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Finally – after 76 years – we finally get a big screen Wonder Woman movie.
I say big screen movie because there actually exists a television movie starring Cathy Lee Crosby in the title role. It wasn’t a very good movie, to be honest. This version of Wonder Woman isn’t the Amazon warrior that we all know and love, she’s more of a spy who happens to be an expert in martial arts. She also doesn’t wear the classic costume either.
That movie was made in 1974 – the following year saw the release of the television series, this time with Lynda Carter in the main role. The rest is history.
It boggles my mind how we never got a Lynda Carter Wonder Woman movie. I mean, there was an Adam West Batman movie released in 1966 but no Wonder Woman. It wasn’t as if the show was a failure. It was a huge success and it made Wonder Woman into a pop culture figure.
Since the 70’s, various Wonder Woman projects have been in the works. Joss Whedon was hired in 2005 to write and direct a WW film but nothing came to fruition. A pilot for a future television series, where Diana Prince was reimagined as a crime fighting vigilante rather than an Amazonian God, surfaced in 2011 but it didn’t get picked up by the network (thank God).
Fast forward to 2016, Wonder Woman makes her big screen debut in Batman v Superman (a film that I enjoyed, by the way). I had no idea who Gal Gadot was. Never heard of her. She really stood out for me in that film. She stole the show in the big finale against Doomsday and it was just so damn good to finally see her on the big screen.
Wonder Woman explores Diana’s origins, as she trains to become a warrior and eventually she meets Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), a man who washes up on the shore of her homeland where the presence of men is rare in those parts. From Steve, Diana learns about World War 1. She wants to help and take part to bring peace. So Steve and Diana set off to the real world to bring down the Germans.
People are referring to Wonder Woman as the last roll of the dice for the DC cinematic universe and it does feel that way. Their movies haven’t been well received (for the record, I loved Man of Steel and Batman v Superman. Suicide Squad was okay but was heavily flawed in areas).
Another thing is that we haven’t had a successful female lead superhero movie before. Supergirl, Catwoman, Tank Girl and Electra all bombed, so you can imagine that a lot was riding on this movie.
There’s so much I want to talk about. I’ve got a million and one things I want to say about this film, but this is an NON-SPOILER review, so you’re safe with me.
Is this movie any good? Was it worth the wait? Absolutely, because Wonder Woman was fucking tremendous.
Wonder Woman delivers so much and a whole lot more. I can honestly see myself seeing this film many more times in the coming weeks. Wonder Woman is the best, and my favourite DC movie of this universe so far.
Like Ben Affleck as Batman, Gal Gadot got a ton of negativity for her casting. She owns the role of Wonder Woman. In all honesty she reminds me so much of Christopher Reeve from the first Superman movie. She’s optimistic, full of joy, full of hope, and always willing to do the right thing. She’s also this fearless Amazonian warrior who just belts the shit out of the baddies. This is a fantastic casting choice, she really nails this role. I’m beyond excited for what she’ll bring to the table for Justice League and a future sequel. The pressure was on, and Gal Gadot shattered that pressure into a billion pieces. I said it in my BVS review and I’ll say it again, Gal Gadot is going to make millions upon millions of women proud.
Chris Pine has amazing chemistry with Gal Gadot, they both learn from each other, and there’s two fish out of water stories in this movie, much like in Crocodile Dundee (remember that film, kids?) The first act is Chris Pine in Themyscira and he’s like ‘I don’t get any of this’. Everything is new and surprising to him and he’s learning a lot about the Amazonians. The other fish out of water story is Diana leaving her homeland and learning about the real world and what’s going on with World War 1. So we get to see two characters who are teaching each other things, which I was really happy about because I didn’t want to go to this movie and see a perfect character with no flaws and is perfect in every way.
She has a lot to learn. She’s very naïve, and the film was wise to understand that and it allows us to go on this journey with her and feel like you’re experiencing all of her ups and downs emotionally. She isn’t born perfect. It was the right direct to go for this movie.
Chris Pine was perfect in his role as Steve Trevor. Like I mentioned, the chemistry between Pine and Gadot was perfect, and their relationship in the movie went to such emotional heights that I did not expect. I was genuinely touched by the end of the film. I was really into that aspect of the movie, which was a major surprise and I really found myself caring about them. Steve isn’t just this guy who needs saving constantly, he does bring a lot to the movie. He actually brings a lot to her character like this one scene where he teaches her how to dance amongst other smaller moments between the two throughout the film. It makes their relationship really more fleshed out.
The action scenes are outrageously awesome. When the action goes down, my God, it’s beyond satisfying. They’re epic. That scene in the trailer where Women Woman walks out on No Man’s Land is the highlight. There’s so much to that scene then what you see in the trailer. It will leave you with your jaw on the floor.
The finale got a little CGI-heavy, which is the norm for these sorts of movies nowadays. It reminded me of some of the Doomsday scenes from Batman v Superman. For some people that may be a turn-off. But here, I thought it was handled considerably better in regards the way it was all cut together. People complain about the lack of comedy in Batman v Superman, and I agree, here though, the comedy is present and they nail it every time. I love how Gal can pull it off with this deadpan expression. They wisely understood what parts of her origin, her upbringing, to poke fun at.
The only negative thing I can say, which is pretty much the same problem I had with many Superhero movies, regardless if it’s DC or Marvel, is that the villain was weak. There are two/ three villains here and they all seem very hammy and underdeveloped which didn’t fit in with the rest of the film. One scene, in particular, involving a room full of people fighting it out for one gas mask seemed a bit campy.
Bottom line, Wonder Woman is everything I expected to see a Wonder Woman movie and a whole lot more. It’s the first great DC movie from this cinematic universe. It’s an absolute blast, it’s really fun, and a proper colourful movie. Quite a change from the usual dark, depressing tones we get from other DC movies.
Gal Gadot is the perfect casting choice. The future of Wonder Woman (and the DC movie universe) is in safe hands.
Bring on The Justice League/ Wonder Woman sequel.
Rating: ***** (Top of the Pops)