Having cracked the century mark at the US box office in its opening weekend and received rave reviews from critics across the globe, it’s fair to say ‘Wonder Woman’ has more than made its mark on the cultural map. But does the tale of the Amazonian superhero live up to the hype, and deliver a successful female fronted heroic flick? The answer is a resounding YES!
While ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’, pretty much stunk up the place last year, one of the few bright spots was Gal Gadot’s performance as Diana Prince, aka Wonder Woman. Gadot, a relatively unknown Israeli actress, who upon the announcement of her playing the role was widely met with ‘huh’s?’, was a charismatic, yet mysterious presence among the two figureheads of the DC cinematic stable. It was the first appearance of her character, and this origins film aims to fill in the gaps.
Director Patty Jenkins does a fantastic job in transporting the audience to Diana’s home island of Themyscira, an isle full of Amazonian women. Our heroine in the making has her origins shrouded in Greek myth and legend, which is very well explained and broken down in such a mainstream flick. Trained by her aunt, Antiope, against the wishes of her mother, Diana and her people live mostly in bliss until they’re rudely interrupted by Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor. Crash landing his WWI aircraft into the sea, Trevor inadvertently kicks-off a chain of events that lead to the wannabe warrior become an integral part of The Great War.
It’s a classic ‘fish out of water’ tale, that leads to a lot of comedic moments, as Diana is not only intrigued by a world she’s never seen before, but another gender, too, in man. Gadot and Pine’s chemistry is great, and really carried the film along at times, their relationship developing as the film opens up. It doesn’t exactly lack in action, and when the intricately choreographed sequences do arrive, they are full of slow-motion and plenty of ‘wow’ moments, as Diana’s powers, afforded to her by a mysterious source, are revealed.
The plot here, never lacks in twists and turns, and the period setting mimics that of fellow superhero flick, ‘Captain America; The First Avenger’. But while personally I found that the Marvel film lacked much originality and indeed, interesting moments, ‘Wonder Woman’ was a completely different matter. It takes no liberty with elements of the real-life events of WWI, but it manages to create a tale that both intrigues and sticks with you, rare in a world full of the ‘superhero’ genre of film. What’s great about the film, is that in its many settings, both fantastical in the exotic island of Amazonian’s and the realistic grit of the WWI battlegrounds and an industrial London, is that you genuinely feel as though you’re transported along for the ride and like you’re really there with the characters, of which many are personable and real people!
I left ‘Wonder Woman’, indeed wanting to see more and more. It made me crave to see what happens next for the character, and fortunately for us, we can see that right now! Yes, while ‘BvS’, underwhelmed last year, I’m keen to re-watch the movie, and see whether this dose of Wonder Woman will provide a bit of fresh context in which to view it. That’s right, ‘Wonder Woman, is that good, it could even make ‘Batman vs Superman’, a good film!
‘Wonder Woman’, deserves to be recognised as far, far more, than just a unique female-fronted superhero film. No, ‘Wonder Woman’, is a refreshing film, with a fresh face and a bunch of talent, both on-screen and off-screen.
Seen ‘Wonder Woman’, yet? Let me know what you think in the comments!