Wonder Woman

You know, I open these reviews with a preface that is intended to get the reader to grab a feel of my opinions on the movie, so that they’ll read to the end. Usually, they inevitably get bored before finishing my review, so right off the bat, I’ll make one thing clear: this movie is fantastic. So just go see it already. Now that that’s out of the way, I’ll go ahead and review this movie.

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There is something that happens inside of you when you see a truly incredible movie. You get this overwhelming feeling that surges through your body as you just stare in awe at the screen. This was a feeling that I felt for basically the entire runtime of Warner Brother’s latest foray into the superhero genre. I had very limited expectations for this movie, given the recent track record of DC films, but I kept an open mind. What I received was, and I mean this with utmost sincerity, the most fun experience in a movie theater since I saw The Force Awakens. When I got home last night after seeing the film, I sat in my car listening to the soundtrack and I just wept. It really was an experience that I’ve never had before. This movie brings to the table something you’ve legitimately never seen in any movie ever. Sure, there have been films in which female action stars have had cool moments (see Emily Blunt in Edge of Tomorrow or Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road), but those have always been ensemble films. This is Wonder Woman’s film through and through and she absolutely captivates the audience with every frame she is in. The scene in which we see Diana kick ass in the Wonder Woman outfit for the first time not only has the best hero shot in any action film I’ve ever seen, but I honestly believe to be the best character reveal ever. It was just an overwhelming explosion of awesomeness that I haven’t felt in any other superhero film. And trust me, I’ve seen a lot of them.

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This movie isn’t just terrific because it has a female protagonist, however. It really is an incredible film in every single aspect. Patty Jenkins did an amazing job directing this film. She brought to the table a surreal, high-octane, super-stylized action sense that felt immensely original and outlandishly entertaining. Gal Gadot has just been catapulted into the stratosphere of fame with this performance, which is really thanks to the sheer talent of her director. Gal Gadot is a great performer, but she’s not going to win an Oscar anytime soon, but Jenkins knew exactly how to accentuate all of her strengths to the highest degree. The character of Diana in this film is a terrific one. The story is that she comes from an island of Amazon warriors without a man to be seen only to enter the world of men in the midst of World War I to bring peace to the planet. This created a wholly unique dynamic underlying the entire movie as her character brought with her a fantastic naivete that gave her multiple layers of dimension without ever dumbing her down to feeling childish or overly effeminate. However, with as great a character as Diana is on her own, she is made all the more entertaining when she is paired with Chris Pine as Steve Trevor.

wonder 5Chris Pine’s character guides Diana through the confusing and immoral world of WWI-London, constantly dealing with the struggle of wanting to help this outsider and fighting the fact that she is essentially the most alluring woman he’s ever seen. This created a chemistry between the both of them that was probably the most engaging I’ve seen in a long while. It’s certainly a lot more realized than Clark Kent and Amy Adams, though with the same ratio of bathtub scenes. The rest of the supporting cast is equally entertaining as well. You’ve got Saïd Taghmaoui as the quippy but engaging  foreigner, Trainspotting’s Ewen Bremmer as the drunken Scotsman, Danny Huston as the German baddie, an incredibly engaging David Thewlis in a smaller role, and the delightful Lucy Davis as Etta, who in a single bit part was more thoroughly entertaining than the entire cast of Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. However, even with such a terrific supporting cast, they never once detract from the powerhouse that is Wonder Woman. And this is where I believe the movie truly excels over every other superhero movie that has ever been made. Wonder Woman is the best hero in any comic book film. I still believe that The Dark Knight is a better film, but what makes that movie is Heath Ledger as the Joker, not Christian Bale’s Batman. Or this year’s Logan, a film I consider to be on the same plane as Wonder Woman; Logan is offset by the little girl who accompanies him. This is Diana’s movie and you will not forget that. I genuinely can’t stop thinking about it ever since I saw it. It means great things for the DC Cinematic Universe, for the comic book genre, and, really, for movies as a whole. Please go see it. In may, in fact, change your life.

A+

-Ethan Brundeen 

 

All images are from Wonder Woman, a Warner Brothers film

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