Warner Bros. has put me through an emotional roller coaster since the summer of 2013 when Man of Steel came out. I was excited to see what Snyder had to offer in a new DC film. I walked out disappointed.
When I saw the trailer for Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad, I hit the replay button many times. Both were easily my favorite trailers that year. Then Warner Bros. released another BvS trailer, revealing big plot points of the movie. I walked out even more disappointed compared to seeing Man of Steel. When I saw Suicide Squad, I laughed multiple times throughout the film because of how bad it was. I walked out saying it was even worse than Batman v. Superman.
I was close to giving up on Warner Bros. and decided to not watch any trailers for both Wonder Woman and the upcoming Justice League. I only did this so I wouldn’t overhype myself or see a huge spoiler. I’ll see the movie with knowing little of the plot. I told myself if Wonder Woman is a mess then I have no nope for this franchise. All it needed to do was just be a little bit better than Man of Steel and that would prove to me that the franchise is heading in the right direction.
I’m fortunate enough to say that Wonder Woman is easily the best film in the DCEU. If that doesn’t impress you and you haven’t seen the Rotten Tomatoes score, then I’ll also say Wonder Woman is actually a good movie. That alone should make you buy a ticket.
Gal Gadot plays the Amazonian princess, Diana, who is trained by her fellow Amazonians who happen to all be women. A World War I pilot named Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) crashed into the Amazon world, and Diana decides to help Steve stop the war in order to end all wars.
The chemistry between Diana and Steve go well, partly because the movie is a fish-out-of-water story that involve Steve teaching Diana the ways to live in their modern era. Yet there was also emotion coming from both characters because the story was able to flesh them out. We had a reason to like and cheer for them; not just because it’s a super hero movie.
Director Patty Jenkins was also able to give Gadot the performance of her career (so far) to prove she is Wonder Woman. Gadot’s performance in Batman v. Superman wasn’t enough to see if she has what it takes due to small amount of screen time / little amount of dialouge. Jenkins direction helps show Gadot’s strengths in her acting by using her a lot for humor and well choreographed action scenes.
Jenkin’s weakest aspect of the entire movie is the action though. Almost every action scene has multiple slow motion moments, similar to some of Snyder’s older films, but it feels distracting and out of date. It may add more to the stylistic approach the DC movies are doing, but it’s repetitive throughout the entire movie. The big showdown at the end goes a little outrageous with the special effects, making it similar to the big fight in Batman v. Superman. Even though it wasn’t as barbaric as BvS, it felt a little out of place compared to everything else the movie had to offer.
I’ve now accepted that almost every villain in comic book movies are just there to be evil and have little to no development. That’s pretty much how it is in this film as well. It’s not as bothersome though because many of the other things in this movie are executed very well that it’s not a big problem.
Jenkins way of telling that no matter what, evil is always afoot and it’s on us for making the decisions is something that feels fresh and original that not many of the other comic movies have delved into. Her directing gives Gadot a good performance as Diana while also giving strong chemistry between Gadot and Pine. The score’s patriotic and heroic score is used perfectly to help elevate the action scenes, even though the slow motion moments are distracting and the final fight feels like a different director was behind the camera.
Besides that and the uninteresting villains, Wonder Woman is easily the best film in the DCEU that has moments of pleasure and soul. It’s clear that this is the right direction Warner Bros. is heading in while still making it appear different from the MCU. Let’s pray this is the Wonder Woman we get in the upcoming Justice League.