Movies / Reviews

MOVIE REVIEW: DC Comics Finally Lassos a Solid Live-Action Superhero Movie with WONDER WOMAN

Never insult a woman with a large sharp blade and a metal shield she can toss like at will like a plastic Frisbee.

 

“I am Outlaw, hear me type!”

I was originally going to tell you to hear me “roar” my Wonder Woman review, but I figured everyone already had plenty of reasons to laugh mercilessly at my expense, lest I give you all another. As you are also well aware, I’m what one might say is, a day late and a dollar short providing my thoughts on said movie. Given the rate of a dollar per day, I can no longer afford to wait any longer to post this review, so I’m not going to waste any time jumping into the brass tax.


THE WONDERFUL:

  • The Leads
    Gal Gadot steals the show so convincingly, I might just start calling her Diana Prince from now on. I haven’t seen the classic series this film was based on in forever-and-a-half, but Gal pretty much knocks the role out of the park with charm, class and a large set of cashews. Despite not feeling any strong chemistry between the two, Chris Pine also delivered a soft, yet humorous performance as Diana’s male counterpart.

 

Never doubt a woman wearing a gold headband and black cloak. Better yet, never doubt a woman.

 

  • The Humor
    Speaking of humor, it feels as if DC finally found the right balance of humor for their universe. Generally speaking, things have been dark and gloomy in the DCU, but Wonder Woman manages to break that trend which makes the film, dare I say, enjoyable to watch (GASP!)

 

  • The Heart
    Another element missing from the past few entries within the DC Comics has been a story with heart. Even though the chemistry between the leads wasn’t as strong as I would have hoped, the overarching theme delving into the good and bad of humanity, provides for a compelling watch or two.

 

Hmmm, I wonder if Gal has a thing for shorter Jewish men?

 

  • The Score
    One of my pet peeves over the course of the past few years has been the lack of distinct theme music created for the films in the superhero genre. Not since the days of Tim Burton’s Batman or Sam Rami’s Spider-Man have audiences gotten a distinct and memorable theme for their comic book superheros. I’m happy to report that Wonder Woman received some much ado attention in this category, and the results are quite catchy. My only complaint is I would have loved to hear more of it intertwined into the rest of the movie’s score.

 


Get a musical taste of what the Woman is cooking here! Umm, let me rephrase…

 

 


THE NOT-SO WONDERFUL:

  • The Been-There-Done-That Feeling
    While watching Diana Prince navigate through the era of the first World War, I couldn’t help but get a feeling I had seen this film before. It’s probably because I did see something quite similar called Captain America; The First Avenger. Combine that with the similar fish-out-of-water theme weaved throughout Captain American” Winter Soldier, and you can see where my déjà vu may have originated from. While not a horrible thing, the concept didn’t come across as fresh as I first anticipated.

 

Ok, I’ll admit… Chris Evans hair never did that after a battle.

 

  • The Visual Effects
    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think any of the recent DCU films have had special effects to write home (or Lucasfilm) about. Sadly, Wonder Woman also seems to falter in the visual arena as well. Maybe it’s just a style thing, but the jerky way in which Diana moves about in some of the scenes took me out of the action because of how unnatural she contrasted against her backdrop. Some shots just looked, for lack of a more sophisticated word, fake. Nothing however could prepare me for mess that was the finale climactic battle. Oh that ending…

 

  • The Ending
    Minus a few clunky special effects here and there, Wonder Woman had me convinced DC and WB had learned the error of their ways. They did… until the ending. It was as if director Patty Jenkins decided to hand the reins back over to Zack Snyder so he could insert his thumbprint with an apocalyptic final battle that scorches every surrounding molecule within a 200 mile radius. (Say what you will about Michael Bay, but at least when he blows stuff up, he relies on more practical effects.) One minute everyone was situated on a World War 1 battlefield on Earth, the next minute I thought I was watching some sort of Xbox video game taking place on another planet entirely. I could have sworn I was watching a cartoon during those final few minutes.

 

A photo speaks a thousand words… except this one.

 

For the record – and I should have stated this earlier – with the lone exception of Batman, I’m not a huge fan of the DC universe or the characters that reside within it. I’ve always felt disconnected from the fictional cities and the semi-invincible characters that reside within them. (It’s part of the reason I haven’t taken to Thor as much as other Marvel characters either.) I tend to like my Spider-Man and Daredevil types who operate in the same locals as everyday folk and tend to be far more vulnerable despite a few select enhanced abilities.

My comic book publisher and superhero style biases aside, I’m willing to give kudos where kudos are due. After the confusing messes that were the first three films in their newly connected universe (*cough” Batman v Superman – of which she was easily the best part of –  *cough*, Man of Steel and Suicide Squad, *cough, cough*), DC Comics and Warner Bros finally managed to deliver a solid superhero movie. While not the best DC Comics based flick of late (that award goes to The Lego Batman Movie), Wonder Woman can stake a claim as the best live-action film since Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight flicks. And that is something to roar about.

 

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