Saturday, June 3, 2017

Wonder Woman review

The DC Extended Universe has been taking a beating with dreary movies like Man of Steel (2013) , Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice,, and Suicide Squad. (2016) These films were dark and joyless. Maybe there is too much testosterone among between Superman, Batman and Deadshot. DC might need a woman's touch. Saving the day is Wonder Woman.

This film starts out with a young Wonder Woman aka Diana, Princess of Themyscira which is a hidden island of Amazons. She trains for warfare with her aunt, Antiope. (Robin wright) Diana's mother, Hippolyta (Connnie Nielsen) tells Diana the story of how Ares, the god of war corrupted man and killed Zeus. As the years pass, we find out that Diana (Gal Gadot) is more than just a mortal. She's got superpowers. It's during this period as a young woman that Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) is rescued and informs the Amazons of World War I. Fearing that Ares has returned, Diana with Steve head out to find Ares.

Wonder Woman has one wonderful script. Zack Snyder, Jason Fuchs and Allan Heinberg have created a deep, philosophical story that honors its comic book roots with Greek mythology, feminism and humanity. As much as I loved the action scenes, I was riveted by Diana's struggle for purpose. Many times I wondered why she would fight for the human race. The film also has nice touches of warmth and humor.

Gal Gadot is perfect as Diana. We see her journey of discovery as she must leave her world and traverse the cruelty of war. Gadot is curious, conflicted and noble. Chris Pine is duty bound and has strong moral center. And everybody should have Connie Nielsen as their mother and an aunt Robin Wright. There's love and courage.

Director Patty Jenkins (Monster) could teach filmmakers how to make a superhero movie. Her fight scenes do not depend on fast cutting. She uses full body shots and slow motion. The result is that we know what is happening in the action set pieces. There are also multiple heroic scenes. If you're going to make a superhero movie, make the superhero do heroic things.

For the next Wonder Woman movie, I would like to see more philosophy. I'm serious. Trust your audience. Perhaps a discussion of the human condition between Hippolyta and Diana. As for the maiden voyage of the Wonder Woman franchise, the grade is A.

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