Starring: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Danny Huston
Director: Patty Jenkins
Running Time: 141 mins
Wonder Woman is an American film about Diana Prince, princess of the Amazons and a godly warrior. When a First World War pilot crash lands in her home, she learns of the global conflict that surpasses any war before it, and sets out to bring peace to the world once again.
This film is a lot of fun. With a simple and effective plot, Wonder Woman feels like a proper old-school blockbuster, before the days of these massive shared universes. With excellent action throughout and featuring two very likable leads, it’s a hugely entertaining adventure to follow along, and undoubtedly the best film of the DCEU so far.
Let’s start on that note, with why Wonder Woman is so much better than DC’s recent efforts. Man Of Steel, Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad were all underwhelming for varying reasons, but they all shared the common weakness of trying too hard to be both like Marvel and setups for DC’s own extended universe.
Wonder Woman, on the other hand, is a blissfully simple blockbuster, with barely a mention of the wider DCEU, and instead perfectly content on establishing the character of Diana Prince, and giving her a properly entertaining adventure to make you see her as a great hero, whereas I still haven’t come round to either of Superman or Batman as genuinely brilliant superheroes in this franchise.
What’s more is that the film isn’t anywhere near as tonally inconsistent as the rest of the DCEU. While those films became stuck in a painful limbo between Zack Snyder’s original but very dark tone and trying to copy Marvel’s more fun-loving vibes, Wonder Woman manages to strike a pretty good middle ground, making for both an enjoyable and still riveting watch. It’s not always perfect, and a couple of comedic moments feel a little too forced in, but on the whole, it’s a far smoother and more enjoyable watch from start to finish.
Credit for that has to go in part to director Patty Jenkins, who does a brilliant job here. Not only does she manage to make the DCEU’s first properly entertaining movie, but also manages to establish a tone that’s independent enough from Marvel, and yet still enjoyable enough to sit back and relax for two and a half hours.
But not only does Jenkins get the tone of this movie right, because she’s also brilliant at directing some amazing action sequences. Although still a little overblown at times, Wonder Woman generally manages to provide simple enough action and excitement throughout, with excellent special effects and an entertaining visual style reminiscent of the likes of Snyder’s 300, making its final act in particular brilliant fun to watch.
Another reason that the action here works so well is the lady at the centre of the whole film: Gal Gadot. Just as she proved in Batman v Superman, her portrayal of Wonder Woman is one of the shining lights of the DCEU, and she takes the performance up another level by showing how brilliantly entertaining an action hero she can be. In tandem with the visual style, Gadot’s hugely energetic turn means that Wonder Woman appears as a hugely strong and exciting action hero, and when it comes to the action-packed final act, it’s an absolute delight to watch her beat up bad guys again and again.
Now, I won’t say that this entire film was perfect. While it undoubtedly rectifies the biggest problems we’ve seen from recent DC films, its story still isn’t all that enthralling. Although absolutely perfect for the light-hearted adventure blockbuster that this is, I wasn’t all that riveted by Diana Prince’s background and how she came to be the Wonder Woman that we know. As a result, the film’s first act, which spends a good 40 minutes of explaining how she grew up and gained her skills and morals, isn’t quite as engrossing as it aims to be, which was a small shame for me.
With that said, I can’t deny how much fun I had with Wonder Woman. Although not 100% perfect, it’s a properly entertaining and old-school blockbuster that features a light-hearted and wonderfully simple adventure story surrounding some fantastically likable leads, all put together excellently by director Patty Jenkins, and that’s why I’m giving it a 7.7 overall.