Hear Her Roar! (Wonder Woman Review)

On any other day, if you were asked who comes to mind when told to think of a “female superhero”, it’s almost always gonna be her. For a character as iconic and trailblazing as Wonder Woman, there were many failed attempts to bring her into the live action mainstream media (save for the 1970’s television show starring Lynda Carter). So when the DC announced that she was getting her own movie, many people cheered while a bunch of us groaned. Remember, this was the studio that brought us such instant classics such as The Green Lantern (in his CGI costumed glory), Batman V Superman (MARTHA!!!) and Suicide Squad (This is Kitana!! She’s got my back!). In their defense, they also brought us the Dark Knight Trilogy. And now, they gave us Wonder Woman

I was so glad to leave the theater when the credits rolled. This is not only a desperately needed win for DC, but once again proves that women (both behind and in front of the camera) can lead the charge in a big blockbuster film, as well as finally giving Wonder Woman her overdue spotlight. Here you got great character development, excellent direction, intense action scenes and of course, superb acting from the whole cast, with Gal Gadot and Chris Pine deserving special recognition for their roles here.

The film follows Diana, Princess of Themyscira, as she embarks on a journey with pilot Steve Trevor after he crash lands near her island in the midst of World War I. Diana leaves behind her utopian home for our complicated world and learns that she must do all that she can to put a stop to the war. If you weren’t sure if you liked Gadot from her few scenes in Batman v Superman, this film ought to put those doubts to rest

Gadot fits the role of the Amazonian Princess perfectly and adds her own touches to make it hers alone. She can be both nurturing, but aggressive, naive, but wise, graceful, and full on warrior mode. She also manages to get a couple of laughs along with Pine who serves as the comic relief in their adventures. Another thing I noted while watching this move is the shift in tone compared to Man of Steel and Batman v Superman. While those movies turn the bleak factor up to 11, there is a surprising sense of hope by the end of the movie (which is sad when I’m talking about superhero movies that are sorta meant to invoke hopefulness to their audience, but I digress).

In an interesting move, the film balances its superhero elements with war movie features as trench battles and gun fights take center stage during the big action scenes. I also really liked the structure they went with for the film, which presents all the events as a flashback so we learn more about Diana and how she became the woman we met in Batman v Superman. This makes her character more matured, as we see how far she has come and changed since her first days in our world and where this can lead in future films. She’s portrayed as a war hero in the same manner as how we view our veterans, except she’s got superpowers and is immortal.

Now, no film is without its flaws. The many slow motion scenes that occur during the action both highlight the beauty of the scene, but there were so many of them that it got a little distracting after a while. I’m assuming producer Zach Snyder must be behind that, while director Patty Jenkins was probably forced to compromise. This only justifies my fears that Snyder is the main problem of the DCEU. Though no fault of its own, the exposition does drag the film a little in its first act. That I can excuse only because the film wanted to explain Wonder Woman’s place of origin in more detail. If you can muster through it, you’ll be fine.

Other than that, this film definitely sets the bar for other DC films to follow and I cannot wait to see what else Gadot will do with the character. She’s pretty much become the main reason I’m considering watching the Justice League movie. With a couple of applause worthy moments, Wonder Woman is a delightfully refreshing thrill ride with a star making performance from Gadot.

Remember to always dress right to fight!

Rating: 4.25/5