Review of DC’s latest superhero movie: Wonder Woman
Wonder Women is finally with us, the latest installment of the DC cinematic universe. Generally the critical and audience reaction has proven overwhelmingly positive, racking up a 95% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Directed by Patty Jenkins and starring Gal Gadot as Wonder Women, Chris Pine and Robin Wright, this is the first live action theatrical release of the DC comic staple.
Wonder Woman/ Diana Prince is of course the daughter of Zeus and princess of the Amazonians, a woman only tribe straight from Greek mythology. The film begins with Diana Prince working undercover at the Louvre as an expert on ancient weapons. She reminisces in a flashback about her childhood years at the home of the Amazons on the island of Themyscira. The Amazonians have remained hidden from the evils of mankind on their paradise island. And they have been spending their time perfecting fighting skills in case the world ever calls on them.
Their tranquility is disturbed by the realities of World War 1 when Steve Trevor arrives on the coast. He is a US air force pilot and British spy with German agents in hot pursuit. Diana discovers that the original cause of the outbreak of conflict was Ares himself, the god of war. She comes to an awakening and reconciles that it is her sacred duty to enter the world of men for the first time to vanquish Ares and end the war.
Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman is an idealist, with a black-and-white concept of good and evil, a sharp contrast to the world weary, war fatigued backdrop that the movie creates. The lead actress indeed captures the Amazonian princess very well. Audiences were aware that Gal Gadot could do action scenes after her stint in the Fast and Furious movies, in this film her athleticism in the movie’s set piece fight scenes shines through.
In well choreographed fight scenes she leaps balletically and gracefully through the air using the full range of her honed fighting skills from Themyscira. The action is well staged by Patty Jenkins, with some illuminating back drops and haunting visuals. At last we get a movie that is confident enough not to be dependent on over complicated wall to wall action.
Much of the movies humor is drawn from her fish out of water scenes, gawking at the unfamiliarity of the outside world and the prevailing male-female relationships. Chris Pine is a refreshing counter foil and love interest as a rogue, Han Solo-esque cynical and world-weary character. His scenes with Gadot also provide some genuinely humorous moments with plenty of quips, but also drive home the narrative of the clash of civilizations. The supporting cast of Robin Wright, David Thewlis, Connie Neilson and Danny Houston all do fine acting jobs.
This is a refreshing take on the superhero genre, content to rely on a rather traditional tale of superheroes saving the world and opposing the bad guys. An entertaining spectacle which will keep you interested throughout. Wonder Women is projected to make over $150 million+ in its opening weekend, which will be a welcome commercial success for the studio.