Already proclaimed best DCEU movie since Christopher Nolan’s take on Batman’s universe (which makes it quite some time), Wonder Woman seems to have seduced audiences and critics before it has even reached our theatres.
And it would be no overstatement to say that the film, directed by Patty Jenkins and led by the beautiful Gal Gadot, has generated pretty high expectations as to its treatment of a story that revolves around a female superhero in a cinematic world so far mostly ruled by masculine, brutal figures.
Let’s just say it presented itself as quite a challenge for Jenkins and the producers behind the recent DC Comics movies (Man of Steel, Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad,…), which all suffered (some more than others) from an overdose of clichés and an evident lack of desire to dare reinvent themselves.
Coming to theatres tomorrow, Wonder Woman dives into the origins of the comic book demigoddess created in 1941, and does so pretty faithfully. Diana (Gal Gadot), Princess of the Amazons, was trained on the island of Themyscira to become the greatest warrior among her peers. After saving American pilot, Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), who crashed near her land, Diana will learn about WWI and decide to join the outside world in order to fight all the bad in the world, in the meantime discovering her full powers and true destiny.
The movie DCEU needed
After the many failures that were its predecessors, most of us would have expected Wonder Woman to rank in the same list of the latest DC Comics disappointing adaptations. But this time it feels like, although the movie still has this back-to-basics approach too often misused in the past in “rather joyless, largely critically savaged affairs that delivered the pow, but little of the wow,” Warner Bros. has finally “found the right balance between humor, action, and drama that they have sorely needed.”
More importantly, Patty Jenkins gets to “play with themes of female empowerment, feminism and standing up against oppression,” and successfully does it in a hugely refreshing manner!
Gal Gadot is indisputably perfect for the role
Let’s be clear, Wonder Woman is a brilliantly orchestrated action movie – “and Gadot sells all of it.”
Perfect for the role of Diana, the Israeli actress “had a tremendous burden to carry this movie, yet she does so successfully in every way.” Eventually, she manages to make her character one “that you care about” (for a change). While she plays a “bright beacon of hope in a world of greys,” Gal Gadot “gets actual honest-to-goodness dialogue, and invests Diana with excitable exuberance, bristling defiance and a disarming belief in doing the right thing.” Plus, she’s funny!
A love story that serves the plot (for once)
“Watching Gadot and Pine banter is delightful” as the movie “isn’t trying to force a love story as much as it’s trying to show how these two people are changing each other for the better.” By creating an emotional balance between the naivety and optimism of Diana and the more realistic, gloomy personality of Steve, the writers added an interesting dynamic that lifts their relationship, allowing it to grow into an important part of the story and its main characters’ arcs. In fact, “the romance between [the 2] is so winning that it becomes the film’s glue.”
But at some point, the film loses its touch almost by default
Sadly, “the last 20 minutes” of Wonder Woman “can’t avoid the clichéd, overly CG mistakes comic book movies seem cursed to repeat.” Although it can ultimately be perceived as a minor issue when compared to the rest of the production, by the third act, “the film loses the humor, loses the sense of wonder, and becomes like every other superhero finale out there.” A quite “dramatic shift in tone” that it’s hard not to notice…
Best quotes from the reviews:
“An incredibly challenging and uplifting message for today’s audiences.” – Mark Goldberg, Collider
“Action fans won’t be disappointed by Wonder Woman.” – Scott Chitwood, ComingSoon
“She’s got this, alright.” – Chris Hewitt, Empire
“A good superhero movie, sturdily built and solidly entertaining.” – Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair