» Blog Archive Review: Wonder Woman Breaks Losing Streak -

wonder woman 1You don’t call Batman or Superman to stop a war. That’s what Wonder Woman is for. Literally in both the film and real life, Wonder Woman is doing precisely that, in which Diana is on a quest to put an end to World War I, but in doing so, her solo outing will be the one that calms the storm for DC fans everywhere. For the first time since possibly The Dark Knight, fans will be able to agree that Wonder Woman is a sure-fire success. While flaws are present in the film, DC have finally gotten it right and have readjusted their cinematic universe. The train left the station with a rocky start, but Wonder Woman seems to have set things right for the time being.

Telling her life story, Wonder Woman foregoes the old, Lynda Carter style in favor of a New 52 inspired approach, rooted in Greek mythology and taking cues much like the DC films have in the past year. Diana encounter Steve Trevor, who crash lands near her island, and the resulting conflict between the Amazonians and Germans prompts her to leave the island and become involved in the ongoing “war to end all wars.” There’s some other details going on in the movie, of which everything plays a crucial part in developing not only Diana, but her corner of the DC universe. At 140-something minutes Wonder Woman may suffer from some pacing issues upon Diana and Steve’s arrival in London, but once the movie enters Germany is when things begin to rocket forward.

wonder woman 2Wonder Woman has a lot going for it, but its strengths are in its two leading actors. Gal Gadot has already proven herself with what she had to offer in Batman v. Superman, but as we suspected she is entirely able to carry this film. In short, the haters that were vocal about her being cast in the role can shut up now, as she owns the role when the right moments are available. It’s with Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor that Diana foregoes the explosive, highly stylized comic book action sequences that are paced through the film’s final half, as with Pine things slow down to a human level in which the two end up learning from one another about humanity, both good and bad. Gal Gadot is incredibly convincing and as she learns of the horrors of the world and war in particular, watching the child-like innocence shatter in her eyes is heart wrenching at times, making the action sequences where she takes out the majority of the Germans all the more enjoyable.

Contrasting that, Diana’s curiosity comes forward and is excellently portrayed by Gadot, of which Pine’s Trevor always has a worthy and often humorous response to. The film knows when to be humorous, but it doesn’t overwhelm the film with jokes and for the most part is a serious affair. The film inches towards drama at times rather than comedy, but it isn’t without its jokes to help ease you in before the heavy second half of the film hits.

wonder woman 3The action scenes are no doubt amazing and while the CGI is iffy at times, there’s plenty of moments where you know Wonder Woman is but a second away from springing into action. Diana isn’t perfect, and that must be applauded because she’s a headstrong, stubborn person who doesn’t understand the world of humanity. Complimenting her is Steve Trevor, who is coming to grips with the hope Diana brings to this grim war. The two actors and characters have a unique chemistry not usually seen in superhero movies, and every scene, even the romantic ones, are treasured in the sense that they’re convincing enough to draw you into their dynamic and take it from there.

The film comes down to your typical CGI-fest of an end, of which fans of the source material will no doubt find satisfying, but it won’t please those who complain that DC have a tendency to overuse their effects. It’s not necessarily as overkill as the previous films, but there’s certainly a lot going on. While I have mixed feelings on the previous two films, I felt like Man of Steel had a very emotional and deserving fight scene between Zod and Superman, but Wonder Woman manages to rival that, possibly surpassing it. I might need to watch them back-to-back, but I find myself feeling immense satisfaction at Wonder Woman’s conclusion, feeling like I got a full experience with no missing pieces.

wonder woman 4Some pacing issues aside while in London and perhaps some over-reliance of slow motion action scenes that can be forgiven, Wonder Woman is a damn fine movie with a heart of gold underneath the surface. With two captivating lead actors who bring everything to the table, to DC’s signature, dynamic and over the top action sequences, and to the perfect human moments that humanize an often larger-than-life character, Wonder Woman fixes nearly everything that was criticized before it. Sandwiched between two other giant superhero movies this summer, (Guardians Vol. 2 and Spider-Man) Wonder Woman is taking the most chances with the genre and not relying on pre-established character development or familiarity with a character to make it work; You may see it simply because it’s Wonder Woman, but you’re going to enjoy it for a whole lot more than that.

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