Since its announcement of Gal Gadot’s (Fast And Furious Series) involvement to play Wonder Woman, the movie has been looked at as the movie not to hold your breath for. With its predecessors not getting great praise leading the Cinematic Universe DC Comics is creating, there just wasn’t much hope that a female superhero lead played by an unknown that “didn’t look the part” would not succeed and of course like every other doubt in casting it turns out it ended up being the right one.
Wonder Woman is breaking records, creating history, and telling all those naysayers that behind every good man is a woman. Female director Patty Jenkins, whose involvement includes directing 2003’s Monster starring Charlize Theron and also directing episodes of The Killing and Entourage on the small screen, brings Wonder Woman to the big screen showing so far the glue keeping this movie series alive.
Jenkins provides a great origin story to those unfamiliar with her mythology. Showing us from childhood how she became the woman she is today along with her involvement with WWI and her mission today to preserve and protect all human life. Growing up and training for a battle that may never happen, Diana encounters her first human man on her island of Themyscira populated with only women. That is where she meets Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) whose plane crashes on the island and right away the movie shows you that a woman can save the day just as much as a man. Giving you Little Mermaid feels, they from a bond and also a mission to help bring and end to the war. She leaves home on a quest to save mankind from a global threat.
I was already a fan of Gadot since seeing her through the Fast and Furious movies. I don’t really know the importance of how authentic someone’s physical look should transition from animation to live action. I mean, good luck making Angelina Jolie look 8 bit with square cube chest. A Tomb Raider reference there and good luck picking a woman who could not only act but look the way she does in the cartoon. I mean come on, if you wanted it to be a closer replica, your choice of someone known that pops in my head right away is Female Wrestler Chyna. Having said that, I was pleased with their decision and I trust that she would bring something good to this role. From what I remember of the superhero character is that she is beautiful, strong, confident, but humble and can stand out in a crowd of men. To me that screams Gadot. I think she pulled this role off very well. Watching her in BvS: Dawn of Justice and in Wonder Woman, she provided a lot of comedic moments that were laugh out loud funny. Her atheism was amazing in this as well. she took down enemy lines while showing lots more skin then her male comrades. So she saved the day in style.
Gal Gadot’s chemistry with Chris Pine was adorable and believable. However, I got the sense of a brother and sister vibe from the both of them. There was no confusion that they developed feelings for one another but I would have been just as satisfied if they created a bond that didn’t go beyond friendship. They protected each other like any family member would another. Watching Steve teach Diana how women act in England compared to how things are done on her island were very clear on the way women were and still are treated today. The obvious hardship women go through in a man’s world was visible in her reactions on these customs which seemed very foreign to her. An example of that would be the title of secretary to us and to her it’s considered slavery. Chris Pine shined but from behind and I thought it was great to let Gadot’s Diana shine in this movie and be a great supporting lead.
Great supporting cast of players including Ewen Bremner, Eugene Brave Rock, Said Taghmaoui as the team who joins Diana and Steve on their quest. A solo shout out to Lucy Davis (Shaun of the Dead), who plays the secretary to Steve Trevor. She has a smaller role but her scene were funny without being annoying. She also had many opportunities to shine and hold her own. Even in the skill of secretarial duties, she played an important part in making their plans work. The villain of the story is no stranger to the superhero movies or playing the bad guy. Actor Danny Huston who was Stryker in X-men Origins: Wolverine was pretty good but no different then the angry face villain he has played before. Elena Anaya plays Dr. Maru a.k.a Dr. Poison. No explanation needed on that one. Her character was very interesting but not much was explored with her in my opinion.
Bottom line is that this movie is pretty good. I had a good time watching this. I laughed a bunch and I also loved the action sequences. This movie reminded me a lot of Capt. America: The First Avenger. Given the setting the movie takes place, to the bumbling yet strong team formed to assist the superhero, to the mix of action and comedy. What the movie also has in common is that this movie is long and a little slow in the middle. Running at 2 hours and 21 minutes most of it was done in dialogue and establishing Diana as a great character. Doesn’t mean there is a shortage of action. There is plenty of it and the deliver is explosive. Biggest problem I had with the film walking out of the theatre was that this island was supposed to be hidden from the world and yet it was real easy to find and come across. How this island and its inhabitants managed to stay hidden for so long is a mystery to me but I digress.
So folks, make sure you are cool with watching a semi war movie. Even though there is a lot of storytelling involving that men are not the be all solution to any problem. This movie is not a man bashing women loving movie. I think this is just like any other super hero movie with its strengths and weaknesses. There may not be much representation of female lead movies, especially in the world of superheroes. I believe that people of all ages and gender will like this movie and feel like they were entertained very well. This is a wonderful start to hopefully more female lead characters with solo movies. I also hope that the movies proceeding Wonder Woman in the DCEU are just as good as this feature. Continue to push the bounderies hollywood. As long as you have a good story, women can bring in the dough just as good as men; whether it’s in front of the camera or behind the camera.
4 1/2 out of 5