Possible spoilers ahead!
“Wonder Woman” follows Diana (Gal Gadot) from her childhood on Themyscira through her transformation into the superhero of World War I. The film is framed by present day sequences, but most the story sees young Diana growing up on Themyscira as the daughter of Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen), and trained under the tutelage of her aunt, General Antiope (Robin Wright). But Diana’s world changes when a man crash lands in the water just off Themyscira’s shores.
Diana rescues Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), a World War I soldier who tells the Amazons of the Great War that has claimed millions of lives across Europe. Believing Ares to be the cause of such devastation, and wanting to save mankind from the God of War, Diana leaves Themyscira with Steve, traveling to Europe in the hope of finding and defeating the Amazons’ sworn enemy.
In London Steve assembles a small team consisting of Sameer (Saïd Taghmaoui), Charlie (Ewen Bremner), and Chief (Eugene Brave Rock). And with some help from Steve’s faithful secretary Etta Candy (Lucy Davis) and Sir Patrick Morgan (David Thewlis), Diana and Steve set out to find and stop General Erich Ludendorff (Danny Huston) and his scientist Doctor Maru (Elena Anaya).
Finally, finally people, DC and Warner Bros. got it right!
“Wonder Woman” is EPIC< and this movie more than lives up to the hype. This film deserves all the critical praise it’s received and then some. “Wonder Woman” is a beautifully directed, well acted, superhero movie about hope and love. These are two things the DCEU has been sorely missing.
“Wonder Woman” never felt bogged down by the disappointments of “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” or “Suicide Squad.” Since the majority of the film takes place on Themyscira or in Europe during World War I, the film had opportunities the previous movies did not have, like telling a stand alone origin story.
The Word War I setting also provides a chance for some incredible action. Diana’s Amazonian fighting style gives us a fresh take on what could have been a typical battlefield scene. Watching Diana take on the German army with only her sword, shield, and her Lasso of Truth, was breathtaking. For the first time ever, I got goosebumps watching a superhero on the big screen.
One of the movie’s best action sequences features the Amazons taking on a group of German soldiers on the beaches of Themyscira . Here, we see why the Amazons are some of the best warriors in the world, and the Amazon who steals the show is Robin Wright’s Antiope. During this sequence, the audience cheered like we were at a sporting event, another first during a comic book movie.
For me however, the best part of “Wonder Woman” was Diana’s personal journey through man’s world, and this is where Patty Jenkins direction succeeds where the others didn’t. I love the small moments in the film like: the moment Diana tastes ice cream for the first time; the banter on the boat between Steve and Diana; the way Diana talks down the army general; and countless other.
Gadot plays each of these moments with equal amounts of innocence and curiosity. She also does this little chuckle a couple of times, that seemed genuine. This is by far Gal Gadot’s best work to date. I don’t believe any other actress could have brought out all the different sides of Diana to life as beautifully as she did.
Chris Pine as Steve Trevor is the tour guide not just for Diana’s questions and curiosities about man’s world, but for the audience as well. We’re learning about the Amazons and Diana right along with Pine, and he is at his most charming here. The chemistry between the two is undeniably, and it helps sell the relationship.
My only complaint (if you want to call it that), is that Steve never calls Wonder Woman “Angel.” I know it’s a silly complaint because its such a minor thing, but whenever I read Wonder Woman’s comic, he always called her that, and I think this happened in the old tv show too.
“Wonder Woman” is damn near perfect, but the movie suffer from something that ails most comic book movies: underdeveloped villains. General Erich Ludendorff (Danny Huston) and Doctor Poison (Elena Anaya) really don’t have much to do. Huston has a lot of dialogue, but his character was pretty pointless. I wish Doctor Poison had been the main “human” villain, because her character had potential. Elena Anaya is a good actress, but she too didn’t get a character arc.
At the end of the day, “Wonder Woman” is not only the best of the DCEU films, but it is also one of the best comic book movies period. Gal Gadot and Patty Jenkins delivered an incredibly exciting and inspiring film, and I can’t thank them enough. “Wonder Woman” is the movie about hope and love we didn’t know we needed in 2017.
“Wonder Woman” score: A