Wonder Woman Review
Perfect casting choices for characters
Good origin story for the character
Side characters get decent amount of screen time
World building brings you to the time
Bad CG at times
Non-climatic final battle
Wonder Woman follows the story of Diana, an Amazonian born on the secluded island of Themyscira. After a pilot by the name of Steve Trevor accidentally lands on the island though, he opens up her reality to what is happening outside of the island. She decides to leave the island in pursuit of ending World War I by defeating the god of war Ares with the aid of Steve Trevor.
*Spoilers beyond this point*
Wonder Woman follows the origin story of Princess Diana Prince, and the beginning of her learning about her powers and the world outside of the hidden island of Themyscira where she was born and raised. The island of Themyscira is hidden from the outside world with a barrier of fog and its only inhabitants are Amazonian women. Being that Princess Diana has never left the island before, she is oblivious to the outside world. While the movie plays the clueless character role with Wonder Woman, it doesn’t feel overbearing and her confusion on the ways of the world feel like how they naturally would for her life thus far. While it does play a significant role in the plot, it doesn’t feel like her only character trait.
Then there is Steve Trevor, a pilot who accidentally lands on the island of Themyscira and brings the knowledge of the World War to the Amazonian women. Steve is the more common man who brings common sense of the world to the movie. He plays the perfect counter to Diana who has no knowledge of the working of the world outside of her island. Steve is brave, and shows this by going against his better judgement in the movie and helping lead Diana into battle. Diana does tear apart his perception of reality during the movie as she completes feats he thought impossible. He still sticks to his understanding of the world though throughout the movie, while keeping the possibility open that given what he has seen from Diana that anything is possible.
The movie gives a good amount of screen time to its varied cast outside of the two main characters. While most screen time for this movie is given to Diana and Steve. The team in this movie is the one seen in the picture from Batman v Superman that introduces Wonder Woman to that film. On that team is Sameer, a master of disguise and friend of Steve who joins in an effort to infiltrate a weapons facility to Germany. Charlie who is a Scottish sniper who has PTSD after his previous experience in the war. Then finally Chief who is a Native American who takes advantage of both sides of the war by selling to the side that has the money, which gives him the ability to traverse around the battlefields of the war. Each member of the team has their own personality, struggles, and abilities that help out during the course of the movie.
With this team the story then focuses on the goal of taking out the weapons facility of Germany who is creating a gas capable of killing thousands of people in a single strike. Though the team isn’t perfect, they are capable to accomplishing a lot when Diana joins them and they have her power on their side. The movie does a perfect job of showing exactly how strong Diana is and how everyone sees her as a hero for her actions. This of course doesn’t mean the rest of the team take a back seat either as they are able to assist Diana when she goes into battle.
The plot does not slow at all, even during scenes of heavy dialogue. The movie manages to pace out the dialogue, action, and comedy aspects very well. The only scene that feels like more work could have been done on would be the final battle of the movie, which feels slow paced for what should be a giant battle.
The acting in this movie is probably one of its shining aspects. Gal Gadot plays the role of Wonder Woman perfectly. After her appearance in Batman v Superman I know I was questioning how she would play the character. Her acting in this movie has calmed any doubt in my mind that she is not the perfect person for this role. Whether it’s an action scene where she is taking on an army or an emotional scene where she is overcoming the deaths of people she couldn’t save, Gal Gadot brought the character of Wonder Woman to life the entire movie.
Then Chris Pine as usual plays his role exactly how you expect. He brings a comedic role to the film as the voice of reason, which when compared to the world that Diana comes from is needed in this movie. In typical Chris Pines fashion, he delivers every line in his movie perfectly, whether it is in a serious, comedic, or emotional moment. Steve’s role in the movie is more so someone who shows just how incredible the feats are that Wonder Woman is able to accomplish and Chris manages to pull everything for the character exactly how you expect.
The side characters while not as prevalent as the two main cast members do bring the world to life with their acting. Ewen Bremner as Charlie especially sticks out from the background characters as a sniper who fights PTSD. While he has only a few scenes with him as the focus, he takes them and makes them memorable scenes. The rest of the cast pulls in their acting for the movie as well, with no one feeling like they were miscast for this movie.
The character development in this movie mostly happens at the beginning with Princess Diana wanting to be a hero and then learning how to fight. When her world is flipped and the war is brought to her island she decides to leave in order to save the world. From there on though she stays remotely the same, and it’s the characters around her that end up getting development. Steve Trevor begins to realize that there are other powers at hand and while he already knows how bad the current system of war is. With Diana by his side and seeing her point of view, his perception on what must be done for the war changes a bit and he goes against his best judgement to assist her.
While the character development in this movie is very slight, it does not take away from the movie in the slightest. This isn’t a movie where the characters need to go through development as their ideals and morals are already on the right path for their mission. While characters are reluctant to go through their mission, they are soldiers and didn’t need to overcome themselves to jump into the battle in order to end the war. Seeing what Diana is capable of does help and the crew does go from seeing this as a job, to actually standing a chance of making a difference in the war, it is just enough character development to keep the movie going.
There is one point of character development that does feel lacking though, and that is with the villain of the movie who gets very little screen time. This is a problem that happens in a lot of comic book adaptations and it occurs in this movie as well. The villain has their motivations, but they seemingly come out of left field and the character is only in the film as a means to give Diana someone to fight at the end. A little more time for development or even screen time for this character is something I feel the movie was missing.
While for the most part the effects used in this movie are spectacular, the CG does look off at times. Especially during high movement action scenes, the CG becomes very obvious as some people begin to look like they are made of clay in their movements. Besides that, the effects in this movie hold up. Probably one of the only redeeming factors in the final fight scene of the movie are the effects used during it. While the effects are nothing new, they are done well throughout most of the movie and bring the world to life.
Then the scenery used in this movie takes you to those places. The level of details on the island of Themyscira, the dreary London city, and then the dark battles that Diana finds herself participating in. There are a lot of locations used in this film and they all bring the movie to life in the way they are used, even when it is short lived.
Overall this movie is very enjoyable. The few critiques I have for it do not take away from this film in the slightest. In the past DC movies have been very hit or miss, with most of them being a miss for me. Wonder Woman on the other hand comes out as one of the better origin stories for comic book adaptations from both Marvel and DC. This movie has plenty to enjoy from the characters and their interactions, the story, and the action. The movie is well paced with the movie not having many slow moments where nothing is happening.
If Wonder Woman is anything to go by, then I am very excited for the future of DC movies. Wonder Woman manages to pack action, humor, and a great story into this movie that DC has been unable to accomplish in its previous movies as of late. If you are a fan of DC, Wonder Woman, or comic book movies in general, this is the movie for you. Though the movie does fall under the comic book adaptation curse of bad villains that is happening between Marvel and DC, this movie still succeeds in being a movie I will happily recommend.