One of the most anticipated films of the year, Wonder Woman has finally hit the box office and has left us with a lot to say (so, sorry, this is a long review).
We follow Diana/ Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) as she discovers the outside world after a World War One pilot (Chris Pine) crashes his plane on her home island. She learns a lot about the outside world, how it functions, it’s situation regarding war but she also learns a lot about herself, her powers and her destiny.
Firstly, Gal Gadot is perfect as Wonder Woman. She nails the character completely, portraying her passion, compassion, strength, morality and her need to help others in peril. Yet despite this she is, at first, somewhat naive as to what she can do and how the world works. This is not in a negative way though, as this provides a certain charm to her character as she develops and brings an enjoyable comedy to the film’s tone.
She is certainly the best developed and characterised role in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) so far, and this is certainly the best film they have produced so far.
This is because they have finally cracked a major element to making strong superhero films, something Marvel have been doing for a while, and that is to combine this with another genre.
For example, Marvel’s movies such as Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a spy/espionage film, Ant-Man is a heist film etc. and Wonder Woman is a war film, specifically WWI.
Having this extra genre to explore allows the film makers to add layers and more depth to the film’s plot, other than a bog standard superhero origin story or simple hero vs villain, and Wonder Woman does well to show the horrors of war effectively.
However, the film is not without it’s faults. For instance, the supporting cast to Wonder Woman apart from Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), who becomes a very strong and key part of the film, feel very underdeveloped and underutilised. They never really feel that important or note worthy.
On top of this, the antagonists feel a similar way. They don’t receive enough screen time to feel genuinely threatening and dangerous, only really having an influence at the very end of the last act.
These issues, along with some bad continuity, confused character motivation and some weak dialogue are very evident in the final act of the film. This, I believe, falls down to a similar problem the DCEU is having with editing and chopping their films.
Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad suffered with these issues much more, but it’s still evident in Wonder Woman that they’ve chopped and changed a lot without sewing it back together all that neatly.
Personally, I think a large portion of the first act could be cut in order to get Gal Gadot into her role as Wonder Woman quicker, as this is where the strength of the film lies.
Seeing her show off her powers, as well as the more emotional time that Patty Jenkins (director), Allan Heinberg (screenplay writer) and Zack Snyder (story writer) take with the character, are the best bits of the film, so it would only make sense to cut the parts out that are unnecessary and favour more of that.
Lastly, the CGI is not always fantastic and is very often overused significantly. The CGI moments took me out of what otherwise felt like quite a grounded and emotional film. The glaringly obvious moments when CGI was used extensively make such a contrast to the otherwise spectacular practical effects, and costumes, that it damaged my experience with the film.
Furthermore, the action is fairly spectacular on the whole, and is accompanied with the excellent theme for Wonder Woman, but there’s an over reliance on slow-mo that winds up looking a bit strange and somewhat annoying.
I’m not the biggest fan of slow-mo on the whole, but when used effectively it can certainly change the impact of a moment. However, it’s used so heavily in Wonder Woman it becomes void of doing so when it actually matters, which is really frustrating.
In conclusion, on the whole this film is excellent. It is without a doubt the best DCEU film that we’ve seen so far, and Gal Gadot is perfect. However, there are still certainly some glaring problems for DC to work on for their future endeavours. Wonder Woman managed to avoid a lot of these criticisms because of the hype surrounding a female superhero film, as well as the many positives to the film itself, but that doesn’t mean the problems aren’t there.
Despite all of this though, there’s something about Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman that just leaves you wanting to see more of her.