Superb performance by Gal Gadot and director Patty Jenkins is being overshadowed by the plot holes characteristic to DCU films.
Another very highly rated superhero movie from last year was “Wonder Woman”. Taking into account that this is a DCU film, I was skeptical at first, given what a mess the rest of DCU films were. Nevertheless, I decided to approach this with as unbiased as possible. And I will start with:
Film stars magnificent Gal Gadot as titular Wonder Woman. Well, in the beginning she is just a regular girl having regular name Diana, growing up on your regular island in the middle of somewhere, being raised by Amazons (not your regular shopping website kind), etc. This girl meets a boy, she saves the boy and decides she needs to save the world. From Ares. Yes, the Greek god of war. See, because that is why Zeus (yes, that Zeus) put the Amazons in that island, so they can protect mankind from Ares. So Diana (not yet Wonder Woman) sets off on her mission to bring Ares down and with that end World War I.
Well, we know WWI didn’t just stop. And then there was WWII. And multiple endless war conflicts after, not to name any of them specifically. So you see the whole problem with this setup. Oh, and we know Diana is present in Dawn of Justice (already established as Wonder Woman). So why exactly we need to care about her mission to end the WWI if we know she will surely fail it? The whole ending is spoiled already!
I like the epic mythical background some of this kind of movies use. But here is a big problem in bringing up Greek gods Zeus, Ares, and what not, is that now you are adding this whole god/theology storyline into Batman/Superman line-up. Really? Does this make sense? Now, I will admit, I have no clue whatsoever about history of Wonder Woman in the comic books. What is her original origin story I can’t tell you. The reason DC even created DCU back in the days was to revamp old heroes and introduce new plotlines. And to compete with Avengers. But DC Cinematic Universe was created (just several years ago) by premise of making these storylines more realistic. The whole premise of Man of Steel was realism. Making Clark Kent be a real person with real struggles in our real world. And now you decide to bring Zeus and Ares mythology in whole this mess?!
I will have to give credit to director Patty Jenkins. She handles the whole film as a veteran director. And for the sake of it, you can’t even tell that her last feature film was Monster in 2003. Can you believe it? 14 (!) years passed before she was able to put another film into a theater. The actions scenes are by far the best of all DCU films I have seen so far. Pacing is natural. Visuals are good. There is some comedy elements inserted, that don’t make much sense, but given overall feel it is ok. What else can you ask from the director?
Which brings us to acting. I mentioned Gal Gadot as magnificent earlier and that’s not only for her looks. She single-handedly carries the whole movie. And none of the supporting cast is able to get even close to her. Chris Pine and the rest of male cast feel impotent next to her. Was that by design? Or did that just occurred from Gadot’s performance? You be the judge. And if you jump to conclusion regarding feminism and all, let me just add. The supporting female cast was even worse than male. And we are talking about heavyweights Robin Wright and Connie Nielsen.
This is where the film gets a little weird. There are multiple instances of entertaining action-packed sequences. And specifically No-Man-Land (get it, No “Man” Land?) scene was intense and fun to watch. I liked the slo-mo feature in Wonder Woman more than any other Zack Snyder involved DCU film. Because it felt natural and maybe not that slow. Some sequences had no logic into it, like how the hell bow and arrow equipped Amazons were able to defeat a German warship. Or how suddenly whole army can’t stop a group of three people from sabotaging their mission.
And here is where I realize I am making a big mistake because I am comparing Wonder Woman to other DCU films, not to other action movies. Yes, this movie is awesome by all DCU standards. But compared to classic 80-90’s Schwarzenegger, Stallone, hell, even more modern action flicks including Neeson, Statham and Reeves, this movie is mediocre at best.
Superb performance by Gal Gadot and director Patty Jenkins, still not able to eliminate all the plot holes characteristic to DCU films.