REVIEW: Wonder Woman

REVIEW: Wonder Woman

It’s safe to say that superheroes are a huge part of entertainment.

There are innumerable amounts of graphic novels.

There are countless, non-stop movies being made.

Our society is saturated with superheroes.

But I am not that much of a fan.

For reference, the last superhero movie I watched was Avengers: Infinity War, and I had to actually Google the title because I forgot.

I was seriously contemplating walking out of the theatre because of how boring I found it.

I didn’t hold out hope for Wonder Woman, so imagine my surprise when I found it to be a wonderful movie.

There’s honestly a lot to like here.

The visuals look great.

The acting is good.

There’s a few scenes with some artsy camerawork.

I thought the story and writing were consistent and good.

I was shocked at how much I liked it.

Nay, how much I loved it.

As I’ve stated previously with the visuals, Wonder Woman is a very pleasant movie to look at.

On the paradise-like island of Themyscira, we see plenty of sunshine and crystal clear ocean waves.

Outside of the island, however, we are given a very grim and dark view.

There is wartime London, which is about as dark and dreary as you’d expect, with smokestacks blazing perpetually in the distance to fuel the war machine.

We see a battlefield of The Great War, which looks like a part of the world that was abandoned in the middle of being created, and was left a barren, primordial wasteland of mud and lifelessness.

It’s all very grim, but visually impressive!

As far as the acting is concerned, a lot of the meat on these bones comes from the relationship and chemistry between Steve Trevor and Diana, played by Chris Pine and Gal Gadot, respectively.

There are quite a few scenes where they play off of each other’s weaknesses and strengths.

For instance, there are a few scenes that display Diana’s naiveté about the world around her, in which Steve will try his best to help her understand.

Whether it’s something funny, like not understanding the social intricacies of early 20th century London.

Or something serious, like not understanding why men go to war and do horrific things to each other for no real reason.

Speaking of war, the backdrop of The Great War was a great choice because, while visually stunning, it also works well thematically.

As during the war, the world shifted from the old and into the new.

Empires collapsed and became republics.

Emperors and kings were overthrown and their power was given to parliaments and congresses.

So as the world shifts into a new age, so does Diana.

She leaves behind her idyllic island home and is awakened to the harsh reality of a world she was largely ignorant to.

It also helps to keep the movie real.

And by that, I mean that while other movies may have featured the same levels of destruction, those were obviously all fiction.

Here, the destruction is caused by a conflict that actually happened and was caused by human beings.

Human beings like you and I, dear reader.

It helps to keep the movie grounded and not get too “superhero-y” if that makes sense, even though it does a little bit towards the end.

And it gives Wonder Woman a very real sense of poignancy.

It also serves to make Diana a more likeable and relatable character.

While she is ready and willing to fight, she isn’t a gung-ho tough guy, and is shocked and disturbed by what she witnesses during the war, as anyone would be.

Speaking of that, I’m surprised this movie snuck away with a PG-13 rating.

This isn’t Saving Private Ryan, but we do see some scenes in which soldiers whose limbs have been severed by shrapnel desperately scream for help.

I don’t know, maybe this is what flies for PG-13 now. I’m out of touch with the world.

Alright, I’ve been fawning over Wonder Woman for a while now, but that’s because I don’t have any reason not to.

Wonder Woman accomplishes what so many movies fail at: Balance.

It’s grim. It’s dark.

But it’s also light-hearted and funny at times.

It knows when to be serious and when to lighten up.

And it presents its characters as real people who live in a real world as opposed to one of fantasy.

With that said, let’s get into my only real criticism.

During the final fight, Ares looks odd.

The CGI becomes really noticeable during his scenes as the way he moves just looks unnatural.

None of that is helped by the one or two labored grunts he makes, which were obviously dubbed in by his actor.

The final battle overall is just really cheesy, and that’s bad considering that the entire movie builds up to it.

Ares just sort of whips energy balls from his hands or uses the force to throw strips of metal at Diana.

It’s schlock at its finest.

Which is jarring because Wonder Woman uses CGI so well in almost every other instance.

It makes this very real movie feel very fake.

Ares himself is underwhelming as a villain too.

He does rattle Diana’s world a little bit with a philosophical monologue, but the fact that he remains a middle-aged, mustachioed British man under his armor is laughable.

He remains that way even in the flashback which presumably took place millennia ago.

Combine that with the “demon” vocal filter they applied to his voice to make him sound intimidating, it makes for a very strange experience.

But one little bump in the road surely does not ruin the entire drive.

And with a new movie on the way, I’d say that the series has a strong leg to stand on.

Final Rating: A-

Maybe it’s because I haven’t seen a lot of superhero movies that I think so highly of Wonder Woman, but even if I did, I still feel like this movie would hold its own against the rest.

There’s honestly so much more I could talk about, but for the sake of brevity, I’m going to wrap this up and tell you that I highly recommend experiencing the wonders of Wonder Woman for yourself.