Wonder Woman Review – Spoiler Free
Wonder Woman is the latest film to debut in cinemas from Warner Brothers which takes place in the DC cinematic universe. This is the first major motion picture for a Wonder Woman superhero film, with many in the past from DC being based around Batman or Superman and once with both at the same time. This is also one of the few superhero films to be released which has a female superhero instead of a male one as the main character and that’s not just a DC thing either.
Wonder Woman is a film which comes directed by Patty Jenkins who some may know for her work on Monster (2003), although this is the first major blockbuster film for the director. Wonder Woman stars Gal Gadot, Robin Wright, Connie Nielsen, Chris Pine, Elena Anaya and Danny Huston. As the first film in what I believe will be a series of Wonder Woman films in the future, this one is an origin story for the character where we follow Diana from a time when she’s only a child to the time she is grown up and undertakes her first quest as Wonder Woman.
Going in to see this film I had some excitement about what it could be, while I didn’t really enjoy Batman V Superman all that much, I was impressed with the appearance of Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman in that film and was interested to see how a standalone film for the character would be. Of course I was also cautiously excited because knowing how the DC cinematic universe is and how dark it is, I was unsure how they would handle the Wonder Woman character, it could either be a mess or it might not be, I had no idea. Thankfully the film was actually pretty great!
The handling of a new character is always a little difficult, particularly a superhero character. The recent Man Of Steel film is an example of a film which maybe didn’t represent the Superman I had known in the comics and from elsewhere in the way I believed it should have. While Superman has always been about doing the right thing and is really a bright character, the film’s tone was so dark that this was a little lost. In this Wonder Woman film we see this almost happen, but it doesn’t, Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman enters into a world that is quite dark, but her character isn’t affected by this and remains this bright, justice driven hopeful character which is filled with love and hope for the world. She does what is right, not what others say is right, she’s her own person. It’s this one thing that I think embodies what the Wonder Woman character is supposed to be, she’s meant to be this strong character, which is filled with compassion and a lot of heart. Wonder Woman isn’t isn’t really corrupted by the world and can bring some hope and I think in the film that’s exactly what she stands for without a doubt and that’s what I loved about it so much.
As a film in the new DC cinematic universe, I think this stands out as the best of the bunch and I doubt that the upcoming Justice League will be better or any others in the future for some time. My main reason for this is that most of the future ones we will get are all going to be action based films with a couple jokes for dialogue. This is one while it does have some really impressive action moments, it is dialogue and story heavy, which works in its favour because the story of Wonder Woman is a long story to tell and understand, particularly for those who know nothing about the origins of the character. I do appreciate that Patty Jenkins and the rest of the people involved did take the time to pay attention to the character and properly develop it for this film.
Wonder Woman has quite a strong mix of themes and symbolic moments thrown in there for the audience as well. The film addresses topics such as feminism, equality, sex, war, hatred and love all throughout it and the horrible or not so horrible sides of some of, or all of those things. But it does have a big theme of love and compassion in the world and much of it translates through the Wonder Woman character, but also interestingly through the film’s second hero, Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), who as a character does represent some type of hope for humanity in amongst all of the darkness which Diana witnesses after she leaves her island home.
The actors all do fairly well with their characters. The big standout in the film is Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman who does great with the role and at the moment I think she was perfectly cast for it and I can’t see anyone else as Wonder Woman at the moment. There was also some really great stuff from Chris Pine who was an excellent Steve Trevor and had a character that actually some depth and some great moments. Both Gadot and Pine were excellent on screen together and were a good duo. Other actors such as Robin Wright, Connie Nielsen, Elena Anaya and Danny Huston are all convincing enough in their supporting roles.
For those going in to see this film for the action scenes, these are plentiful. From the arrows of the ancient Greeks to the machine guns of the Germans in World War 1 there’s a lot there for a viewer to enjoy. Wonder Woman is this super powerful God like being who can pretty much do anything and uses her shield, sword and rope to perform a variety of combat manoeuvres throughout the film.
The soundtrack is also excellent and the main theme for Wonder Woman stands out as the best of the bunch. The pacing of the film, while a little slow in the beginning as the story gets started is well maintained throughout the storytelling. More difficult I think for the director would have been the shift in scenery. We go from a very ancient setting which is mostly Greek based and then are transported to England during WW1 which is very industrial and then to the war zone front against the Germans which is a massive mess. There’s a good handling here of the change in film colouring and tone which most filmmakers struggle with. As a film with a mixture of action, fantasy and real world aspects, it can easily be a mess but somehow wasn’t.
Overall I found myself really enjoying the Wonder Woman film experience and consider it to be one of the best superhero films in recent years and I have no problem in saying that this is the best of the lot when it comes to the DC cinematic universe by far. Gal Gadot is an excellent Wonder Woman and Chris Pine was a great Steve Trevor. Wonder Woman’s origin story journey is a well told one with good character development. But most importantly, I felt that the Wonder Woman character was a great representation of what the character is meant to stand for as a hero and the film captured the heart of what Wonder Woman is meant to be and represent. It’s a film with a nice message and some strong themes of love, compassion and hope for the world. I highly recommend seeing it if you enjoy anything from the superhero genre.