June 5, 2017

Wonder Woman (2017).

Review #942: Wonder Woman.

Gal Gadot (Diana Prince / Wonder Woman), Chris Pine (Steve Trevor), Robin Wright (General Antiope), Danny Huston (Erich Ludendorff), David Thewlis (Sir Patrick Morgan), Connie Nielsen (Queen Hippolyta), Elena Anaya (Isabel Maru / Doctor Poison), Lucy Davis (Etta Candy), Saïd Taghmaoui (Sameer), Ewen Bremner (Charlie), and Eugene Brave Rock (Chief) Directed by Patty Jenkins.

Last year, Wonder Woman made her first live on-screen theatrical appearance in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (#788), a movie that tried to set the stage for DC's own movie universe, though I would argue that it set the bar pretty low for future films to be better (as evidenced by Suicide Squad - #828). With this one, however, there is no question that this is a good film that manages to be quite consistent along with being well-crafted. The reason for this starts with Gadot and Pine, who have great chemistry and timing together; it's not so much that one doesn't do great without the other, but they certainly help the movie when they are interacting with each other (or the supporting characters). It shouldn't be understated that Gadot is wonderful as Wonder Woman, giving off an earnest performance that is easily likable and watchable; she is easily convincing in the action sequences, which helps the movie earn its wings in being good entertainment. The villains in the film aren't anything too special, but they are at leas serviceable entertainment, though the climax muddles them up a bit (no doubt due to the effects and the lighting clashing a bit). Regardless, they work for the film just fine, much like the trio that accompanies our main leads (Taghmaoui-Bremner-Brave Rock), who are easily watchable, while providing some light charm. Wright and Nielsen are also pretty good for the time they have on screen in the first half of the film.

The action scenes are pretty spectacular, with the sequences being executed well without becoming overstuffed (the climax is a bit big, but that makes sense for the end). The time period of the film (1918, near the end of World War I - called the "war to end all wars") was a neat choice in part because it gives the film different ground to tread (instead of being based off WWII like Captain America: The First Avenger (#060) did) while leaving shades of gray ambiguity. At 141 minutes, the movie runs at a useful pace, balancing its characters and scenes fairly well. The climax of the movie isn't particularly great (owing to a bit of muddy but workable tone that is somewhat cliche), though it doesn't hurt the movie too much. This is a movie that shines in sincerity, making its own mark in a world filled with comic book films. Is it a perfect movie? No, but it certainly is an fine achievement that I'm sure many were waiting for.

Overall, I give it 9 out of 10 stars.

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