Wonder Woman

Director: Patty Jenkins

Starring: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, David Thewlis, Danny Huston, Connie Nielsen, Elena Anaya

Rated: PG-13 (sequences of violence and action, and some suggestive content)

 

Before she was Wonder Woman she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained warrior. When a pilot crashes and tells of conflict in the outside world, she leaves home to fight a war to end all wars, discovering her full powers and true destiny.

 

Wonder Woman

By Matt Greene

A WWI battlefield, shrouded in gun smoke and war remains, is flanked by trenches of soldiers who’ve accepted their fate of spending the rest of their short lives in this hell. On one end, a powerful but naïve woman slowly emerges, armed with a shield, a sword and a bundle of conviction to put an end to all of it. In this one sure-to-be iconic moment, the world is (re-)introduced to its new favorite superhero. Wonder Woman, an unabashed woman-empowerment film, uses its pre-established muscle for good: to give us a blockbuster full of true excitement, true humor and true heart.

Being a wartime-superhero film, we expect a certain quality of action, and this delivers; the beach attack on the island full of Amazon women is a slow-motion blast of flying and fighting. But what really soars is the script, filled with dialogue that surprisingly pops (“We can’t fix the war, but we can try to get to the men who can.” “I AM the men who can!”). Elements of fish-out-of-water, believable romance and confident humor are more than consistent enough to the small moments of predictability, corn and bad visual effects.

I can’t help but imagine: what if this was our introduction to the Justice League universe? Instead of the faux-complexity of the Superman entries or the offensive simplicity of Suicide Squad, we’d be setting the tone for the franchise with a film about the effects of violence, the insanity of war and whether humans are inherently good or evil. Either way, it’s so great to report that DC has more than righted their course and made a genre film for the ages.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

 

Wonder Woman

By Cole Schneider

To say that “Wonder Woman”, the fourth entry in the DC Extended Universe, is the best yet is to speak a radical understatement. After three disasters (“Man of Steel”, “Batman vs Superman”, “Suicide Squad”), each worse than the last, director Patty Jenkins and lead actress Gal Godot have teamed up to make a movie that isn’t just better than the debacle I expected, but one that can stand up to just about any superhero ever made.

“Wonder Woman” isn’t particularly inventive; it simply takes the standard issue superhero origin story and executes it really well. Combining the mythology, god/dess superpowers, and fish-out-of-water elements of “Thor” with the naive optimism, unyielding moral goodness, and war-time setting of “Captain America”, “Wonder Woman” finds a balance much more reflective of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Sprinkle in some “Casablanca” for extra flavoring and “Wonder Woman” is delightful.

Beyond the usual superhero flair, “Wonder Woman” does offer us something that the Marvel films don’t: an instantly recognizable theme song that pulses with energy and excitement. Marvel has never had that and DC would have to travel back to the Christopher Reeves/John Williams days of the late 70s and early 80s. Every time that riff hit it as if Christopher Guest cranked the theater speakers up to eleven. It’s loud, it’s awesome, and it makes you sit up in your seat and anticipate how great the next moment is going to be.

If you feel burned out on superhero movies I get it. There’s 20 every year, they’re all basically the same, and most aren’t very good, “Wonder Woman” is indeed basically the same, but it may restore your faith in the potential of that formula.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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