I briefly mentioned on this week’s CinemAddicts (Ep. 71) that I was looking forward to seeing Wonder Woman (Anderson, who’s not exactly a comic book enthusiasts, doesn’t plan on seeing it unless he loses a bet on The Film Vault). I checked out the movie this week and my review is below!
If you loved Gal Gadot in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, then you’ll definitely dig her performance in Wonder Woman. She’s obviously front and center this time around, as the film tells the origin story of Amazon princess Diana (Gadot).
Born the only child of the hidden island of Themyscira, Diana is raised by overprotective mom (and Amazon queen) Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen). Diana also gets a ton of unconditional love from her warrior aunt Antiope (Robin Wright, who’s excellent in a way too small role).
Raised in a sheltered environment, Diana dreams of becoming a warrior who will one day slay Ares, the God of War. Diana believes Ares is the cause of all conflicts, and by eliminating him peace and harmony will reign supreme.
When spy Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) crash lands on the island, he brings the troubles of humanity (namely World War I) onto the Amazons’ existence. Wet behind the ears but ready for battle, Diane goes on a journey with Steve to find Ares and help end the war to end all wars.
During the middle of the film, Diana (fyi the name “Wonder Woman” never comes up) makes a seemingly fateful decision, putting herself in harm’s way to save an endangered village. Executed beautifully by director Patty Jenkins, it’s the movie’s most stirring moment and one of the best action sequences within the DCEU (DC extended universe). It’s a character building moment for “Wonder Woman,” Steve Trevor, and the ragtag men (Said Taghmaoui, Ewan Bremner, Eugene Brave Rock) who join their mission, and it’s a movie that is memorable just for this specific sequence.
Gadot and Pine, both easy on the eyes, deliver solid and inspiring performances, and though their chemistry with one another doesn’t exactly jump off the screen, this isn’t Casablanca (so all is forgiven).
Wonder Woman is also a “value added” film as it will continue to resonate even when it leaves the theaters. Girls of all ages will most likely view WW and Gadot as inspirations, and hopefully this movie will be one of many superhero movies that’s headlined by a talented actress.
The movie does have a couple of glaring flaws. The aforementioned lack of chemistry between the leads would be a bit more bearable if Jenkins didn’t devote quality time building up the relationship between Steve and Diana. The stabs at humor, which includes forced repartee between the leads and an unfunny clothing scene with Diana, is simply for the birds. The climactic fight sequence, though positioned as an epic battle, didn’t have me on the edge of my seat and the final shot of Wonder Woman was absolutely uninspired and obligatory.
Barring all my complaints and nitpicking, Wonder Woman is still Grade A entertainment that’s worth your local trip to the theaters. Gal Gadot makes for a perfect Wonder Woman and Pine brings a surprising level of depth to Trevor’s journey (although their chemistry wasn’t there, they both did excellent work with their characters).
I’m giving Wonder Woman four (****) out of five (*****) stars. Feel free to comment below and tell us if you’re seeing Wonder Woman this weekend. Better yet, please give us your thoughts on WW after you’ve seen the movie by commenting below or on our Facebook page!!