Movie Review: 'Wonder Woman'
Opened: 2 June 2017 (UK)
Cast: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Connie Nielsen, Elena Anaya
Director: Patty Jenkins
Producers: Charles Roven, Deborah Snyder, Zack Snyder, Richard Suckle
A sweeping period fantasy drenched in beautiful visuals and founded on a timeless story, Wonder Woman proves what many of her devoted fans already knew in their hearts; She is the jewel in the crown for DC Comics and Warner Bros. While her triumphant appearance in Batman vs Superman (BvS) could well have been a fluke, there can be no doubt after her first solo adventure that she is the one to watch. Move over boys, she’s got this!
Many lessons have been learnt since the ball-achingly dull Man of Steel. Wonder Woman is not an origin story (thank the Gods!) but a touching tale of identity and self-discovery. When WWI spy Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) crashes off the shore of the female-only Amazon’s Island, Diana (Gal Gadot) rescues him from drowning. He tells the Amazons of the War and his important mission. Stirred by this Diana sets off against her mother’s wishes to seek out the War and end it by fulfilling a mythical prophecy she had been told since childhood. She discovers that men are not as innocent as her children’s stories had taught her and the world is much more complicated than good and evil.
The story and script really does have it all, moving from the dream-like setting of the Island to the grimy back drop of London and the war-zones of Belgium there is never a dull or unnecessary moment. The dialogue and set-ups are teeming with charm and humour, which is to the credit of Gadot and Pine whose chemistry is magnetic. This is arguably a career best performance for both actors (and I love the new Star Trek movies) as they are put through their paces both emotionally and physically.
Anyone feeling a sexist niggle that a female led superhero movie will be fluffy and lack teeth, step away from the misogyny and listen up. This is one of the most satisfying new action movies for quite some time. Fight sequences are seamless and shot so precisely that it is easy to follow the progress of the battles. Director Patty Jenkins has recreated a wondrous, joyful and genuinely inspiring character and narrative. While there are a few small jarring moments, reminiscent of BvS, these do little to detract from an incredible all round movie.
On Rotten Tomatoes Wonder Woman currently stands at a whopping 96%, which is unheard of even for Marvel movies, so we can certainly expect a sequel. Hopefully, it will be wedged into the established slate and not placed after it – DC and Warner need more solid wins at this point. As much as movie studios took notice of Deadpool’s success with cynicism and blood lust, they should also take heed of Wonder Woman’s success with innocence, honour and duty. Diana is a hero because of her selfless choices, not out of any self-interest. She chooses to love the world even when it is full of hate; this is something the real world needs right now. Wonder Woman is the hero the world needs right now.