“Wonder Woman” is the newest installment in DC’s cinematic universe, following: “Man of Steel”, “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “Suicide Squad” and is the character’s first solo live action film. While many of DC’s recent films have been um.. divisive to say the least, it seems as though director Patty Jenkins has finally cracked the code, because Wonder Woman is awesome!
Wonder Woman isn’t just a solid action movie, it has heart. Sure there’s moments of darkness, but it’s interspersed with just the right amount of humor. Even as a fan of the previous films, I also could see why not everyone was connecting with them quite like Marvel’s recent outings. Man of Steel was dark, BvS was confusing (seriously though, that director’s cut was a big improvement) and Suicide Squad.. well Suicide Squad made some odd choices… Wonder Woman on the other hand is both a great movie and everything a comic fan could hope for!
Princess Diana is the daughter of Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons and brought to life by Zeus. For thousands of years, the Amazons have lived in peace on the island of Themyscira, isolated from the world of man. Then one day, everything changed when American pilot, Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) crash lands just off the shore of Themyscira. Diana rescues Trevor right before the German navy fleet leads an attack on their shore. The Amazons soon discover that there is a great war engulfing the world at large (World War One). Convinced this to be the work of Ares, the God of War, Diana joins Steve on his return to Europe in an attempt to track down Ares and end the war once and for all.
Gal Gadot plays Diana of Themyscira herself. Gadot briefly debuted in Batman v Superman, and is often considered the best part of the movie, so everyone knew that she looked the part and could handle the action. This movie proves that she doesn’t just look like Wonder Woman, she completely embodies the character. She’s gorgeous, tough as nails, and hilariously sincere.
Chris Pine (Captain Kirk from the new Star Trek movies) is a perfect addition as Steve Trevor. He’s charming, witty and a die-hard realist. Both Steve and Diana make an awesome duo, playing off each other’s wildly different world views. In fact, some of my favorite parts of the movie are the scenes where Diana is a fish out of water, attempting to understand the world of the early 20th century, from the perspective of someone who has had zero exposure to technology newer than the Bronze Age. As good as Pine is in the movie though, he doesn’t outshine his female lead.
The villains don’t necessarily steal the show either, but when Ares does make his presence known, it’s effective. In a way, the real villain of the movie though is war itself. As strange as that sounds, this movie really is about concepts. It’s about truth, compassion and love triumphing over evil. In fact, one of the major strengths in all of DC’s recent movies is that they’re full of visual symbolism, just like the comics. Every frame is a work of art. And yes, of course it’s also a movie that symbolizes female empowerment, as it should. Wonder Woman has always been a strong feminist symbol and it’s nice to see that message embraced on the big screen.
Setting the movie during the First World War was a brilliant move for a number of reasons, partially because it was one of the most brutal and practically pointless conflicts in human history, but it was also a war without defined good guys and bad guys, like in WWII. There were no winners, just losers. One of the most iconic moments is when Wonder Woman fearlessly steps over the trenches into No Man’s Land and blocks a barrage of artillery rounds! That scene alone is worth the price of admission.
To top it off, the score by Rupert Gregson-Williams is one of my favorite soundtracks in recent memory, which really plays off the Wonder Woman theme that Hans Zimmer created for BvS. All things considered, Patty Jenkins has truly crafted masterpiece in superhero cinema.
So if you’re a fan of movies, a fan of comic books, or a fan of history, go see Wonder Woman! I seriously can’t recommend it enough. Now let’s just hope “Justice League” keeps up the momentum…
Erik Slader is a blogger, barista, web tech, digital artist, gamer, comic book aficionado, history buff, part-time nerd, and full-time husband. Creator of “Epik Fails of History” (@EpikFails.com) and writer for SuperheroBeach.com, MovementMagazine.com and ComicZombie.net – check out his digital design portfolio at ErikSlader.com