MOVIE THEATER REVIEW: “Wonder Woman” stars Gal Gadot (Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Fast & Furious 6), Chris Pine (Star Trek Into Darkness, Rise of the Guardians), Connie Nielson (Gladiator, One Hour Photo), Robin Wright (Forrest Gump, House of Cards [TV series]), Danny Huston (X-Men Origins: Wolverine, 21 Grams), David Thewlis (The Theory of Everything, Anomalisa), Said Taghmaoui (American Hustle, La Haine), Ewen Bremner (Trainspotting, Snatch), Eugene Brave Rock (Jamestown [TV series], Hell on Wheels [TV series]), Lucy Davis (Shaun of the Dead, Garfield 2), and Elena Anaya (Van Helsing , The Skin I Live In). It is directed by Patty Jenkins (Monster, The Killing [TV series]) and is written by Allan Heinberg (Grey’s Anatomy [TV series], The Catch [TV series]), Zack Snyder (Man of Steel, 300), and Jason Fuchs (Ice Age: Continental Drift, Pan). The origin story of Diana (Gadot), better known as Wonder Woman. After hearing of World War I from a washed up soldier, Diana leaves her hidden island home to fight against the war, and Ares who is behind it.
I can’t believe it: although I find the DC Cinematic Universe to be a dumpster fire of epic proportions, I have been seeing every single one of their films in the theaters, besides “Man of Steel.” Yes, that leaves only “BVS” and “Suicide Squad,” but I think those two are enough to knock a viewer out and place DC far away from reaching the heights of the MCU. The fact that they are rushing their cinematic universe in order to catch up to their opponent scares me. It not only jeopardizes quality storytelling, but it also limits films from being their own entity. Is “Wonder Woman” the saving grace that most people say it is, or does it give into the same pitfalls as DC’s previous releases? In my opinion, it’s a saving grace, but I use “saving” lightly. Wonder Woman was never a character I drew to in the DC universe. My favorites were Superman, Green Lantern, and Batman; not because I’m a dude, but because I found them to be awesome center points. They were certainly given more attention than Wonder Woman in terms of cinema (though the “Green Lantern” movie isn’t saying much), giving Diana a figurative breath of fresh air come time of her big re-launch. We saw her in “BVS,” though only in limited quantities, and fans of hers were begging for a solo outing. Warner Brothers took a safe route with this movie, not trying to be too different, but also not throwing many story arcs or characters at the audience’s face. Finally, it’s a straightforward narrative and focuses on a singular character with an interesting beginning. Referring back to DC’s previous superhero attempts in order to fully understand this movie is like comparing crap to the porcelain toilet; you aren’t going to get much out of the argument besides what you clearly know. Really, you should judge this picture based on how it stands up as a movie, and that is what I’ll do. Honestly, it was a solid piece of entertainment that had quite a bit of flaws, yet pulled out some good stops. It’s certainly not the best superhero film out there, but it has its moments. Breaking down this feature for what it is, let’s look at the plot. It’s your basic run-of-the-mill beginning, where the main hero learns of who he/she is in fighting an ultimate foe. There was hardly anything unpredictable or majestic about how this tale was told. I didn’t hold onto the edge of my seat in suspense nor clamor when Wonder Woman took a hit. Everything was simply for the enjoyment of bringing this character back and awe of visual effects that we have witnessed in many pictures before it. That’s not to say that it isn’t good, for I mentioned that it has its moments. I had a few laughs (to things that were actually funny) and the main characters of Diana and Steve (Pine) held good chemistry. They were the driving force to this production, and even gave a heartfelt close. Sure, we all knew what was going to happen between and to them towards the end, but it was all emotional anyway. The design and look of this movie were professional and well-made. I liked studying this film, and the action sequences provided looked really cool, despite a few scenes being silly (Wonder Woman walking across No Man’s Land with only her hands? Give me a break). Most praise should be given to this film’s director, for she orchestrated a beautiful looking movie that separates itself from its counterparts, not by story but by style. I was impressed at the decisions she made in terms of the aesthetics and look forward to what her future has in store for her. When it comes down to it, all issues lie in the story and its characters. I have no beef with anything else, for this was professionally crafted. Besides Diana and Steve, many of the supporting characters held very little ground in quality. Hardly any of them were developed enough for me to care, especially the villain. Good grief, this story had terrible foes. They were barely ever shown, and when they were it was in small, two to four minute sequences. Some may argue that this lack of villainy gave cause to the moral of the story, but I beg to differ. These bad guys were merely a face and a name, and I couldn’t help but laugh at their small amount of involvement in a two and a half hour picture. In fact, the only unpredictable thing I saw was Ares at the end. This isn’t a spoiler since Diana talks about him endlessly throughout the film, but having him at the end (and who it turned out to be) was unsettling, and not in a good way. It pulled me out of the story entirely, so much so that it felt forced. To me, the writers of this paved the way for Wonder Woman in a way that she felt life-like; hardly do I remember that she lives in a world of mythology. It may be my fault, but that’s how I feel. When Ares shows up or Diana talks about the gods, I constantly find myself saying “oh yeah, she’s from fairy land.” Especially when you place her in a World War I backdrop does this become a conflict. Aside from that matter, there are dry, slow spots throughout the course of the feature. The story tends to dilly-dally in order to build up characters, and while it works most times, it becomes filler for others. Once the picture finished, I couldn’t help but look back on certain sequences that had nothing to do with the plot at hand. There weren’t many, though I did look back on some. If you are looking for a solid DC film of recent years, I’d point you to this one. Though it has its flaws, “Wonder Woman” holds up well as a movie, and I’m sure people will find enjoyment in it. I wouldn’t consider it to have blown me away, but it did give me a sigh of relief that it wasn’t garbage. FINAL SCORE: 80%= Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer: