★★★ – “The evolution of Gadot’s Wonder Woman is inspiring to watch.”
Wonder Woman is directed by Patty Jenkins and stars Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Connie Nielsen, Robin Wright, David Thewlis, Danny Huston, Saïd Taghmaoui and Ewen Bremner.
Before she was Wonder Woman she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained warrior. When a pilot crashes and tells of conflict in the outside world, she leaves home to fight a war to end all wars, discovering her full powers and true destiny. (12A cert; 141 mins)
The DC Extended Universe (DCEU) is now in full swing. We’ve seen Superman take flight, Batman battling evil in Gotham, and the Suicide Squad fighting the bad with bad. Now, it’s time to welcome a new hero; Wonder Woman.
Patty Jenkins has received a lot of praise from fans and critics alike as Wonder Woman takes the world by storm. It’s clear why; she’s a very talented director and skilled within the action genre. Some of the action sequences are wonderfully captured, it’s easy to follow and smooth in the edit. She understands the characters and directs the two leads well. Unfortunately, that’s where the good stuff ends.
Gal Gadot and Chris Pine are both incredible in their respective roles. Their writing is realistic, you care for them both, truly. However, the screenplay is just as bland as the other DCEU entries. It’s funny and inviting, but as the film progresses in its slow pace, the layers start to uncover, revealing its generic story and predictable outcome. Gadot’s Wonder Woman is fierce, bold, beautiful. She and Pine are the saving grace, that goes without saying, but the overdose of CGI and the exaggerated yet anti-climatic finale left me feeling empty.
That said, it is without a doubt the best DCEU instalment yet, in terms of production and performances. The WWI setting is gritty and dark, as it should be. We get to see how Diana reacts to the evils of war and that was a really nice direction. We see her vulnerable, but we also see her stronger than ever. You’ll leave the theatre thinking about one scene in particular; No Man’s Land. It’s beautifully crafted with some goosebump-worthy moments. I’m sure it’ll go down as one of the most memorable scenes in DCEU history.
Rupert Gregson-Williams’ original score is powerfully moving. There’s a moment where Tina Guo skilfully performs Hans Zimmer’s kick-ass Wonder Woman theme in one of the most rewarding fights I’ve seen. Rupert’s music is action-packed, but it’s the grounded connection between Diana and Steve where he truly delivers. It’s a delightful score and functionally superb.
It’s not a bad film, it’s still enjoyable as a stand-alone Wonder Woman epic. Just don’t go ahead with high expectations, you’ll more than likely leave disappointed. Perhaps I expected too much, given the flooding positive response. There’s a lot that could have gone wrong, making it as lacklustre as BvS and Suicide Squad, but it stood up and at least tried to tell a unique and fulfilling story. Above all else, the evolution of Gadot’s Wonder Woman is inspiring to watch.
Verdict; Gal Gadot & Chris Pine are both wonderful and deliver some truly beautiful moments, but the story lacks momentum, suffering pacing issues and becoming just as tedious as the other DCEU entries.
Wonder Woman – ★★★ (6/10)