Wonder Woman Wonder Woman Movie Review
- SPOILER FREE -
As I sat in the theatre with the lights dimmed and the all new DC logo forming on the screen in front of me, the sense of sheer anticipation I was feeling is hard to describe in words. Somehow, this movie meant something more than just a movie to me. Somehow, I found myself personally invested in this, and wanting more than anything to see a movie that could live up to all my hype and aspirations for it.
And it did.
A movie that succeeds
Wonder Woman is not just a good superhero movie; it's a great movie, period. In fact, it doesn't really feel like a superhero movie at all. It starts off as a telling of ancient mythology and fantasy, and leads into what can only be described as a war film. And war seems to be the word heard most throughout the film, and yet at every turn, we the audience know that war is not the hero of this movie. Peace, Justice and Love are the final victors of the day, and the message is carried upon the shoulders of what is clearly the best superhero to come out of the DC Extended Universe yet.
I could go on and on about the cinematography, the nuanced performances, the thrilling action and the overall cohesiveness of the story as a whole. These are all executed brilliantly in the movie, no doubt. And even if all you're looking for is an entertaining and engaging film, or even just a ton of eye-candy, you'll enjoy Wonder Woman.
But as a woman, watching a powerful female heroine conquering the battlefield, leading the charge, and standing for what's right; it was exhilarating. I never realized how much I wanted to feel represented in the films I watch, until I saw it done right. And Wonder Woman does it right.
Undeniably Wonder Woman
If there was a shred of doubt left about Gal Gadot's ability to inhabit this role, it's long gone now. She is Wonder Woman. Sweetly innocent, extremely powerful and carrying herself with elegance and grace, Gal is nothing short of inspiring to watch. Chris Pine delivers my favourite performance of his to date, and his undeniable chemistry with Gal lays the foundation for some of the most moving moments of the film.
Patty Jenkins has achieved something monumental with this movie. Being the first female director to be at the helm of a film of this scale, she has undoubtedly succeeded in crafting a great piece of film-making. This will be a historic mark for female directors, and will hopefully open up more opportunities for us to see a female voice represented not just in small indie films, but also in big summer blockbusters.
The movie blends together a myriad of genres and tones, starting us off in realms of greek mythology on the island of Themyscira, and transitioning to the complete opposite side of the spectrum, in the harsh filth of world war one. It's a vivid contrast in atmosphere, but the movie handles it well. It perfectly combines epic action, with poignant emotional moments, dashes of sincere humor that doesn't feel forced, and compelling character growth. I was half-expecting them to avoid romance in the movie, merely as a way to subvert any clichés of the genre, but even that aspect is handled tastefully and feels completely believable and honest in the context of the story.
The right balance of Humour and Heart
A note on the humour; superhero movies as of late seem to be trying their hardest to make us laugh. And if you've been paying attention, you'd have noticed that it's starting to beat the audience over the head with it. DC as a whole seems to have avoided that approach with DCEU, but when Wonder Woman was touted as being lighter and more humourous movie, I had trepidations that it would have been too "marvel-ized". But as a credit to the screenwriters, the movie's laughs feel completely natural in the narrative, and the comedy weaves itself seamlessly into the story.
As the credits rolled, and the closing soundtrack soared, I had to sit in my seat for awhile before I was ready to leave the theatre. I felt moved, hopeful and optimistic. I felt inspired and uplifted. I wanted to immediately watch the film all over again. And funnily enough, at that moment, I wished I had a daughter whom I could show this film to, and tell her that superheroes can look like her. I truly think this movie will have a lasting resonance and impact in years to come, and while it is a great film, it's also an important film for a generation of movie-goers. The thing is, Wonder Woman is what we've been waiting for and so much more.