Though it may have die-hard fans, the DC Extended Universe outings have been met with a relatively tepid response. With Batman Vs Superman and Suicide Squad meeting plenty of detractors, especially from the press, it’s hard to feel excited for the release of a new film.
Wonder Woman, despite having a particularly brilliant director and a leading cast member already celebrated for her performance of the character, has gradually been gaining traction. Whilst there are some lonely corners of the internet bemoaning about the marketing and particular women-only screenings, there has been a force of exhilaration from audiences totally hyped to see the film.
Now it’s out in cinemas, and it is glorious.
Wonder Woman revolves around an ancient island of Amazons who have been kept away from the general world. Created by Zeus to defeat his son Ares, the inhabitants train daily in case the God of War returns. Diana, Princess to Queen Hippolyta, saves pilot Captain Steve Trevor who crashes into their island. After discovering he is in the middle of a World War, Diana follows him to the outside world to bring an end to the bloodshed. However, the war may prove deadlier than expected, and as someone without knowledge of the outside world, Diana must save it.
Patty Jenkins commands a stellar superhero romp that, although treading familiar ground (the origin story has been done repetitively on the big screen,) still smacks an almighty punch that’ll leave you beaming from ear to ear. The minute the women of Themyscira grace the screen to the emotional finale, Wonder Woman will grasp you in its palm and leave your heart beating for more.
Visually, this is an almost masterpiece. Lazy editing may impede the final third, but from the a gorgeous exposition told through a children’s book laid out like a Renaissance painting to action sequences flitting between the slow and the ferociously energetic, precise and almost poetic battle scenes will have you drooling. As Diana enters WW1, you’ll be treated to a spectacle of dramatic and brilliant moments that’ll stick with you. Yes, as with every Superhero film, CGI is far too heavy and it’s jarring in places where you wish they’d gone au natural to add more depth to the film.
Gal Gadot has proved her worth with the character and here, she expanded on Diana Prince. The character’s naive and headstrong belief in the wonders of the world is great gateway to present a feminist idea: A hero who has had no dealing with men entered into a largely misogynist world and having to prove her worth. It’s a fascinating and ultimately successful angle that Gadot grabs and powers through with muscle and depth. There are moments she struggles with a more emotive arc, but nevertheless, the female representation is layered: Flawed in her deer-eyed beliefs but turned into great strengths, there are intricate lessons and wonderful portrayals in here. And guess what? Diana being a leading force is not at the detriment of the other female characters. It’s so so so good.
There is great humour and a lot of fun to be had here. Supporting cast such as Chris Pine who is pretty much Kirk in a soldier suit, and Robin Wright backdrop the film with spirit and no actor is wasted in their presentation here. As mentioned before, the story falters as it fails to truly step away from the usual origin story garb. Yet, Jenkins directs a compelling and truly electrifying cinematic spectacle her .
I’ll end this review on a definite high: When the credits rolled, me and other women are stoked. Excited, enthused, and exuberant at what we’ve just seen. While Wonder Woman may have its faults, the sheer velocity in which the epic film hits you is so exciting and game-changing, that it is important that all need to see. A female-led superhero film from the DCEU that is thrilling, emotional, engaging, and vital to our cinematic consumption.
Give me more, please.
Wonder Woman is out in cinemas now!