Thursday, 1 June 2017

Wonder Woman (2017) - Film Review


*Originally written June 1st, 2017*
While I think I definitely preferred Man of Steel (Really need to revisit it), I see the criticism's of the DC EU and why people hate them, but fear no more. DC are finally on the right track with Wonder Woman and finally earned the critical acclaim the've been wanting since 2013 and they also have made the first truly good female led superhero film. I also have to point out how disgusting it is that Marvel have had 10 years to make a female led film and still haven't. Shame on you, Disney.

Wonder Woman isn't perfect though. While it avoids the grey pitfalls of DC's films so far, they suffer from the same problems a lot of Marvel's films do, and I think you can guess what that is. That's right, a piss-poor villain and an overly CGI and bombastic finale that feels out of place from the excellent two hours that preceeded it.

I'll get it out the way that Gal Gadot is fantastic as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince. I wasn't massively impressed by her debut in Batman v Superman, but she really proved herself in leading a film by being a fun, charismatic and strong lead. There are some early moments that feel like we've seen them before, but once Wonder Woman is off her home island and experiencing the real world, she really gets to shine. It was fascinating to see her character experience the world and its absurdities, including how silly war is and how unhonourable and cowardly generals are. So she takes her naive charm and thinks she can stop the war by killing the German leader who she believes to be the God of War.

Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman

What Wonder Woman reminds me most of is Marvel's Captain America: The First Avenger, due to its war setting and tone. While I wasn't a big fan of The First Avenger, I do feel like a human war is a great setting for a superhero film. Despite being set during World War 1 and being a DC film, Wonder Woman is a actually a vibrant, bright and colourful adventure and beautifully shot. aside from the excellent theme song, Rupert Gregson-Williams score is sadly forgettable.

The action is fluid and exciting, it might indulge in a bit too much at times in slow-mo and the last fight is CGI shit, but there is something genuinely fun about seeing Wonder Woman fight Germans in the trenches of World War One. There's also fun use of Wonder Woman's variety of different fantastical equipment like her lasso, sword and shield as she leaps around, destroying Germans. We don't get to see her invisible jet though, which is probably for the best.

I was surprised at just how much heart the supporting cast brought to the film. Chris Pine's American Spy brings laughs and emotion, which makes way for a surprisingly touching end. Lucy Davis is fun as Pine's assistant, as is Ewen Bremner's Scottish marksman, who is essentially just playing his character Spud from Trainspotting. It was weird to see Robin Wright as Diana's aunt who trains her to be a warrior, she did a good job, but it was hard not to see Claire Underwood. 

Chris Pine as WW1 spy Chris Trevor

Like I mentioned earlier, the villain is poor. I can't say who the main villain is without spoilers, but once you find out, he turns into some lame giant CGI Skyrim character it feels like a huge mess. There was an interesting visual design to the side villain, but shes' not got a lot of screentime to make an impact, despite how deadly the weapon she makes is. Although I do love the campy name "Doctor Poison".

What I really loved about Wonder Woman is how stand-alone it is. It's not interested in connected to other films. It tells its own story and its refreshing. There's no abhorrent cameos shoehorned in like with the Justice League in Batman v Superman. You can watch Wonder Woman without feeling like its a puzzle piece in a bigger picture.

Wonder Woman isn't a masterpiece by any means, it suffers from a boring villain and bombastic third act finale, but it is a huge step in the right direction for the DCEU thanks to its excellent lead, heart humour, colour and sense of fun that has been missing from DC's films. More of this. 

7/10 Dans
Wonder Woman is out now in cinemas in the UK
Watch the trailer below:

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