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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Movie Review: Wonder Woman (2017)

As far as Wonder Woman goes I can't say I'm a mega fan that knows everything about her, but I am a fan. I grew up reading some of her comics and watching her on television (the Wonder Woman television series (1975) starring Lynda and different cartoons over time). So, I can easily say I'm familiar with the character that William Moulton Marston created. I've always thought Wonder Woman was cool. She has the lasso of truth, can deflect bullets, super strong, had an invisible jet, which never made sense, but as a kid, I thought it was cool! When I heard Wonder Woman was getting her own movie I thought it was stoked, but I wasn't going to get my hopes up due to the fact that I haven't really liked the last round of DC films (Batman vs Superman, Suicide Squad) that have come out. I don't know if it was Zack Snyder's story writing, Patty Jenkins's directing, or maybe both, but Wonder Woman is easily the best DC film to come out, so far.

For a hundred and twenty-one PG-13 filled minutes, you're taken on an action filled adventure that introduces you to a young girl named Diana and shows you the journey she took to becoming... Wonder Woman. Diana, princess of the Amazons, has grown up on the hidden island of Themyscira, safe from the world past its waters. After a pilot, Steve Trevor crashes on the coast of the island all that changes for Diana. As Steve is being questioned by Queen Hippolyta it comes to light that a huge war is happening right now out in the world around them and that he has to get back home with the information he stole from the enemy. Remembering the stories her mother told her, Diana believes this is the war is the work of Ares and that the Amazons must stop him. Against the Queen's orders, Diana and Steve leave the island in hopes of stopping the war.


Now, the story Zack Snyder and Allan Heinberg came up with was actually cool and I liked how they pulled off the story. If you remember, the first time we were introduced to Wonder Woman was in the Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) movie and she wasn't in it a whole bunch. So, we knew practically nothing about her. In the Wonder Woman movie, Diana receives a gift from Bruce Wayne and it's an old picture of Diana from 1918 that was taken during the war. As Diana reminisces, we're taken back in time to when she was a child and boom, origin story. I liked how smooth the transition was from present to the past and how easily everything fell into place for the story. Nothing felt forced or wedged in, which was one of the (many) problems I had with the previous DC films, they lacked a smooth feeling story. Along with trying to save the world, the movie is also about Diana's journey and personal growth.

I thought the playthrough was good and the movie keeps a pretty steady pace for most of the film. Unfortunately, there were a few spots that dragged out a bit much to me and I found my attention starting to wander off screen. There are spots where the dialogue felt stretched out and sometimes repetitive. Like same argument, different location. I think they could have shaved a minute or two of those moments, still kept the impact of the scene and done better in the long run. The movie is about two hours and some change but felt so much longer. Other than that I really enjoyed the movie.


Some of the cast is Gal Gadot as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman, Chris Pine as Steve Trevor, Connie Nielsen as Hippolyta, Robin Wright as Antiope, Lucy Davis as Etta Candy, Said Taghmaoui as Sameer, Ewen Bremner as Charlie, Eugene Brave Rock as The Chief, Elena Anaya as Dr. Isabel Maru/Doctor Poison, Danny Huston as Erich Ludendorff and David Thewlis as  Sir Patrick/Ares. The cast was good all around. However, Pine's acting doesn't seem to change from movie to movie. If you've seen the Star Trek remakes Pine is in, then you've seen his role in Wonder Woman. I'm not saying Pine wasn't good in Wonder Woman because he was, or I should say his acting style was a good fit for the movie. I think Davis should get a quick shout out for her role. Yeah, Davis's part is super small, but she lights up the scene every time she's in it. I'm still not a big fan of Gadot, but she's doing a really good job. Also, I have to give respect to the hard work she has put into showing us you don't have to have a bat or an S on your chest to be a badass.

The special effects looked awesome. Wonder Woman is filled tons of great looking costumes, visuals, and scenery. As far as the Wonder Woman custom is concerned, I thought it turned out really cool. I was never able to get a solid look at it in Batman vs Superman due to lighting and the fight scene. In Wonder Woman you get to see her standing still and in better lighting so you can get a good look at it. Yeah, the custom has been updated, but it still shows honor to the Wonder Woman I grew up reading while making it more realistic looking for the environment she's in. The fight scenes were seriously cool to watch and the slow motion they used sometimes during the fight cranked up the cool factor.


Side note: Come to find out, Gal Gadot was originally only signed on for three films (Wonder Woman was her second), but has extended her contract beyond that. That's awesome news because it's been officially announced that Wonder Woman 2 (actual title) is in the works and we should see it around December 2019.

Overall, the running time was a bit much for me, but it's a great movie and definitely worth a watch.

4 stars


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