This Wonder Woman solo outing directed by Patty Jenkins has been a long time coming, the fans have been shouting at DC to make this film and finally they took the chance. I do not stand alone when I say there has been a little apprehension as to whether DC could do the job, I am so happy to say, they did it, they made a really good film.
The whole package is almost perfect, I have very little criticism to offer. Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman is spectacular, though she received early criticism for the casting, she portrays the amazon with power, grit and heart. The opening on Themyscira establishes a true race of warriors. Delivering some of the most impressive training and sparring visuals I have seen on the big screen. I mean, combat on horses is always going to look kick-ass. Establishing Diana’s beginnings and that of Paradise Island, works very well and doesn’t feel like a forced origin story. I particulary enjoyed watching a young Diana develop the spark of a rebellious warrior, who is willing to defy her mother. Honestly, one of the best action sequences is that of the Germans vs the Amazons, magnificent and heart breaking.
Diana believes she has a responsibility to help humanity so from Paradise we move into Man’s world and the visual imagery takes a sharp turn from a stunningly beautiful backdrop to a dingy, smog filled London. A move not only befitting of the heavily industrialised era, but the sorrow of a World at war. The overall story fits with the character, more or less sticking with already established origins. If you’ve read Wonder Woman comics then the story will not feel unfamiliar.
There are a few comedic moments on offer, particulary when it comes to Diana acclimatising to man’s world. For the most part, it is Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) who adds the humorous element. I am particularly pleased that Trevor’s character didn’t make a bigger deal out of a woman fighting. Once he realises her abilities, he goes ahead and let’s her wield them. The story explores the developing romance of Diana and Steve and though it does have a part to play in the film’s climax, I do not think it detracts the focus of the film being Wonder Woman’s story.
Here is my only criticism, I think David Thewlis was an odd choice for Ares, I acknowledge there was a need for misdirection but it just didn’t feel it was a good fit for this particular actor. Every other role is well acted and felt right, a particular favourite of mine being Robin Wright’s Amazonian General Antiope.
One of the themes running through the film is ‘does mankind deserve Wonder Woman?’ At no point does Diana question her own abilities, there is no crisis of confidence, she knows her value and she knows how to use it. No moping around for this hero. When Wonder Woman questions whether mankind can be saved from themselves, Diana is reminded that in all the atrocities, there are always people trying to do good, to help those who can’t help themselves, to make a better world. A message that is particularly poignant in the climate of terror we are living in.
The whole film is an emotional ride, Wonder Woman super fans I suggest a bag full of tissues. Nothing could have prepared me for the feelings of pride and awe that hit me at different moments. Patty Jenkins has made full use of Wonder Woman’s powers and abilities, from the lasso as a weapon to those bracelets, just wow. With imagery straight from the comics, there is no doubt this is Wonder Woman brought to life.There is a particular scene where Diana defies Trevor and steps our into No Mans Land, that sequence made the film for me, the tears they did flow, I felt proud, I felt empowered and in that moment, I knew they had made the film we needed.
The DC movie universe has been fraught with problems of the last few years, let us not forget the ‘Martha’ debacle that was Batman Vs Superman. All of which had me worried about them bringing my all time favourite superhero to the big screen. Fear not my fellow fans this film is awesome.