Huh, I can't believe I'm the only one who was willing to tackle this review on the site. I kind of figured another would beat me to this punch. So it took a long time (and a long time to see the movie too given I was kind of busy), and numerous failures (Supergirl, Elektra, Barb Wire (Oh yes! YOU FORGOT THAT ONE DIDN'T YOU?!! REMEMBER THE HORROR!! REMEMBER IT!!!), Red Sonja, and Catwoman. Though um.. if you're wondering. I did like Tank Girl), but we've got our first female superhero movie that actually works from beginning to end!
Wonder Woman just gets so much right. The tone, acting, music, and direction are all there. You can tell a lot was put into this movie and the effort paid off. From the moment the film starts, Diana has heard the word, "No" a lot. Some relinquish but when she hits the world of men again. The "No" return. The moment she says, "No" back and the "No Man's Land" sequence begins. Damn. It's a sight to behold. The sequence just perfectly hits all the right cords and when it hits. We get that glorious theme by Hans Zimmer. So yeah major kudos to Patty Jenkins for getting the tone and setting up this film perfectly.
As for Gal Gadot herself? This basically continues to define her as probably the beacon of light that is within this universe. I mean sure Ben Affleck as Batman is a hoot, but that's the darkness. Henry Cavill's Superman? Um.. well. Alright, but someone needs to address the many flaws they've dealt him in the various movies. But Gadot just gives an iconic performance. It's funny in a way that Hugh Jackman closes out his in Wolverine with Logan, and well Gardot is no doubt cranking out one here. Her Diana is amazing and it is because of her performance that the movie hits these high notes. From the dialogue to her expressions, and the way she reacts to this new world.
Likewise, her supporting cast is amazing. Chris Pine as Steve Trevor is amazing. He somehow churns out a better James T. Kirk performance he had with the previous Star Trek movie (along with making me wonder where the hell this performance was for the first Trek movies), and his chemistry with Gardot is smoking. You get why these two are together even if they've only been together for the briefest of times. Perhaps, that's a bit of flaw given we don't see them more in London or just more time period. But I get why. This film isn't trying to outdo Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice in length.
Robin Wright (dear god she uses her limited time on screen to make a hell of an impression), Connie Neilsen, Lucy Davis, Saïd Taghmaoui, Ewen Bremner, Eugene Brave Rock, and David Thewlis all act their hearts out bringing out standout supporting roles here. Everyone gets their moments to shine and their characters leave an impact in your head when the film ends. Nobody also doesn't stay out their welcome or become annoying like any minor character in the Thor movies.
Honestly, a bit better I'll stay that Diana's squad is kind of more standout than the Howling Commandos in Captain America: The First Avenger. You kind of buy their reasonings and for being there. And there I can see the common comparison, and it's a good one. I love Marvel's Captain America's movies, while Iron Man are the entertaining ones that became the prototypical Marvel standard. Captain America's movies are the ones that take the risks and are the one's at the end of the day are the one's that leave a more emotional impact. They're the ones that have the best score, acting, and direction out of all the Marvel films (well okay Captain America: Civil War was a GOOD Avengers movie, but damn was it not a Captain America movie. Captain America: Winter Soldier? Damn that's still the best Marvel movie put to film).
If there's any flaw I can say is the villains for the most part. Danny Huston does what he can with the role of Ludendorff. There isn't much to his character other than to be the villain. You barely get any motivation from him, and that's it. He's just a hurdle for Diana, not something that seems to be her counterpoint.
Elena Anya as Doctor Poison almost does too, but-- her scenes come off better in a more subtle way. With what little she has she acts more with movement and her eyes. I just kind of didn't like it when the film has to tell us this with a conversation between her and Steve Trevor.
But really the best scene the both just work is basically way before that when Ludendorff visits German Command. There's just a way both play the scene off just works, and it's effective in chilling and just so darkly twisted. But really, they are just the set pieces for the real show aka the spoiler (which I won't go into). But I kind of wish there was more from these two. Just another sequence to set-up Ludendorff better at the beginning. His first confrontation with Diana left me wanting more-- until well the climax.
I can see why some hated it, but it worked for me. Diana has been seeing the entire world and right when the final act begins. Well, her world come's crashing down. She's tested like all heroes are. Again, it's due to the acting of Gardot and others that make it all pay off. You're invested in all the characters at that point. You get what their motivations are. You have a villain that is detestable and wanna see their ass kicked hard. You are rooting for the heroes. Shockingly, and surprisingly the movie threw in a few twists I didn't really see coming. But they were nice nonetheless. When it all clicks like that? Why is it so wrong then? Hell, it even delivers a Man of Steel mocking by again the hero being put in a situation and given a choice. It take's the flaw of a predecessor film and shows why this character is a freaking better one than that "hero" (Luthor was right).
Wonder Woman was all that I could hope for and got more than I ever could want. It delivered on everything and honestly so much so. This is probably the best DCEU movie put out bar none. Then again, when the bar was Suicide Squad and Man of Steel for starting DC superhero films. Um, yeah... that's a low bar, to begin with. Well, Justice League has a lot to answer after this. Will this be the best female superhero film? Atomic Blonde is a few months away. We'll see if that can dethrone this. Hopefully, the people behind both films paid as much attention to the people who worked on this film. Cause damn do I kind of want to see this again. It truly was-- WONDERFUL*.
4 out of 5
*Yes, I had to end it with that Broken Matt Hardy pun. Yes, it was all I could think of having that much a good experience with this movie. Yes, probably someone else probably ended their review on that pun too. BUT DAMMIT I WANT TO FEEL SPECIAL!!