Review by Dustin Heller
Wonder Woman is the latest installment in the DC Extended Universe following 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and the fourth overall film in the series. The movie is directed by Patty Jenkins whose 2003 film, Monster, was a critical success and earned Charlize Theron the Best Actress Oscar that year. Gal Gadot stars in the film as Wonder Woman with support coming from Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis and Connie Nielsen. Wonder Woman is rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and action, and some suggestive content.
The setting is early 20th century during World War I where U.S. Army captain Steve Trevor has crash landed his plane near the island of Themyscira, where he is saved by the Amazon princess Diana. This is the first man that Diana has ever laid eyes on, but Steve is not alone as German troops follow close behind with the intent to kill.
A battle ensues on the shore between the Amazons and the German soldiers, leaving many dead. Diana now knows that she must leave the island to help fight in this war and ultimately kill Ares, the son of Zeus, in order to put an end to all wars. Armed with her bracelets, sword and magic lasso, Diana heads off into the real world with Steve where her eyes are opened to powers she didn’t know she possessed. Through this fighting and knowledge, Diana reveals her character and becomes Wonder Woman.
For years now, the DC Comics movie franchise has been lagging behind the behemoth that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe…that is until now. Wonder Woman is a breath of fresh air in an over-saturated superhero market and breaks down some proverbial walls in the process. Not only is it a superhero movie with a female lead, but it is also directed by a female.
For the most part, women have played only secondary characters or love interests during the recent superhero boom and DC/ Warner Bros. were really taking a risk in breaking the mold. That risk has paid off as they’ve delivered an action-packed and yet charming origin story with all the right elements.
For starters, Wonder Woman isn’t quite as dark as the other DC movies that have come before it which is a very good thing in my eyes. I’ve always felt that their movies take themselves too seriously; they are supposed to be fun after all. In lieu of being dark, the movie is actually funny in parts. In my opinion, the comedy aspect is where Marvel has gotten it right in the past and DC hasn’t.
Next, I’d like to talk about the performance of Gal Gadot. When she made her debut as Wonder Woman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, I thought it was a peculiar choice and I didn’t really care for her, but after seeing Wonder Woman I’ve done a complete 180°. She is captivating and beautiful and completely owns every inch of this movie. DC has cast the perfect woman to lead their charge into future of their film franchise.
The only criticism I would have about the film was that it took a little long to get off the ground and was a bit wordy at the beginning which might bore younger viewers. That said, I hope people head out to the theaters this weekend and give this movie a chance–it could only benefit the future of cinema.
Wonder Woman opens in theaters on Friday, June 2