As a superhero movie fan, and as one of the rare people who enjoyed DC’s “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “Suicide Squad,” I expected to like Wonder Woman, whether it became a Blockbuster hit or not.
Though previous DC films seemed to leave most viewers either wanting more or wanting nothing to do with DC at all, I think “Wonder Woman” is the film to change all of that.
“Wonder Woman,” directed by Patty Jenkins, begins with a secure package being delivered to Diana Prince from Bruce Wayne. The package contains the original photo of Diana (Gal Gadot), Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), Sameer (Saïd Taghmaoui), Charlie (Ewen Bremner) and The Chief (Eugene Brave Rock) from a Belgium town in WWI that Bruce found during “Batman v Superman.” The package also contains a note letting Diana know he hopes one day she’ll share her story.
The picture, which is the only tie shown between this film and “Batman v Superman,” directs the story to Diana’s childhood, way before she becomes the Wonder Woman we all know and love.
As Princess Diana, daughter of Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons (Connie Nielsen), she starts out fun, lively and rebellious—wishing to be trained as a warrior by her aunt Antiope (Robin Wright), but her mother doesn’t allow it. While Hippolyta explains her wishes to keep Diana away from training, the back story of the Amazons—and where Diana came from—is told, however Diana’s mother leaves out some details to try to protect Diana.
Although Hippolyta wasn’t happy about Diana’s training, it’s a good thing she was because Steve, who is in a German pilot’s uniform, but is actually a spy for the allies in World War I, comes crashing into the hidden Paradise Island’s waters and brings the bad guys on his tail with him.
From there, Diana decides she can’t just do nothing while millions of innocent people are dying and she must go kill Ares, the god of war, to end the war. Diana then leads Steve off the island in return for him leading her to Ares, at the front of the war.
Steve describes Diana’s story as “neat,” but becomes her guide through normal-world London, which Diana finds hideous and confusing—and as the strong woman she is, doesn’t understand how any woman fights in the clothes they wear and isn’t so good at keeping her mouth shut around the men.
“Wonder Woman” doesn’t only showcase the first female superhero film in the now massive superhero film franchise, but covers a wide-range of sexist issues that an Amazon woman from an all-woman island just doesn’t understand or accept.
Gal Gadot does a beautiful job at portraying Wonder Woman, and Diana’s chemistry with Steve feels playful, sexy and natural throughout the entire film. The misfit sidekicks of Charlie, Sameer and The Chief also add even more comic relief that the confused Diana and nervous, “above average” Steve already brought to the screen.
With the Amazons’ hidden Paradise Island, warrior training, strong gorgeous women and an interesting story of the gods—the movie was setup for success, but add a seemingly-genuine love story; kick ass fight scenes with the lasso of truth, the “god killer” sword, and Diana’s braces; entertaining story line and funny characters that aren’t too cheesy—the movie becomes pretty close to a perfect superhero film.
The film’s purpose is to tell Wonder Woman’s backstory and what not only leads her to that photo Bruce has sent, but what leads her to he and Clark Kent and later—all to set up for “Justice League” coming to theaters in November of this year. Although we never witness Diana actually share her backstory with Bruce or see what she does from when WWI ends up to when she teams up with Batman and Superman, the movie tells her backstory in one of the most entertaining ways I’ve seen a super hero film do it and I was impressed.
The film doesn’t feel forced or feel like DC is trying too hard to turn themselves into the fun, light-hearted Marvel movies. Parts of the film are still dark and serious, but it definitely has a different feel than other DC films.
Overall, the film is a huge success and definitely worth watching. I wouldn’t go as far as saying it’s the best superhero movie of all time, but I would definitely say Wonder Woman proved herself to be the (wo)man for the job when it comes to kicking ass and finding the sweet spot for DC.