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Wonder Woman Review

by Eli Duncan, Reporter

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Rating: 8.5/10

Director: Patty Jenkins

Starring: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, David Thewlis, Elena Anaya, Danny Huston

Release Date: June 2, 2017

MPAA Rating: PG-13

 

In DC Comics’ and Warner Bros. Pictures’ senior attempt at kickstarting their own extended movie universe, they exceeded expectations beating out the previous attempts like Suicide Squad and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. This movie did do what previous DC Extended Universe (DCEU) movies couldn’t: give hope.

Set during the ending days of The Great War, we meet Princess Diana (Gal Gadot) of Themyscira, a young, charismatic, warrior. Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), a charming American aviator and spy, crashes and washes ashore the island the Amazons call home and tells Diana about the conflict in the war to end all wars. When learning about the threat of the German war machine, she remembers the past making it part of her destiny to help man in this struggle for peace. Diana leaves to fight alongside the Allies, discovering her true potential and thus becoming everyone’s favorite superheroine, Wonder Woman.

At the very core, it is a war film. The character of Wonder Woman was created during World War 2, making her forever and always a soldier. Jenkin’s decision to set this during World War 1 was a choice rarely explored in Hollywood. This was a time where man was discovering man, much like Wonder Woman was in this film. It takes the clichés of war movies and does something special with them. It takes the action and adds beautiful cinematography, like slow motion shots of Wonder Woman we saw in the trailer. Above all else however, this is the origin of not only Wonder Woman, but the DCEU.

This movie did what most superhero films can’t do. Diana’s path from little girl to superheroine was engaging and interesting to watch. We see a girl who is eager to train, not for herself, but for her people. Director Patty Jenkins encompassed what Wonder Woman stands for in the coming of age, King Arthur like tale of Diana’s story.

DC also explored it’s mystical side very early in the game. Wonder Woman is one of the more powerful superheroes in any comic book universe, but her powers come from her heritage, not from money or a ring. She was raised on an island not able to be located by anyone, completely cut off from the rest of the world. An island so isolated, she has not met another man before Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor. This movie is set in a world where a goddess entered the front lines of France during humanity’s darkest hour. A studio in the hopes of building a multi-character franchise has to take risks, and exploring the mystical side of the source material in the building process is risky, but the risk is definitely worth the reward.

On top of that, the villain in Wonder Woman was fantastic. Most comic book movie villains have been underwhelming and forgettable, the exceptions being Loki from multiple Marvel films and Heath Ledger’s Joker from The Dark Knight. The majority of villains have fallen into the trope of being there to only further the plot when things get boring or they have a scheme that the audience cares little about. However, the threat of Ares and Doctor Poison add something to the story that was pleasantly surprising and the audience will surely care about their scheme of devastation.

Complaints of the DCEU include the films being dark, not giving hope, and not having comedy. Those are all things that rivaling Marvel Studio films have. Wonder Woman reverses all of that. This film included comedy for all ages while still having a darker feel that we have come to expect from DC movies. The dark and gritty superhero was started by Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, and every DC movie has followed that same pattern since.

However, those films have left out the most important thing of a superhero tale: The feeling of hope that no matter how tough the challenge is, and no matter how grim things look, the good guys will prevail. Warner Bros. Studios and the DCEU team picked no better movie to bring back hope than Wonder Woman, the one superhero that truly defines hope.

Considering Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice inserted Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman to an already muddled and over-climaxed plot and Suicide Squad being the clichéd comic book movie, this movie could have easily been as much of a disappointment as those two films were. DC still has a long way to go to match up to Marvel. That being said, Wonder Woman was DC’s great leap forward. It will bring back the critics and the fans that were lost in the previous films. This has left me, and will leave many others feeling excited for the upcoming Justice League and for the future of DC’s movie universe.

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Wonder Woman Review