This review contains minor spoilers.
On June 2, the world was reintroduced to one of DC’s most prominent super heroes, Wonder Woman, who finally got her shot on the big screen. With DC’s last two films churning up sour reviews, everyone has been hesitant to let this movie stand up to the hype.
Rest assured, “Wonder Woman” shines as a new flavor and era for DC movies to come. I was pleased to find that it was character driven and that DC focused on delivering a quality movie, rather than one that was glossed over in order to please all kinds of viewers.
Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman) and Chris Pine’s (Steve Trevor) performances were compelling and successfully presented the heartwarming relationship between the two main characters. I’m typically not a fan of Chris Pine, however his work in this film is notably exceptional.
Altogether, the movie sis an origin story, so don’t walk into the theater expecting to see the heroine we all know and love. Here, Diana is young, naive and hesitant. She has spent the whole of her life in Themyscira, the sanctuary of the Amazons, hidden from the outside world. That is, until a World War I pilot mysteriously crashes his biplane on the shore.
The Amazons immediately question this mysterious man and learn of the horrors of a war that lies beyond their paradise. When hearing this news, Diana believes that Ares, the god of war, is the source of the mayhem. Thus, Diana joins Trevor in his return home, convinced that she can banish Ares from the earth.
To her surprise, the world beyond is far different from the one she grew up in. Trevor acts as her guide in this foreign world, which starts off as a humorous journey through London. Trevor attempts to restrain Diana from acting unladylike or reacting oddly to the common conveniences of the twentieth century. As the story evolves, Trevor and Diana work together to track down a lead that could end the war once and for all.
Notable highlights include Diana’s march through no man’s land and her infiltration into a private Nazi reception.
Overall, the film was nothing short of a work of art. Great care clearly went into every scene and it is noticeable throughout. From the intricate costumes, dedicated acting, beautiful camera shots and seamless editing, I found myself in awe. From an artist’s standpoint, each camera shot had a beautiful composition, the lighting was balanced and it was as if the pages of a comic literally were coming to life.
In terms of plot, what ultimately made this movie shine was how the story developed naturally by allowing character development to be the driving force of the plot. As a result, the story was not predictable, which was refreshing from the plot cliches that abound in superhero films.
Another unique element was the fact that this film details the origin of Wonder Woman. As a result, viewers are given the opportunity to see her develop into Wonder Woman, creating a powerful character arc.
Despite all these wonderful notes, I was disappointed by how heavily the film relied on computer generated effects and images. It’s understandable that CG is necessary when depicting epic battles, especially fast paced, high action ones like Diana’s, however, it seemed like every action scene used CG to depict Diana fighting. I was continually pulled out of the world when I could clearly tell that the actress was not performing the stunt. It just didn’t feel genuine and it was disheartening. Along with the combat, too much of the scenery was also CG, leaving the film feeling less grounded. Using CG is common and also cost effective, but until it can be perfected, I don’t think it should be used so heavily.
“Wonder Woman” is a huge success with its unique flavor, quality acting and compelling story. Looking forward, I’m excited and hopeful for the release of “Justice League” on November 17, especially if DC sticks to this formula. Whether you’re a DC fan or not, you can’t deny that Diana is nothing short of courage, power and wonder and that this movie will surely be enjoyed for years to come.