Director: Patty Jenkins
Starring: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Connie Nielsen, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Said Taghmaoui, Ewen Bremner, Lucy Davis, Eugene Brave Rock
Written by: (also story) Allan Heinberg, (story) Zack Snyder, Jason Fuchs and (based on the DC characters created) William Moulton Marston
Running Time: 141 mins
Release date: 1st June 2017
DC hasn’t had a good ride. They scored big with Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy but everywhere else they have failed to do what Marvel seems so effortless at: making superhero movies fun, exciting and not a turkey. Let’s face it, Man of Steel, Batman V Superman and Suicide Squad just did not work. So will the only decent thing in Dawn of Justice manage to save the day once more with her own movie? You bet she does.
As a young Amazonian princess, Diana wants to learn the skills of being a warrior but her domineering mother refuses, on an island made up entirely of women. When an American spy, Steve Trevor, crash-lands in the sea off the island, Diana heads off with Trevor to stop the war of all wars and finds a very different world to what she is used to, as well as a crazed German officer who wants to end the war by using a deadly form of mustard gas.
Using World War I as the backdrop for the final two acts of the film, it starts with this magical realm of women trained as mighty warriors while Diana is told the story why they have to protect themselves. This scene alone is worth the admission price, looking like a fine piece of art. This is one of the strengths of the film. Director Patty Jenkins, whose previous film was the Oscar-winning Monster, certainly has an eye of the artistic. This is one of the most beautiful looking Superhero movies. In some scenes, it looks like they have been ripped from the pages of the comic books themselves.
Once we enter the war, the film starts to settle down and after a somewhat baggy midsection (at 141 minutes, it’s far too long) it follows the usual Superhero traits of the big showdown between good and evil. Except here, things are not the usual. Throughout the film, there is a mix of extreme arrogance and wondrous innocence. Diana is not your average superhero. Made from clay, she is the strongest, fastest warrior around, yet she still sees things through a child’s eye. She doesn’t understand why man would fight each other for no real reason. Suddenly this Amazonian princess becomes almost human.
The set pieces are impressive and unlike Zack Snyder’s style of directing action sequences, here we can see everything. In fact, the slow motion of Diana spinning, kicking and using her array of weapons are just as majestic and artistic. We get to see the full physical presence of Wonder Woman.
The performances range from the usual over the top, this time from Danny Huston as the German general, to the comic, courtesy of Lucy Davis as Trevor’s secretary, to Chris Pine’s smooth American who guides Diana through this journey. The film, however, fully belongs to Gal Gadot as the title character. She carries the whole thing with ease. Oozing charisma and class, while throwing herself into the action, making it look effortless as well as exciting. She commands the screen and is worthy of the role in every sense of the word.
Wonder Woman does have its flaws and isn’t as good as the best of Marvel but this is a huge improvement on the more recent DC movies. It’s a thrilling, majestic blockbuster that the guys will love and so will the women, having a female showing the boys just exactly how to do it. Wonder Woman kicks butt!