Wonder Woman (2017) Movie Review written by Sean Owen McMahon
In my wildest dreams, I’ve never thought that the DC cinema universe would deliver a well-balanced film has a well-written story that isn’t dark and edgy like *cough Batman Vs Superman. After I came out after watching Wonder Woman, I’m happy to report that Wonder Woman(Gal Gabot) has given us the DC film that we all wanted. It’s clear that I am not the only one to say that with ninety-one percent of critics has praised the film across the board from Rotten Tomatoes. Also, this film has become the highest grossest weekend for a film that is directed by a female director, Patty Jenkins. Even the news surfaced that some theaters only allow women to see the film without inviting men. Luckily in my case, being a heterosexual man I wasn’t kicked out. I had enough bringing the boring stuff, let’s talk about the film and well, Wonder Woman herself.
For the people, who never heard of Wonder Woman, Diana Prince, is the Princess of Themyscira who was created in All Stars comics in October 1941 created by international famous psychologist, Dr. William Moulton Marston. He visioned the idea of psychological propaganda for the new type of woman should rule the world. The origin of the creation of Wonder Woman is an interesting development on how the character was created during the time when comics are still in its infancy. I couldn’t fit in the review, but I’ll have the link to the article if you’re interested in reading about the origins of the character.
The plot of the film involves the origin story on Diana Prince(Wonder Woman) played by Gal Gabot, daughter of Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons played by Connie Nielsen. Diana grows up on the island of Themyscira, home to the Amazons, a race of warrior women created by the gods of Mount Olympus to protect humankind against the God of War’s corruption. Young Diana played by Lilly Aspell and Emily Carey is a free-spirited and rebellious, her loyalties split between two opposed parental figures. The left hand of Hippolyta wanted Diana to stay away from combat while Antiope(Robin Wright) wanted Diana to get exposure on learning on how to defend herself.
Throughout Diana’s childhood to Adulthood, she began to learn about her own powers and origins of her tribe. Particularly in one scene where she fights Antiope in a sparring session, she was getting pummeled. Until she used her signature indestructible bracelets to unleash an enormous blast that left an impact on Antiope in the process. The blast had left an impact on Diana emotionally that would make her mother more concern on letting Diana continue training. Then, her life changed when she rescues Steve Trevor played by Chris Pine after his plane was destroyed by the Germans. Not for long for the Germans to find the island and attack the Amazonians in search of Steve Trevor. During the assault, Antiope sacrifices her life to save Diana by taking the bullet to the chest.
After the assault, the Amazonians blame the death of Antiope on Steve Trevor because they believed that he lead the Germans to attack them. They used their prejudice belief on how men are evil to conclude that Trevor is responsible for Antiope’s death. However, Diana knew that Trevor was innocent, but her sisters didn’t believe her words. Then, Steve was interrogated with the use of the Lasso of Truth and he revealed that he’s an Allied spy from the Great War(World War One) era. He stole a notebook from German scientist Doctor Maru and General Erich Ludendorff that contained a deadlier version of mustard gas that could possibly kill millions of innocent lives. Then, Diana convinced herself that the mastermind behind this great war was the God of War himself, Aries. So she decided to armor herself with the ceremonial sword and leaves Themyscira with Steve to find Aries before the world faces his wrath.
Well, that is the plot of the story, now we let’s talk about the characters themselves. First, with Wonder Woman herself, Gal Gadot. Since the announcement when she got cast as Wonder Woman, large numbers rash back against this decision of casting her. She was an unknown actress outside of the Fast and Furious Franchise and she has little acting experience. That was one of the most common complaints about her. Then, we got the taste of her being Wonder Woman in Batman Vs Superman and their audience believed that she has the potential to be an Excellent Wonder Woman. I was among of those fans who believe that we needed a feature film that showcases her ability to play Wonder Woman. And if this the plan from D.C, they definitely made the right choice of casting Gadot because she rocks the role of Wonder Woman.
Gadot wonderfully inhabits the mix of curiosity, sincerity, badassery, and compassion that Wonder Woman’s character has established. Most importantly, she wears her suit, the suit doesn’t wear her. She evokes a classic heroism that is a breath of fresh air that is similar to Christopher Reeve’s approach to Superman from the 1970s. It’s like that I don’t see Gal Gabot trying to be Wonder Woman, I see Wonder Woman. Which its a good idea that she worked very hard to get the characterization of Wonder Woman. She showed off her charismatic attitude in every scene that she’s in, even she may come as naive to the 1910s London in the World War One. Especially, her curiosity in learning how her world of man is much different from her world where it doesn’t have any men that inhabit there.
When we have a young, inexperienced Diana, who is completely inadvertent to the outside, it’s a good idea to bring in a man who is more familiar with the outside to help guide Diana though World War One. No one else can fit this role of Steve Trevor other than Captain Kirk himself, Chris Pine. Chris Pine’s performance works off Gadot’s perfectly by becoming the man who is “not all men” category. He’s more than capable of bringing an emotional complexity to a character most aptly described as a dude-in-distress. There are particularly great scenes at the beginning, as Diana talks about men being unnecessary for female pleasure. Steve seems undone by her presence, which makes the development of their story authentic. Their chemistry is electrifying, making “Wonder Woman” a successful romance that helps drive Diana’s character development into becoming the Wonder Woman by the end of the film.
“Wonder Woman” is arguably among the best superhero movies that we have gotten so far. Despite the film has its flaws like the villains’ development and how they felt are an afterthought. However, the film far exceeds in the narrative, performance, and the message behind it. I would rate this film a nine out of ten(9/10), it’s a wonderful superhero film that could give Marvel the run for their money if Warner Bros/DC Comics stay with this tone for the Justice League and the future films after it. Oh please, Zack Synder and Joss Whedon, give the Justice League the justice that the superheroes deserve. Wonder Woman is the first step in the right direction.