Its no secret that Marvel movies dominate Hollywood right now, and it’s also no secret that the DCEU is off to a bit of a rocky start, because of this my expectations for Wonder Woman were relatively low. But this movie blew my expectations out of the water. The movie does a lot of things really well, almost everything in fact. It shows its feminist empowerment instead of telling it, and doesn’t shove it down your throat either. A delicate balance between the two that director Patty Jenkins achieves with perfection. Another large success is the casting, Gal Gadot silences even her most petty critics with a brilliant performance as Diana, and the chemistry between her and Pine is palpable in every scene. It even does the little things right like: pacing, humor, costume design and developing even the side characters to an extent.
The film’s greatest triumph however is not the beautiful storytelling of the prologue on “paradise island” (as it is called by Steve Trevor) or its cultural significance that will stand the test of time, but it is that it may have effectively saved the DCEU. A film franchise that, despite its best efforts was having a little trouble catching up to its highly grossing live action rival. From the um… let’s say “mixed” reviews of Batman v Superman to the spectacular flop that was Suicide Squad and the directorial drama on the set of the Flash, or a while it felt like the DCEU was making all the wrong moves. Now, after Wonder Woman’s record breaking success, the tables may be turning for this troubled film franchise. Gal Gadot may have killed Ares and saved the world, but Patty Jenkins saved a franchise, so who’s the real hero?
Of course, like any and all movies Wonder Woman has its mistakes, not very many of them, but they are there. The biggest mistake made is the movie’s final act, but more on that in a minute. A couple of things left me confused or disappointed while watching, like Diana’s powers and the casting for Ares. The whole powers thing is just a preference and a similar thing happened to Captain America in The First Avenger. Can Diana fly? Is she bulletproof? How can she see the bullets well enough to deflect them? Etc. Hopefully Diana can get the Winter Soldier treatment, and she’ll fill out her range of powers in the sequel.
Now onto the Ares problem, David Thewlis is a phenomenal actor but he was definitely a miscast as Ares. For one, shouldn’t Greek gods be Greek and not British? Just an opinion, but maybe the God of War should be a little more intimidating than professor Lupin from Harry Potter. The third act in general is just a bit of a letdown. Its hard to blame Jenkins though, any third act would be a guaranteed step down from how great the first two were. The difficulty of wrapping up a movie should not be understated, and the third act trap has been killer for a lot of great comic book movies. Especially when it comes after that awesome opening on Themyscira and an exciting second act that includes the chills-inducing “no man’s land” scene.
In conclusion, Wonder Woman is a highly entertaining movie with great writing, action and romance marred by a slightly disappointing third act and a fight with Ares that drags a bit. It absolutely cracks the top ten of all time superhero movies, a certified must see that’ll get you excited about DC movies again.
Best Moment: the no man’s land scene obviously, it’s one of the greats.
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