After her impressive “introduction” in the massively unimpressive Batman vs Superman, Wonder Woman was top of many’s most looking forward to 2017 list, including mine, which you can find here. Set in 1917, we meet Diana Prince (Gal Gadot), the daughter of the Queen of the Amazonian island of Themyscia. The island is hidden, and so they have no idea as to what is going on in the world until an American pilot crash lands on their island, when Diana hears of what has become of the world she knows what she must do to defeat the foe, and leaves Themyscia knowing she may never come back. Wonder Woman is 100% the best DC film, and whilst that is not saying much – it is a thoroughly enjoyable, great film that due to a really, really bad villain leaves a sour taste, I give Wonder Woman a 7.5/10 or a B+.
Wonder Woman finally did something that I didn’t think a DC film could do: actually fulfil it’s trailer potential. And, just in case the 7.5/10 rating I have given seems harsh, I think for 3 out of the 4 quarters of the movie; it is an solid 8 out of 10, it is just that the final act is just so disappointing. With a better villain, the rating and review would be really different. Now, I love what Wonder Woman means in the sense of to Hollywood, and I think out of every DC film I have seen, this is the best origin film for at least ten years. But, I cannot write this and deny that the film has massive problems – no matter how great I think the vision and the acting was, this film falls into the same trap the other DC films fall into. Wonder Woman is no where near the top of the list when it comes to best superhero adaptions.
There is no denying it is a very powerful film, but it does have its flaws. Whilst not bad, it isn’t in the calibre of the best films of all time, I don’t think it was one of the best superhero films made, it is definitely the best female lead superhero movie, with Gal Gadot being one of the best female superheroes I have ever seen on screen be it big or small. But, the villain and story really do let this film down, and it was something that I think the executives insisted were included and it just left a sour taste. And, all of the best superhero films have a memorable villain.
In order to understand my thought process on this film; think about it as the tale of two sides. In every main superhero film, there has to be a bad guy and a good guy, the good guys were done perfectly, with the dynamics between them really being the heart of the movies. But, the villains – the villains are terrible! I say plural, because everyone from Ares, to the German guy and his crazy assistant are rubbish, because of this, the story is weak, Diana trying t hunt down the German guy – but I couldn’t care less! The inevitable end of the movie is the worst part, not because I didn’t want it to end but because it literally just smashes the entire film apart, with (of course!) a CGI filled final boss battle, with, oddly – arguably the best DC villain portrayed in the DCEU.
I really don’t want to nitpick, but I don’t understand how the sequel will work. Where is the sequel going? How can there be more war now that Ares is dead? Please, whatever you do – don’t bring him back. Just, let Diana have a two hour movie of her saving people and remembering Steve – because I am fine with that. When he died, did the entire war stop? Which again, I am guessing WW2 never happened. But. moving past that because every film can be critiqued just like that, my only hope for the sequel is that we will get to see more of Wonder Woman facing her fear of being wrong about Ares, when Steve was trying to say to her that there is not a big baddie called Ares.
During “Reviewbury”, my outtake on films has changed massively, as I finally understood and come to appreciate how important the director, and their vision is. I think Paddy Jenkins does amazingly, she manages to balance comedy, action, suspense and a lot of heart in this film. With Diana’s decision to leave the Amazonian city knowing she can’t come back and the entirety of the “no man’s land” scene showings so much heart, and the chilling scenes of the impact of war and unity all explored in the above-said scene, and these added so much depth to these characters. I liked how we were able to have a story that progressed while also learning new stuff about Diana almost as soon as Steve does.
This brings me nicely into the characters, and Chris Pine shows he can also do superhero films. Gal Gadot was amazing as Wonder Woman, fulfilling the expectations we had for her after seeing her in BvS. I loved Steve and loved Diana together and it was one of the best superhero origin films I have seen in a while. Gal Gadot follows up the small light in BvS (I won’t bring it up again), and she actually fulfils with her performance, with her delivering great action, comedy and heart. Even, the supporting cast was amazing, with her cast of merry men adding great development to Diana and Steve, with it feeling a really fun movie. But, Ares is absolutely terrible, as they expect me to think that that guy is the God of War?
My problem with this film is just the plot. The entirety of the fourth act – it is just a mess, the ending is a mess. I wonder if the studio intervened and said no, you have to have a massive boss battle fight where we see this small midget man, turn into the God of War. Those are our request. I would have LOVED, loved, loved it, if it turned out that she was wrong just as Steve said, and that their isn’t a God of War called Ares. And, we see Diana genuinely fighting with her inner-self and this would have given us more of Diana and Gal Gadot. I think it would have been amazing if Diana was just lost and didn’t know what to do because she everything she thought she knew was wrong.
A key reason Wonder Woman worked was because it wasn’t trying to set anything up, she has her group of merry men and it delivers a great story, with some great fight scenes, great comedy and a clear good vision. It is just a shame that the fourth act lets it down. I give Wonder Woman a 7.5/10 or a B+.
I normally talk about the implications for the future, but because the Justice League review is dropping tomorrow, I will just leave it for then. What I think is cool, is how this film managed to change Hollywood.