Finally home after a fun week long vacation to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico! It was a 4.5 hour long flight back home so I decided to download Wonder Woman to watch on the plane and help kill some time. Luckily, there were no screaming children near me (unlike the flight there) so I was able to watch in peace and properly enjoy the movie. Now, this wasn’t my first time watching this movie (in fact I watched it 3 times in theatres!) but it had been a while since I rewatched it and I wanted to write a review for it. Full disclosure – I LOVE this movie. It’s my favourite movie from the DCEU. I think it’s a fantastic origin story and Patty Jenkins, the director, did a great job introducing this beloved superhero to the big screen. While I’ve certainly appreciated previous DC films such as Man of Steel (2013) and I’m by no means a DCEU hater, this was the first film from the franchise that I truly loved and it got me excited for future projects.
I remember watching this movie on opening night and completely falling in love with the story and the characters. I thought there was a good mix of action, comedy, and storytelling without the expense of any character development. In my opinion, the movie had good pacing. It didn’t feel too rushed or too slow, and there was enough time given to each character. I didn’t have any issues following along with the plot and anything that involved comic lore was pretty well explained.
One aspect of Jenkins’ directing that I really enjoyed and wanted to point out was her choice of colour palette. It really felt like the colours alone were telling a story. Themyscira was full of bright and vivid colours that made the island feel truly peaceful and happy. Just looking at the beautiful and vibrant blues of the sky and ocean screamed “Paradise Island”. Meanwhile, London looked very grey and dull, reflecting the dreariness that comes with war. So when we see Diana don her costume for the first time and become Wonder Woman in No Man’s Land, the gold, red, and blue from her costume starkly contrasted against all the greyness and lifelessness. It was almost like the colours were showing Diana was bringing life and hope back to the war and the soldiers there.
I did feel that there were issues with the writing at times though (mostly in act 3) where the dialogue would feel a little too generic and awkward, but it wasn’t so bad that it would completely distract me from the scene. I do wish that Diana’s monologue during the final fight against Ares was written better (or maybe delivered better?) because it was supposed to be a very powerful. Simply saying “I believe in love” didn’t sit with me quite right and left me feeling a little disappointed – couldn’t there have been a better, more impactful line said? That’s not to say all the writing was bad though. There were some very meaningful lines said throughout the movie, and I particularly liked the scene where Steve was trying to convince Diana to fight despite her naivety. “You don’t think I wish I could tell you that it was one bad guy to blame? It’s not! We’re all to blame!” is such an important line and Pine really delivers it. I just wished there was more consistency throughout.
Starring Gal Gadot and Chris Pine respectively as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince and Steve Trevor, the movie really shined thanks to their chemistry. While Gadot succeeds in playing a fierce but compassionate warrior, Pine perfectly compliments her as a humorous but loyal partner. They have such a wonderful dynamic together and since most of the emotional moments stem from their relationship, it was so important that they built one that felt authentic and genuine. I personally think they did a great job with the casting for this movie as all the actors played their parts well. While Wonder Woman is definitely a superhero movie that is full of superpowers and action, at its core, what its really about is humanity and love. With Gadot and Pine bringing a real kindness and sincerity to their characters, the movie was really able to benefit from their performances and highlight this theme.
I think the scene that perfectly embodies this theme of selflessness and love is No Man’s Land (my favourite scene!). From the moment Diana climbs out of the trenches, there is so much suspense and action, but also character development. We finally get to see Diana becoming the superhero that she is, defending the innocent and fighting for what she believes in, but we also get to see Steve starting to believe in her capabilities and understanding her potential. Their relationship really grows from this scene and this becomes a pivotal moment for Diana because she realizes what she can achieve. Not to mention this No Man’s Land sequence is accompanied by a beautiful, powerful score the entire time which eventually transitions into her kick-ass theme song (Wonder Woman has the best superhero theme I swear).
The action scenes and fight choreography are also really well done and highlighted in this No Man’s Land scene. While we get a glimpse of the Amazons in action when the Germans invaded Themyscira, we get to witness Wonder Woman fighting for the first time. I want to compliment the fight choreographer because they really made her fighting style unique. There were some really cool shots of her using her shield to slide across the floor or using her bracelets to deflect bullets. While the shot of her using her lasso in the town square looked very CGI, I still enjoyed getting to see Wonder Woman using her lasso which is so distinctively hers. I heard that some people were complaining there was too much slow motion used, but I respectfully disagree. Alongside the knife fight between Captain America and the Winter Soldier in Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), this movie had some of my favourite hand to hand combat sequences in a superhero movie ever.
After watching this movie the first time on opening night in theatres, I was inspired to buy a bunch of Wonder Woman comics to get to know more of this superhero’s stories and adventures. I love it when a movie gets me so interested that I want to do more research and learn more about the character or how the movie was made or the director’s thoughts. There’s just something very charming about this movie that made me fall for it. Wonder Woman is such an iconic character and I’m so glad that they did this movie justice. Having seen this movie numerous times, I don’t need to give much thought for its rating: I give Wonder Woman a 8/10. There’s a lot of heart to this movie and it teaches a good lesson about what it means to be human. With Wonder Woman being a symbol for justice and love, I think what we learn from this movie will continue to stay relevant for the years to come.