Three movies in, one would expect the DC Cinematic Universe to continue its track record in its fourth film of being poorly crafted, flashy letdowns.
That’s what I feared most with Wonder Woman. If this movie didn’t work, I, and many others, would have lost faith in the Justice League and the overall project Warner Bros. is trying to move along with.
I was wrong. I was very, very wrong.
Before I start praising this movie, which I will do a lot more than I expected, let me get the negatives out of the way.
The opening of this movie, I did not like. The scenery is beautiful. But I can summarise the entire opening to this movie like this: Exposition. Exposition. Exposition.
I can understand why the movie had to go that route, but I still didn’t like it. A truckload of information was just vomited at the audience. Okay, I guess.
The only other thing wrong with this film is with its villains. It’s no secret that Ares is the main antagonist in this movie, and overall, I suppose he was okay. DC have twisted Greek Mythology to their liking in every way possible in Wonder Woman lore, so I guess Ares’ motivation is understandable in this film. There are a couple of other villains in this movie, however, and they’re just cartoons. I couldn’t help but laugh at anything they were doing.
Alright, now let’s talk about everything right about this movie.
Gal Gadot has to do a Danny Rand in this movie but does a better Danny Rand than Danny Rand. In this film, her character is exposed to the human world for the first time, and a lot of the movie is her trying to understand the world, particularly in conversations with Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor. I thought these were some of the best parts of the movie, because it really humanised the film. More on that later.
Chris Pine delivered a strong performance in this movie. I mean, really strong. He was the kind of character you couldn’t help but get behind.
The movie is set during World War I, and Patty Jenkins’ direction is masterful for this. The camera work particularly stands out, as there’s never really a still take. The camera is always moving, even if it’s ever so slightly, and this made it feel like it was in the middle of a war.
The choice of colour palette, I don’t really understand, and this is something true of every film set in the past. Why does it have to be so bland? It’s not as if colours were invented later on.
On the note of direction, the action is some of the best action I’ve seen in any superhero film. The camera movements, edits and music all make it truly epic when there’s action going on.
Speaking of the music, Wonder Woman’s score returns from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and along with a few additional tracks, is the most memorable comic book movie score since The Avengers.
The biggest plus point of this movie is in its humanity. In so many ways.
It all comes down to its setting. Having this movie set in the first World War was a very smart decision. First and foremost, the level of respect women had at the time allows for the main character to really stand out in this movie. There have been female-led superhero films before, but none of them have been… Good. Wonder Woman is a step in the right direction.
Diana Prince is introduced to the world in its most violent state, and I don’t think I’ve watched a war film from this kind of perspective. It’s a perspective of ‘how bad can human beings be?’. It adds so many layers to the movie and makes its message quite strong. The viewer goes through all this like the main character does, and it’s an enthralling appearance.
Overall, Wonder Woman is not perfect but it is a spectacle, and one that lifts the DC Cinematic Universe up to where it already should have been. It’s a focused, self-contained film that knows what it is and executes itself magnificently.
On a scale where M is the lowest, and R is the highest possible rating, with the highlighted letter being the rating: