor,” and especially, “Captain America: The First Avenger.” The similarities between this film and “Captain America” are very eerie. Yet I can forgive all of this because this film was great. I mean, for once I had a lot of fun watching a D.C. film, and the message of female empowerment is inspiring. I am sincerely happy that young girls get to see this particular version of Wonder Woman; one that knows herself, is unafraid to voice her beliefs, and is the first to run into battle leaving her male counterparts in the dust. Jenkins' direction along with Allan Heinberg’s script, make this film good, but it’s the performances that make “Wonder Woman” truly great.
Gadot and Pine really make the film. Without them, “Wonder Woman” would not be as strong as it is. Gadot brings two sides to Diana. First, there’s the kind-hearted fish-out- of-water that wants to help humanity. Her amazement with Earth culture and London in the 1900's is both very pure, naïve, and one that she absorbs with wide, innocent eyes. Second, there’s her “Wonder Woman,” side and she’s just an absolute badass. Gadot is Israeli, which means, like all Israelites, she had to serve in their military so believe me when I say this Gal really Gadots how to throw a punch. I’m sorry, but we all knew that pun was coming.
As for Pine, he is the best superhero girlfriend we have ever seen in a comic book movie. Usually the love interest is a damsel-in-distress or a sideline character. Not so for Steve Trevor. Pine gets into the action with Gadot and he has so many great comedic moments and one-liners. Its because of this that this particular D.C. film works. It’s funny and full of optimism. It’s not dark like “Batman VS. Superman: Dawn of Justice.” It’s not fake funny like “Suicide Squad. ” It’s just funny and full of great characters. Pine has an arch. His character is trying to prove something and possesses a genuine desire to help humanity. In the past D.C. films, it felt like Superman, Batman, and even (I hate to say this) Lois Lane wanted us all to suffer like they do.
“Wonder Woman,” still has a few storytelling problems in the editing. They cut away from one scene to another, then cut back to the previous scene in a manner that is both sloppy and unnecessary (you'll know the scene when you see it). Also, the special effects are nowhere near as good as Marvels. One example is the way Marvel seamlessly ages down famous actors to make them look like their younger selves. They try doing that in this movie with one of the villains and it fails horribly. The lighting bolts that appear also looked a bit too animated. Still, all those problems aside, this is a great summer movie.
“Wonder Woman” is proof that you can have not only a good D.C. film, but a strong female lead carrying your movie. The cast is perfect, the story is really strong, and with Patty Jenkins’ direction, the movie flies high. “Wonder Woman” is a must see film. It’s full of action and heart which will definitely satisfy any audience. Good job D.C., now don’t muck it all up with “Justice League.”
REVIEW RATING: B+