Wonder Woman (2017): Exactly What DC Needed…And Then Some

Putting it lightly, the DC Extended Universe has gotten off to a bumpy start with Man of Steel, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justiceand Suicide Squad However, hope springs once again with the latest installment in the universe of superhero movies, Wonder Woman!  Set to tell the origin of the mighty warrior, Wonder Woman looks to tell a completely different story than previous DCEU installments.  But does is succeed?  The following review will be spoiler free.

Background

Wonder Woman is directed by Patty Jenkins and stars Gal Gadot in the title role along with Chris Pine, Connie Nielsen, and Robin Wright.  As a young girl, Diana (Gadot) fails to understand her true power as an Amazonian Goddess.  This forces her to be trained unlike anyone before.  Hardened by battle, Diana realizes her gifts and searches for a higher calling.  This destiny comes in the form of Steve Trevor (Pine), a World War I soldier who comes to Diana’s island warning of a war “to end all wars.”  Naturally, Diana agrees to help Steve in battle as she discovers her true calling.

wonder woman

image via IGN.com

Contrary to the other films in the DCEU, Wonder Woman‘s production process ran as smoothly as one would hope, staying away from any type of serious studio interference.  Unlike the other films, there was never any discussion of the film being a mess.  However, while fans everywhere were relieved to hear nothing of note, many still questioned whether Wonder Woman could actually be a great film.  Considering the first three films in the DCEU were very divisive, this apprehension wasn’t completely unexpected.

That being said, Wonder Woman appeared to have all the ingredients of a great superhero film.  Every bit of marketing material has been exceptional.  Each did its part to quell fans’ nerves everywhere.  When you then add in a creative team that includes Patty Jenkins behind the camera as well Gal Gadot (who is considered to be the best part of BvS for many people) and Chris Pine in front of it, Wonder Woman seemed to be in good hands.

Did I mention the film had Chris Pine?  I mean, c’mon, this picture speaks for itself:

wonder woman

image via comicbook.com

What I Liked

Contrary to many superhero movies, Wonder Woman puts the characters first and foremost.  The action is certainly neat when it happens, but easily the best part of this film is the interactions between Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman.

These two were a match made in heaven to be the leads in a film together.  Not only do they both hit the mark when things need to get serious, but the two actually play very well off each other when the film turns comedic as well.  Two of the best sequences in the film are when these two are just talking to each other.  There’s no need for bomb to drop or a disposable CGI army to appear.

wonder woman

image via DC Comics

Although there are certainly some darker themes in Wonder Woman, both Gadot and Pine carry themselves without an ounce of cynicism.  It’s been awhile since a superhero film was purely good and wholesome.  This film has the best intentions on every single level.

Also, for those that were worried that Gal Gadot couldn’t carry a film, prepare to feel a lot better.

What I Liked…Continued

Too sporadically does atmosphere and score get praise for its work in a film.  In Wonder Woman‘s case, they make all the difference.

The first statement that’ll pop into your brain once the film begins is, “Ohh look, colors!”  Ditched is that drab Snyder color palette for beautiful, rich settings that coincide perfectly with the film’s tone and feel.  Although it’s not the first thing that comes to mind, sensory details are key to a film being beloved.  Patty Jenkins and Co. do a wonderful job of contrasting beautiful, rich landscapes such as the Themyscira with the bleak battlefields of World War I.

wonder woman

image via futa today

In the same vein, Wonder Woman‘s innocent nature is accented mightily by a triumphant score by composer David Buckley.  The music perfectly complements the actions on screen, giving the film an added “oomph” when necessary.  There’s a hypnotic element to the music, wrapping you up in this period piece while exposing you completely to the charming nature of the characters.  At certain moments, you can’t help but smile.

When it has to be, the score isn’t afraid to blare that fantastic guitar beat that debuted in BvS.

What I Liked…Continued…Continued

Although some action gets very CGI heavy, these deficiencies are masked by great themes that add another level of heart and emotion to all the great set pieces the film has to offer.  Among all the comedy, action, and drama is the idea of man’s innate goodness and how it struggles against temptation and hate.  Although humans aren’t 100% great 100% of the time, there’s still good in them, a message that a pure, naive Wonder Woman must learn the hard way.

Wonder Woman is primarily a fish-out-of-water story.  Once Diana Prince sets foot in the real world, she must discover the ambiguities of society and what truly makes someone a good person.  This leads to some major heart from Gal Gadot.  Suprisingly, there’s a ton of laughs that come from these moments.  However, unlike many films, these moments feel true and warranted given Diana’s nature.

wonder woman

image via WordPress

Wonder Woman even borders on campy at times.  But, there’s always that deep rooted feel of love and grace within the film.  If you hate Wonder Woman, you’re probably very cold-hearted.

Conclusion

Wonder Woman is earnest, sweet, and above all else, fun.  Filled with bright colors and even brighter characters, Wonder Woman does what few superhero movies do: focus on story and character interactions.  While seeing things blow up is always neat, we always revisit films because of the characters, of which this film has many great ones.  Wonder Woman gets an A.

Man does it feel good to say that grade!

wonder woman

image via Movies Counter

Thanks for reading!  What are your thoughts about Wonder Woman?  Comment down below with your thoughts!

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Nick Kush

A current college student, Nick founded MovieBabble in October of 2016 in order to grow his own movie knowledge as well as share his own thoughts with others in a streamlined fashion. As MovieBabble continues to grow, Nick hopes to one day become a reputable critic that many turn to first for a quality movie review.

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22 Responses

  1. Carrie says:

    I went to see it without watching Chris Stuckmann’s review or any other reviews and omg they did it right this time! I was really impressed by Chris Pine. He was so good that it didn’t feel like he was the supporting one! My only problem is the villain though… dceu never pulled it off and again not this time. Apart from that this movie is a pure perfection and truly deserves a billion dollars’ gross

    • Nick Kush says:

      Spoilers aside, I thought the reveal of the true villain was solid. Definitely didn’t see it coming!

  2. Jinti Gogoi says:

    Loved the movie and an excellent review!!!

  3. Great Review! I wasn’t a fan of the previous DCEU movies, but I’ve heard good things about this one.

  4. raistlin0903 says:

    This movie so far has seen mostly positive reviews for it. Your review though really takes it to a whole new level (and I mean that in a very positive way). I unfortunately still have to wait another two weeks for it to arrive in theatres here, but I definitely know for sure now that I am going to be enjoying this one. Great post! Glad DC is back on track 😊

  5. This is not only the first major victory for the DC Extended Universe, but it’s also a major triumph for the comic book/Superhero movie genre since we FINALLY have a good theatrically-released superheroine film! May Wonder Woman serve as a Gold Standard for the genre going forward!

  6. Chris Scott says:

    I really enjoyed it for a lot of the same reasons you did. While I enjoy the more grounded and human Superman of Man of Steel and love the dark tones of Batman, Wonder Woman needed to be something different. It was optimistic and fun, the complete opposite of its dark and cynical predecessor (and I like BvS).

    I know everyone likes to hate on origin stories but it felt fresh here, due to its setting mostly (similar to the first Captain America film), and allowed us to meet Diana as she came to grasp her powers outside of our normal world.

    I do think the film crests a bit early and I enjoyed the big second act battle more than the final one but all in all. I’m extremely happy with how it turned out. And even better was that my wife and daughters loved it too, I’m glad they finally have something that they can relate and look up to in the genre.

    • Nick Kush says:

      Yeah I totally agree with that sentiment of the film peaking too early. However, the emotion that was behind the battle with Ares made it worthwhile for me.

      Hopefully this bodes well for Justice League in November!

  7. Well, saw the villain’s reveal coming, unfortunately. It wasn’t a distraction to the story telling, though. I also thought the peaking was early and was bothered by the ‘interlude’. BUT, for a movie that’s almost two and a half hours long, it was well paced overall and kept my attention. However, I thought several of the sidekicks did nothing to further the movie, but Pine and Gadot did demonstrate good chemistry. It seemed natural and unforced. The one thing that bemused me is that in some angles/shots, Gadot’s fingernail polish (a glaze, I guess) was visible, and I found some shots where she had a striking resemblance to a young Geena Davis.

    Cheers

    • Nick Kush says:

      Well I guess you’re smarter than I am because I did not see that villain reveal coming! Lol. I knew it wasn’t Danny Huston since his character was so overtly evil that it was begging for a bait and switch but it didn’t occur to me that David Thewlis was behind it all. I noticed the make-up as well. I guess I pass that off as “movie magic.”

      • Hah – no, not smarter at all, LOL. My wife and I play games at home trying to determine the villains on mystery movies and series, and have developed insights into ‘tells’. It evolved from reading mysteries. Part of the process is eliminating others, as you did with Huston. But the betrayal route of ‘nice person is revealed to be evil’ is so common any more. That’s why Snape was one of my favorite characters. I was never certain of his loyalties. He was brilliantly conceived, written, directed, and of course, acted. It didn’t hurt that the actor, the late Alan Rickman, is a personal favorite. Cheers

      • Nick Kush says:

        That probably makes for a lot of fun between you two! I guess when you have a notable actor in a smaller role that’ll he or she will end up playing a bigger part in the film

      • Yes, that’s absolutely true about ‘the size of the actor for the role’. Love D.T. in Fargo, BTW, well worth a watch.

      • Nick Kush says:

        That’s certainly a film I need to revisit. I haven’t seen it in awhile!

      • No,D.T. is in the sequel television series of the movie, in the third season. I was dubious of them being able to carry forward the original movie’s dry, black comedy and humanity, but they’ve done an excellent job.

      • Nick Kush says:

        Ahh, well I need to watch that too. I’ve been able to sit down and watch a ton of TV series but that’s certainly one near the top of my list!

  1. June 3, 2017

    […] that Wonder Woman has been released in theaters, the DC Extended Universe now has four films to its credit.  The […]

  2. June 7, 2017

    […] Movie is a really fun film that works.  Although it was severely beaten at the box office by Wonder Woman, it deserves your money and is certainly better than a ton movies already in theaters.  It gets […]

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