It feels like this film was announced a long time ago and then all of sudden it was here without much fuss being made. Which is a bit odd, becuase it seems like the post-Nolan/Bale DC film universe had a lot riding on this. I remember everybody going crazy for Man of Steel when it came out (yes I know Nolan was attached to this), but it seems like it hasn’t been remembered as an absolute classic, and Batman versus Superman was a complete letdown. So if Wonder Woman were to flop, any hype there might be for the Justice League movie would be seriously damaged. However, I am glad to say after leaving the screen yesterday, on opening day in the UK – I was not disappointed!
Wonder Woman is very much its own film and does not need to, and chooses not to lean on the other films so far in the new DC movie universe. However, with the build up to Justice League now happening, there was no way we were going to be let to forget (as if we would!) that the films exist together with pretty much the first thing we see is a Wayne Enterprise car and note from Bruce Wayne! Told as a flashback, Wonder Woman to me was kind of an origin story, kicking off introducing us to the character as a child, Diana, and wanting to train as a warrior – unaware of the power she has been truly been granted. In hindsight, it doesn’t feel like we spent too much time with this part of the film, but during the viewing, it felt a little slow, and it took a while for the film to really get going.
When Chris Pine’s special agent character is introduced, crash landing on the Amazons secret island of Themyscira, a secret island inhabited only by warriors – who are all women, and all seemingly beautiful, does the film start to get going. Learning of what is happening out in mankind (WW1), Diana feels she can’t stand by and do nothing, and heads out into the world with Pine. There is a lot more to the backstory that I’m not going to go into, but you can go watch the movie for that!
Having spent her whole life on Themyscira, there is a nice balance to the Wonder Woman character. With a mix of complete level-headedness and power, combined with an innocent naivety of the real-world which Diana has just entered into the character is incredibly charming and where it can take some time to warm to Superman and (Affleck’s) Batman, Wonder Woman is instantly likeable. In fact, there is no snide to any of the heroes of this film – centered (obviously) mainly around Wonder Woman and Pine with also their supporting team of an Indian Chief, a Scottish sharpshooter and a fellow secret agent, you can’t do anything but like all of them. In terms of “bad-guys”, there isn’t anything too unexpected and Wonder Woman doesn’t stray too far away from the classic superhero movie villian formula.
This isn’t an all out action packed superhero movie as a lot of the film relies on the chemistry between the characters, and a lot of the great moments come from the dialogue. This is also where all the humour comes from as well. Unlike the Marvel universe where one-liners are thrown into battles, Wonder Woman keeps these humour and the action separate. That said, I personally didn’t find the movie that funny, whereas I have seen quite a few people have praised it for its humour. But for me this wasn’t an issue as I didn’t head in looking for a comedy. I’ve read some comments mentioning that Gal Gadot at times didn’t quite match her co-stars acting chops, but I personally didn’t notice, and thought she was a great lead.
Although the dialogue and chemistry between characters is great in this film, for me this film really shined when we got to see Wonder Woman actually in action. The first battlefield scene is just fantastic, and as the film goes on we are treated to a couple of great action sequences. Whereas Man of Steel was criticised for the length and frequency of the fight scenes, with Patty Jenkins at the helm directing, the balance seems to be just right, with the scenes nicely spread out and not turning into long drawn out affairs. The twang of the Wonder Woman music also put a smile on my face whenever the film kicked into action!
With a lot to carry on its shoulders this film certainly delivered. And I for one am now much more excited for the Justice League movie. Hopefully the tone of this movie will now set the pace for the upcoming DC efforts. I really would like to see DC kick on as although Marvel do make awesome films (and I’m a massive fan) – DC is the home of my absolute favourite superhero creations, Batman and Watchmen.
I’d definitely recommend you go and check this one out – 7.5/10
p.s do yourself a favour and don’t bother staying until the end of the credits – once they start to roll, that is it – there are no post-credit scenes.