By Shelby Fielding (Lubbock, Texas)
The DC cinematic universe has struggled to land a competent film that transcends the genre and launches this cinematic universe in a positive direction. As a fan of the comic book company originally known as Detective Comics, Patty Jenkins Wonder Woman has allowed me to reignite my confidence in Warner Brothers studios to create a remarkable comic book film. Wonder Woman is a refreshing origin story focusing on the young Princess Diana training in the fascinating land known as Themyscira, until a World War one pilot crashes into their ocean and tells them of this Great War overtaking the earth. Diana then has no choice but to leave her homeland to fight a war to end all wars; discovering that she is stronger than she knows. Wonder Woman is a breath of fresh air in the DC cinematic universe that allows me to have hope for the future of this franchise.
Patty Jenkins is the first name that stood out to me in this film behind the star of Gal Gadot. Wonder Woman direction is handled in an attentive way that shows her desire to create a remarkable superhero film, she displays some excellent homage to Richard Donner’s Superman. Portraying Diana (Gal Gadot) as an earnest and trusting character that desires for the best of humanity and realizes the, we have flaws, but we also have a deep underlying beauty inside of us. Wonder Woman also shies away from becoming a politically driven film that is trying to influence others with a feminist attitude. Not that this belief would have bothered me or distracted me from the well-developed characters, but if the focus of the film were to showcase that idea, it would have slowed the film down and become a nuisance.
The direction of the action sequences is marvelously done with a focus on painting Diana as an accomplished warrior who can easily stand head and shoulders above others. Allan Heinberg and Zack Snyder are to thank for this enigmatic screenplay that paces itself and allows every act to build upon itself. Never faltering to engage the viewer with its characters, and Wonder Woman never has a trope that feels forced by its filmmakers. Each trope feels necessary and organic with the screenplay, and never a moment that felt as if the writers were pushing a comedic joke or a superhero trope into the script. This natural feeling of the screenplay is very reminiscent of Patty Jenkins direction in which she focuses on making this film feel fluid. Never allowing a moment in the movie to drag or feel unnecessary.
The film paces itself very well and never shies away from providing some grounded and humanity driven scenes that allow us to view Wonder Woman in a way that we can relate to as the average person. The cinematography of the film is another facet that stood out for me, with every shot being dripping with vibrant colors as compared to its predecessors that are desaturated and feel dull. Instead, Patty Jenkins and Matthew Jensen, the director of photography, choose to embrace color into this film which is reflective of Diana’s (Gal Gadot) reassuring hope that she has in humanity. The color brightened the screen and mesmerized me with its beautiful color patterns and remarkably created backgrounds and environments.
The performances of this film are the stand out positive for Wonder Woman. Gal Gadot is flawless in her portrayal of this beloved character, she embraces her fears and is unafraid to showcase her vulnerabilities as a woman. Her emotions range in many ways from confident to perplexed by the new world she’s fighting for. Gal Gadot portrays this goddess in a grounded fashion that allows you to embrace her as a friend that is relatable with flaws and imperfections. Chris Pine is superb as well with his witty dialogue and abrasive screen presence that attracts your focus to his character when he appears on the screen. Their chemistry is exceptionally believable with how they interact and how they look at each other wonderfully done with these excellent performances.
Wonder Woman is not a flawless film, it contains some predictable tropes of the DC cinematic universe that become distracting a bit. The villains of the film are uncharismatic and blandly portrayed. That may be the point so that the focus is on our Amazonian heroin, but heroin is only as good as her villain. The final sequences of this film are predictably CGI heavy. That is to be expected when you have a heroin that can fly and has super strength and super speed, but the CGI becomes a bit distracting even though the editing and direction of the sequence are far better than its precursors.
Wonder Woman is an enticingly filmed superhero movie, and allows itself to focus on the creation of this character instead of building to a sequel. “Wonder Woman” remains grounded and focused on constructing an entertaining solo film that allows the DC cinematic universe to build upon this film into a positive light. With nearly flawless performances from Chris Pine and Gal Gadot, captivating action sequences, and an enigmatic screenplay Wonder Woman separates itself from the complicating previous additions into this universe. The flaws allow this film to be placed in the same category as Nolan’s The Dark Knight or Mangold’s Logan keeping it from transcending the genre in a way that those films did. Despite those flaws though, Wonder Woman is an enigmatically exciting film that provides so many excellent aspects to add to this up and coming universe that may have finally found its footing.
Rating: 4/5BEST QUOTES