Well, folks, they finally did it. DC finally have made a good movie. It’s hard to believe, but DC’s latest attempt at creating a good superhero movie has finally delivered. Wonder Woman is filled with action, adventure, humor, and plenty of ass-kicking. Everything about the film was superb. The story flowed easily from modern day to World War 1 Europe as Diana thinks over her first mission. I’m assuming the executives at DC wanted to copy the formula used in “Captain America: First Avenger”, but also did not want to do a hardcore period piece like Marvel did. In the case of Wonder Woman, who is already established in modern time, the approach they used worked quite well. Though DC used the same muted color palette in this film as they have before, it did a proper job of establishing the precarious situation rather than just washing everything out as it did in previous films. It also let you know you were in another time, while brighter colors helped amplify modern day. The visual contrasts made with that palette, especially when Diana is in her full, bright Wonder Woman garb, were striking and let you know that she is the undisputed hero of the day.
Gal Gadot did a beautiful job as the title character. We get to see a whole new side of Diana that we didn’t see coming in “Batman v. Superman”. The Diana we got there was hardened, strong, confident, and powerful. Here, she is a little less of that but only because she is fresh off the island (literally) and is placed in a new situation. Her childlike demeanor at some of the things in man’s world is endearing, funny, and allows her growth to be that much more prevalent as the story progresses. She is essentially a child, learning about the world around her. Gadot understood this, allowing her to give this heartwarming, powerful, and at times heartbreaking performance. She is Wonder Woman.
Of course, Gadot had a lot of help from her supporting cast. Chris Pine did a fantastic job as Steve Trevor, her guide and partner in this world. His heroic nature, his quick wit, and his ability to cope with some of Diana’s mannerisms with hardly the blink of an eye lets their dynamic be built quickly and allows the audience to see how much they grow to trust each other as the story goes on. Those playing the Amazons pulled of the woman of the fabled warrior race with ease, with fight chorography that left jaws on the floor. The cast, in short, did wonderfully. No one felt over played or shallow. Everyone there was fleshed out and had a distinct goal.
The story itself explored many great concepts, such as the redeemability of humanity and the nature of innocence and experience. It also dealt with the harsh reality of war. How those who do not die come back, often times, in shambles because of their experiences. Each topic was dealt with and resolved in the best way it could be resolved. Which, in most cases, led to no real resolution. The movie was unafraid of giving us an open ending to those stories, and allowed us to take the lesson in the suffering that we witnessed.
The visuals and score worked seamlessly together. The mounting music as Diane fights in No Man’s Land left me on the edge of my chair. Diana’s theme blaring triumphantly as she liberated a small village gave me goose bumps. Each piece of music and visual cue made me want to shout in joy at each triumph or weep at each loss. Patty Jenkins certainly knew what she was doing, and Rupert Gregson-Williams certainly helped bring her vision to life.
All in all, this is a solid start for DC. They have finally stopped cutting the humanity from their characters, and it works wonderfully. Hopefully, this is a lesson that will stick for future DC films.