Wonder Woman (2017): Movie Review

TL;DR: Go see this movie. I predict “Wonder Woman” will be an extremely popular costume this Halloween, worn by many little girls and more than a few little boys. As a DC film, there are no “stingers” during or after the credits.

Cast and Crew Information

Gal Gadot as Diana / Wonder Woman
Chris Pine as Steve Trevor
Connie Nielsen as Hippolyta
Robin Wright as Antiope
Danny Huston as Ludendorff
David Thewlis as Sir Patrick
Said Taghmaoui as Sameer
Ewan Bremner as Charlie
Eugene Brave Rock as The Chief
Lucy Davis as Etta Candy
Elena Anaya as Dr. Maru

Story by Zack Snyder & Allan Heinberg and Jason Fuchs. Screenplay by Allan Heinberg.
Directed by Patty Jenkins

Premise

Princess Diana of the Amazons grows up as a warrior among a society of warriors. When Steve Trevor’s plane crashes on Themyscira, she gets pulled into World War I, known as the Great War.

High Point

The subtle commentary on sexism and racism. Setting this in World War I rather than the comic accurate World War II means they can also point out more of the sexist rules of the time. It never gets preachy, but we see the impact these attitudes have very clearly. This is a movie with a collection of capable characters with a variety of backgrounds.

Low Point

Elements of the final battle seem to be there because the studio wanted a certain amount of visual effects to be used, rather than because the story truly needed them.

The Review

This is an original take on Wonder Woman. Changing her war of origin gives access to trench warfare and limited transportation technology, forcing characters and audiences to face some of the horrors of war. More importantly, it’s the best movie based on a DC comics property in at least a decade, and possibly four. I give it 5 out of 6.

The effects were predominantly well done, and that includes the 3D use. This is a well constructed film, and aside from a few moments in the big finale, nothing felt like it was there just for the sake of having visual effects. I give it 6 out of 6.

The story is well constructed, and shows more depth than the typical superhero film. This isn’t just an origin story, it’s a commentary on war and equality. I give it 6 out of 6.

The acting is great, particularly from Gadot and Pine. I normally find David Thewlis very off putting, but even he works well in this cast. It’s very easy to see the characters instead of the actors a few hours after they are first introduced. I give it 6 out of 6.

The production is great. It’s hard to believe that this is Patty Jenkins’ second theatrical directing job, after starting with Monster in 2003. Add to that Rupert Gregson-Williams’ magnificent score, Matthew Jensen’s cinematography which was ugly in all the right ways, and Martin Walsh’s editing. This movie deserves Oscar recognition for Aline Bonetto’s production design. I give it 6 out of 6.

The emotional response is excellent. We’ve seen a lot of entertaining superheroes since the genre renaissance began with Blade almost 20 years ago, but none have felt so inspirational. This is what Wonder Woman should be. 6 out of 6.

Overall, this sets a high bar for superhero films, and is a new standard in the genre. I give it 6 out of 6.

In total, Wonder Woman (2017) receives 41 out of 42.

6 replies on “Wonder Woman (2017): Movie Review”

  1. Matt says:

    That’s pretty much what I was going to say, except I would add that the movie does an astonishingly good job of reminding us of the horrors of war and of that war in particular, which gave me nightmares when we studied it in primary school.

    I too thought the final battle had probably the weakest parts of the movie. I guess there’s an element of playing to audience expectation for a superhero film, but I thought that battle’s early phases were far better, far more interesting and far more fitting than the way it proceeded.

  2. J_W_W says:

    Dark Knight is less than ten years old. Your setting the bar pretty high…

  3. JD DeLuzio says:

    I’m surprised at the originality score: much of this we’ve seen before, if only because of the excessive number of superhero movies (ragtag band of unlikely heroes goes into battle against orders and impossible odds). Even the Wonder Woman elements are, for the most part, derived (of course) from various incarnations of the comic-book character.

    It does, in the end, do what DC needed to do:
    -highlight Gal Gadot, who is (thus far) the best thing their movies have going for them
    -get out a decent superhero movie that isn’t pointlessly grim (despite the setting) but still different than Marvel’s stuff.
    -get out a female superhero movie, the first to be released in the recent spate of big-budget superhero films– something the MCU has yet to do (though they’ve had female-centered TV shows).

    Don’t get me wrong: I liked this movie quite a bit. I just didn’t like it quite as much as many others have.

    Loved the Amazons. The “she can never come back!” edict seems completely arbitrary, though.
    Wish we’d seen more of Lucy Davis’s Etta Candy.

  4. Jethro says:

    You know what really surprised me about this movie?

    The 3D was really, really good.

    I know a lot of people don’t like 3D in general, but if I’m going to leave my house for a movie it’s going to be in IMAX 3D. And 3D usually is “nice”, but there’s always a bit where there’s no perspective so it looks like you’re looking at toys.

    This movie had none of that. The 3D was spot-on.

    Other than that, I loved the movie. I agree that the final battle was a bit of a mess, and there are a couple of other things I could nitpick, but other than that, they did a fantastic job.

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