Wonder Woman (d. Patty Jenkins USA/China/Hong Kong 2017)

Please read ‘On Reviews‘ for a guide to how I write film reviews. Any spoilers are appropriately marked and, though I personally prefer to know little about a film before seeing it, there is a synopsis at the bottom for any who wish to see one.

Entertainment:

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Performances:

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Predictability:

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Technical:

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Introduction

DC films have had a bit of a rocky start. Superman being revived a number of times and Batman being very much his own entity until recently. Recently we have had Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (d. Zack Snyder USA 2016). But like the many other attempts by DC to bring DC to a film universe, The Green Lantern (d. Martin Campbell USA 2011)for example, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice was a highly criticised film. With it we saw a glimpse into DCs plans, however, as The Flash, Aquaman and Wonder Woman were introduced. (A criticism of the film was that it introduced more than it entertained.) The first of these films to be brought to the screen is Wonder Woman (d. Patty Jenkins USA/China/Hong Kong 2017). Now this will be a review of the film and not consider the character’s back story too much.

The character

So Wonder Woman is performed by Gal Gadot, who really brings the character home and is supported well by Chris Pine (Steve Trevor), Saïd Taghmaoui (Sameer), Ewen Bremner (Charlie) and Eugene Brave Rock (The Chief). In fact (despite not being a fan of Chris Pine), many of Wonder Woman’s scenes with Steve Trevor are very endearing. However, questions arise on her reliance on these side characters in a feminist argument for the film. She is the only woman amongst her group. She also has a few moments that verge on forced which either make a cry for her femininity or distract from her strengths as a feminine idol. Despite this Wonder Woman shows a lot of strengths as an independent character and the film goes at efforts to show her as an icon but not a sex object. This is a complex aspect of the film that is unfortunately beyond the scope of this review but can be seen here. A criticism also arises in her power, she actually has no weakness, which means she’s never challenged. (SPOILERS: A thought for what could have been, if she was affected by the gas she’d be challenged. If Dr Poison (Elena Anaya) was the antagonist, this would have worked better for dramatic tension – leading to better action. END OF SPOILERS) Again this is also reflected in the rather poor antagonist. This means there is no threat to her character leaving for a rather basic investment to the character if at all. We don’t fear for her to win, we know it.

The Look

Like many comic book and super hero films of the day, this film looks good, it has good use of CGI. Some rather inventive shots keep a mythology interesting despite it essentially being blocks of exposition. Whilst some camera shots keep the visual action interesting. Some of the jumps don’t feel real, though they are meant to be larger than life she just floats. The finale largely suffers this reliance on CGI, showing style over substance. Despite its rather impressive style the bigger means better approach is used for the magic where good choreography could be used for better affect.

Conclusion

Wonder Woman would be a dream for many and the film idolises a power in its protagonist whilst showing a fear of showing a flaw in her. This does suffer the story a bit and despite some of the well-made aspects of the film, which can undoubtedly entertain, it holds Wonder Woman back. A great film not being anything more but none-the-less a film to bring DC more into the forefront. DC films are progressing and I’m sure more eyes will look to The Justice League Part One  (d. Snyder USA 2017), Aquaman (d. James Wan USA/Australia 2018) and The Flash (d. USA 2020).

Synopsis

Wonder Woman lives on a hidden island away from mankind training for a fight that may or not be brought to her. When a soldier, Chris Trevor, arrives she discovers the rest of the world within the first world war.

Further Reading

rottentomatoes.com

metacritic.com

Official Site

Interview with Gal Gadot and Chris Pine

Interview with Patty Jenkins

Interview with Cinematographer

Behind the Scenes

Wonder Woman Featurette

Training for Wonder Woman

Easter Eggs

 

Wonder Woman (d. Patty Jenkins USA/China/Hong Kong 2017)



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