DC Comics has finally done it. They finally successfully launched a standalone film for one of their staple pantheon of gods, Wonder Woman. To be honest, when they said Gal Gadot was to be Wonder Woman my first thought was I don’t see her pulling it off. I also said the same thing for Batfleck after that Dare Devil train wreck but turns out I was proved wrong on both accounts in last year’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Wonder Woman currently boasts a surprising 93% from critics AND fans on Rotten Tomatoes and that’s when I knew I had to see it (but to be honest I was gonna see it anyway fam lol)
Most of us can remember how uneasy it was when the rollout for Batman v Superman began and as we heard more news and saw more trailers, we knew it might’ve been a stinker. Critic screening began and early Rotten Tomatoes scores were out, it wasn’t looking too good. However, one thing remained constant amidst all the bad news. Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman and Ben Affleck’s Batman were breakout successes. They donned their respective superhero persona with pride and performed admirably. Well, that movie came and went and here we are, Wonder Woman has her own standalone film and an origin movie at that. How on Earth did DC pull this one off?
First off, this movie has color. I’m not joking. In the opening minutes of the film, we’re greeted with the beautiful island of Themyscira. Also known as Paradise Island, it is a lush city-state bathing in sunlight and hidden away from the modern world and is home to the Amazons. After it seemed like the sun did not exist in Metropolis and Gotham during Batman V Superman and Zack Snyder’s repeated use of dull grays and browns, this was a welcomed change. I mean Wonder Woman does go on to use a similar color palette but there’s a reason for that.
The Amazons themselves were great too. These women looked like they can really fuck you up if you so much as give them a funny look. They were fierce and competent in all forms of combat. That’s the impression I got in the short while they had screentime. They were diverse too, many races and skin colors call Themyscira home. So I think any woman could identify with the Amazons because they look no different to us but yet so similar since women are strong.
Gal Gadot’s Princess Diana/Wonder Woman is an endearing sweetheart but powerful beauty who wants nothing more than to help people. Yes, she wants to save people! This is a crazy statement to write since so far in 2013’s Man of Steel and 2016’s Batman V Superman, it seemed like neither of those dudes actively wanted to save the poor people in the wake of their destruction. It sounds like I’m hating on both of those movies but I like them, I really do however I cannot agree on some decisions about Batman and Superman’s characterizations. She was such a breath of fresh air for how loving and kind she was. She only ever looked forward to the future and for peace in the world as long as Ares, the God of War was gone (no not Kratos). Never broody, only positive vibes.
I’ve never liked the “Miss America” motif previous Wonder Woman iterations carried so this portrayal is a welcomed effort. I love a good fish out of water story and throwing Diana into new environments like industrial London in the midst of World War One made for great scenes. They never played it up constantly for a cheap laugh or to make Diana look like a fool so whenever she said something outlandish and Chris Pine’s character Steve Trevor groaned inaudibly and had to clarify just made me crack a huge smile constantly. Did I mention that this girl is a total bad ass? Gal Gadot just doesn’t have the looks, style, and grace of the warrior princess herself, she shows some serious adept combat skills.
More on this later but damn, DC Comics knows how to show off their characters’ sheer power. Armed with the lasso of truth, her shield, sword and her iconic costume, she thrust into combat at the behest of the millions of lives in danger on the front of World War One without a second thought. Without revealing too much, her background was changed a bit but I learned this change was made the standard in new portrayals of the character. It wasn’t out of place and it made a ton of sense. Gal Gadot is Wonder Woman. Just like how Robert Downey Jr. is Tony Stark/Iron Man or Hugh Jackman is Wolverine, Gal Gadot displayed the everything a fan can dream of in a modern day portrayal of Wonder Woman and I’m glad many women can finally enjoy a strong, no compromises female role model and character in Wonder Woman that men like us have had many years with men other male superheroes.
I’m not the type to gush over visuals in movies, video games and anime, okay maybe I am. However, I’d be lying if I said this movie doesn’t look absolutely amazing! If it’s one notch I give DC Comics and their recent movies over Marvel’s MCU is that DC really does the action and visuals of their movies justice. Before the movie started I complained how movies usually don’t use 3D to its full effect and there’s always 3D movies for the most mundane things ever, not Wonder Woman though. Like in the gif above, they used slow-mo and 3D to the fullest effect to emphasize just how godly Diana is weaving in and out through battle. I ain’t gon even lie, when Diana put that tiara on and went on an all out one woman war to fuck some Germans up, the entire theater (including me) began to holler. I won’t say anymore as I don’t want to get too spoilery.
Some critics made the point that the villains are weak. To be honest I have to agree, they’re cartoony and reminiscent of something you’d see on Saturday morning cartoons. That’s my only negative for the film as they weren’t completely horrible, I enjoyed Danny Houston’s General Erich Ludendorff and the other villains. There’s a twist at the end that I didn’t see coming but my girlfriend told me she saw it a mile away and hinted at it the entire time. When it was finally revealed.. fam, I felt dumb.
The writing and dialogue, for the most part, was great, save for one or two characters in the beginning segment of the movie. The villains like I said were cartoony and spewed the same “muahaha I’m an evil villain” lines we’ve come to expect from the typical villain character trope. The supporting cast of characters from Chris Pine’s band of mercenaries or Princess Diana’s mother Queen Hippolyta delivered great performances.
I’ve rambled on enough. Wonder Woman (2017) is a welcomed entry to DCEU and so if you are a fan of DC, Superman or Batman and felt betrayed by Suicide Squad or previous movies, give Wonder Woman a chance. Gal Gadot gives a stalwart performance and basically gives me hope that Justice League will be good.
I give Wonder Woman an arbitrary score of: