Hello interweb, Nate here! Spoiler-free opinions? Best DC movie since The Dark Knight, definitely watch it! You will not be dissapointed! That’s really all I have to say without giving away spoilers so from this point onwards SPOILER WARNING and leggo!
Movie Title: Wonder Woman
Produced by: DC Comics
Distributed by: Warner Brothers
Writer: Allen Heinberg
Director: Patty Jenkins
Producer: Charles Roven, Deborah Snyder, Zack Snyder, and Richard Suckle
Running Time: 2 hr 21 min
So let’s just talk for a sec about how Batman and Superman have both starred in several solo movies in the past but this is Wonder Woman’s first movie outside animation and even then there’s only one animated Wonder Woman movie. I guess DC is just really nervous about Wonder Woman movies for some reason. Now before any of the trailers came out, I was concerned for this film mainly because of the DCEU’s track record thus far and the fact that previous female-lead comic book movies like Catwoman, Supergirl, and Elektra were all really terrible movies. Now when they announced that a woman would be directing this, not to be sexist or anything, but I did feel a little better since if a man directed this I would be worried that he’d end up making a really bad female-lead movie rather than a good movie that just happens to star a female protagonist. And then the trailers came out and most my worry washed away as everything in the trailers looked like they were adding up to be a really good movie. And then I went to see the movie with my mom (because Wonder Woman is her favorite superhero) and we both loved it.
So what’s the story? Princess Diana grew up on the Amazonian island of Themyscira and was raised being trained how to fight. One day, a man named Steve Rodgers — oh wait, sorry — Steve Trevor crash landed on the female-only island followed by a bunch of German soldiers. After a quick fight, Steve explains that the entire world is caught up in World War I and Diana believes Ares, the Greek god of war, is behind this. Even though Steve doesn’t believe there is an Ares, he sees this as his ticket home and promises to bring Diana to Ares in return for a trip to London!
Overall, the story is generally the basic Wonder Woman origin story with a few original ideas here and there. Now, most Wonder Woman origins stories take place during World War II but I guess they decided to go with World War I because of the lack of Hitler? This is also the prequel to Batman V Superman in which Diana retires from being Wonder Woman because she lost faith in humanity or something. I’m thinking maybe the sequel will take place in World War II and the third movie will take place in present time as the Holocaust may cause this loss of faith in humanity for her. That’s obviously just speculation on my end but it would make sense! Now the entire movie is well-paced and follows a three-act structure so there’s no major story-based criticisms that Batman V Superman and Suicide Squad faced.
This is a female-lead movie featuring what many consider to be a feminist icon. However, I really don’t see this as a feminist movie and a lot of the women-empowerment type moments really didn’t feel forced or hand-fisted since those moments were just a reflection of the times. Like there was a moment when Diana went into a war meeting and all the men stopped and was distracted over the fact that a woman was in the room. If this scene took place today then I would criticize it for being too forced and pushing an agenda by presenting a problem that really just doesn’t exist today, but because this type of gender inequality was common back then I had no issues with it.
One thing I do want to point out is this film’s use of the “fish out of water” trope. When Diana arrives at man’s world she doesn’t know how to behave. This trope is used as comedy but I tend to cringe at it more than laugh personally. To be fair, this film doesn’t exaggerate it as much as other movies and I’ve seen movies use this trope with Wonder Woman and make her look like a complete idiot so I’m thankful it wasn’t overused.
There were three major action scenes and two of the three I really liked and one of them was just okay in my opinion. The first scene was when the German soldiers found Themyscira and the Amazons fought them off. I thought it was a really cool scene since the Amazons put up a decent fight. But because they’re isolated from the rest of the world, the soldier’s had guns which put them at a slight advantage and even killed one of the Amazons there.
My favorite fight scene was when Wonder Woman ran off to face the German soldiers after she arrived in the battle. Granted, I feel like German soldiers were a bit too easy for Wonder Woman to fight but the action was fast-paced enough that I enjoyed it.
The final fight was against ares which I’m glad they did since that actually challenges her. Wonder Woman is pretty much Superman-leveled strong so Ares is pretty much the only person that can really show us how powerful she is. Granted, the CGI was actually really bad and the special effects in Batman V Superman was actually much better.
The biggest villain of the movie was Ares and while he was a strong villain for Diana to fight, I wasn’t too impressed. Wonder Woman actually falsely believes this German general was ares at first and believed that if she killed him the the war would end. So she does just that, but the war continued. I actually really liked this scene as she argued with Steve over this and Steve basically told her that maybe there is no one bad guy and everyone has a little blame. Which I thought was quite smart and showed that maybe things aren’t so black and white. But then the real Ares showed up so that conversation was rendered somewhat pointless. Also, Ares looked ridiculous in here. There’s even a point where he forms a poorly CGI-ed suit of armor but you could still seethe guy’s face so it just looked goofy. That mustache just didn’t help.
Wonder Woman herself was awesome in this. She slowly discovers herself as the movie goes on so it’s not until the end of the movie that you really get to see her full strength. But beyond the fighting, Gal Gadot did a great job at portraying Wonder Woman as the compassionate character that Wonder Woman is who isn’t afraid to fight mercilessly if it means protecting innocent lives. My only nitpick, and I’ve had this issue for a while now, is that Gal Gadot is just too thin to be Wonder Woman. Like, hit the gym or something and do some push ups! Some of the women on Themyscira were freaking tanks with huge muscles! I just wish Wonder Woman would get some meat on those bones like an actual Amazon warrior!
Steve Trevor was alright in the movie. Not amazing or anything but he was a decent character. The one thing that I felt weird about is the moment when Steve got out from bathing himself and since he’s the first man Diana has ever met they have a short conversation about male anatomy that continues when they’re sailing to London. There was even a part where he was completely naked with only a hand covering his junk (although to be fair he is a fairly attractive man so it wasn’t too gross). His death didn’t make much sense to me but whatever.
Overall I thought Wonder Woman is definitely the best DC movie since The Dark Knight. Not better, mind you, but still the best sense. It didn’t force too much feminist agenda while still showing off some female-empowerment either. I recommend everyone to see it!