Wonder Woman Review

About an hour into Wonder Woman, as Diana jumped into the madness of No Man’s Land dressed in her full Amazonian regalia, I found myself feeling something I have never felt before in a DCEU film: joy. Pure, unfettered joy. For the first time in a long time a DC hero was allowed to be unabashedly noble and heroic on the big screen and it was so refreshing.

From start to finish Wonder Woman does an admirable job of portraying its titular character as a paragon of virtue and stoicism. It is abundantly clear that the film’s director, Patty Jenkins understands and respects the character of Wonder Woman. Instead of trying to cram the Amazonian princess into a dark, brooding, realistic story, this film fully embraces a mythology that involves Greek Gods and veritasium-infused lassos. Finally, Warner Bros. refrained from giving a hero who is not Batman, the Batman treatment.

Robin Wright as Antiope

Gal Gadot does an admirable job portraying Diana’s resoluteness, as well as her innocent naivete. She’s supported by Robin Wright, who manages to portray her fearsome and frankly, just badass, mentor Antiope as well as the ever charming Chris Pine as US spy Steve Trevor. The supporting characters are, for the most part, used smartly and each was cast well. 

For the most part.

Danny Huston’s villainous General Ludendorff and Elena Anaya’s psychotic Maru (Dr. Poison) are both border-line cheesy, not remotely menacing and just over all obnoxious. What’s most confusing about both of them is their complete inability to maintain a believable German accent (though to be fair Ludendorff would have had a Polish/Prussian accent) with any kind of genuineness. In fact, not a single German character seems to be a native speaker, and none of them make any serious attempt at sounding German. I found it to be really distracting and an unfortunate blight on the film. I’m not sure why the production settled on who they did when there are tons of brilliant German actors such as Christian Berkel, Michael Fassbender, and of course Hans Landa himself Christoff Waltz who would have added so much more gravitas.

The real Erich Ludendorff had a bitchin' stache too, so more points  must be docked from Danny Huston's portrayal

The plot of the film is mercifully straightforward as opposed to the meandering, bloated plots offered up by Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.  That being said, there is still some very noticeable lazy screenwriting present in the film. At one point in the film, one of the supporting characters comes to the rescue of the heroes with a beautiful automobile to help them sneak into a German party. In the middle of war-torn Europe. Behind enemy lines. When asked where he got it his response is, “There was a whole field of them!” Again, in the middle of war-torn Europe. This is just one of two or three moments whose laziness really took me out of the movie for a few moments. Fortunately, Patty Jenkin’s able direction of action and inter-personal relationships between the hero characters always managed to pull me back in.

One thing Patty Jenkins really struggles directing is comedy. While Wonder Woman has more light-hearted moments peppered throughout its runtime than its DCEU counterparts (with the exception of Suicide Squad) many of them fail to hit. The reason they fail to hit is because either the punchlines are too drawn out, or the shot cuts before a punchline really has time to hit. In other words, most of the time the comedic timing is just off-kilter.

The Wrap Up

The Good

+Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman

+The supporting cast

+Embraces the spirit of Wonder Woman

+Patty Jenkin's Action

+Straightforward plot...

The Bad

-...that sometimes falls victim to lazy screenwriting.

-Weak villains

-Humor that fails to land at times

The Verdict

7 out of 10

Standing head and shoulders above any of the other DCEU films, Wonder Woman succeeds in providing a fun, vibrant, if somewhat faulty movie-going experience, well worth the price of admission.