Wonder Woman, directed by Patty Jenkins is the latest film in the DCEU, set part in 1918 during WWI, we see the origins of Diana Prince, how she became a warrior and how she leaves her home of Themyscira after meeting pilot Steve Trevor to come to the land of Men, in hopes of ending the great war, the film stars Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Connie Nielsen, Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Lucy Davis.
Ah DC, they can never get the films right and critics always hate them! Wait, scratch that because Wonder Woman is a revelation, not the first good DCEU film in my opinion but in the opinions of critics and audiences at large, it is, the film gets the character pretty much spot on and a large part of that is due to the on point casting, Gal Gadot was plucked from relative obscurity and was a risk to be fair but she really pulls off the roll. Combining the naivety, innocence and enthusiasm for good that Diana embodies, playing well off of Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) who totally does a Chris Pine-esque role, in a fun way, the two have actually quite believable chemistry, despite the unbelievable circumstances they both find themselves in. What we get is a fish out of water story for a large part of the film as Diana learns about the world, war, good and evil, away from her sheltered island of Themyscira and seeing her confront morality and the grey nature of humanity is actually pretty interesting, it’s a culture clash for sure but also a clash of ideals and ideologies, which goes a bit deeper than you may expect.
Outside of Pine and Gadot, the rest of the cast is also pretty solid, with the good side characters largely being comic relief and a bit cliché but not enough to detract from the film, the characterisation is a good point, while you do get the classic good Vs Evil themes, you also get to explore the nature of war and why people fight, one particular exchange between Diana and one of Steves’ mercenary friends was a highlight for me. If anything, you could fault Wonder Woman for being a bit of a slow burn and taking some time to get rolling but it’s an exciting affair when it is on the moves we see Dianas’ enthusiasm and fighting prowess in some pretty great action scenes.
And all of this not in a densely populated CGI metropolitan area (looking at you Man of Steel), the fights are well choreographed and it’s a nice touch that Gal Gadot herself did a lot of her own stunts and training.
I also quite liked both the tone and pacing and of the film, tonally the film deals with fairly serious issues like war, good and evil but for a DC film it has a lot of jokes, a lot coming from Dianas’ misunderstanding of the world and men and the humour both works and helps to provide some levity. DC has definitely learnt to incorporate more humour in their films and it’s working for the most part. The pacing of the film is also good, the first half takes a little while to get going but we rarely stay in one place for too long and the 2nd half of the film actually flies by I found.
Don’t get me wrong, Wonder Woman is no perfect film, it has its faults but even by critics lofty standards, it’s a success – an entertaining, nicely toned film with great action and visuals. It’s both the film the DC needed and that comic book films needed with a female protagonist in my opinion and if it is a sign of things to come for the DCEU, then the franchise is in good hands.
. Great action sequences, visuals
. Great soundtrack
. Some emotional moments may feel a bit cheesy for some