Wonder Woman - This DCEU Movie Rocks (More Or Less) - Finally!
Dir: Patty Jenkins
Starring Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Connie Nielsen, Lucy Davis, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Ewen Bremner
So have DC finally done it? In their desperate attempt to have everything Marvel have – have they actually got there? Hell, have they actually made a decent movie? (And no, we’re not counting the Nolan Dark Knights – which are peerless amongst all superhero movies – this is Snyder-verse onwards.)
And the answer is…drum roll please…pretty much. And it took a Woman (or two) to come and subvert a man’s game (Bat, Super, Zack or otherwise.) Wonder Woman – as a film – is by no means a slam dunk. But it’s a lot of fun – something that has been almost chiselled out of DC’s so-far ridiculously clinical attempt to make a bona fide cinematic universe to rival their perennial rival. They are still too much in debt to their own predilection for unneeded darkness (probably something that stems from Zack Snyder’s desire to try and be the filmmaker Nolan is – not happening.) But what they have managed to get to with Wonder Woman is a character that is vibrant and old school and – guess what – a joy to watch.
It takes a while to get there, mind. The film begins with Gadot’s Diana Prince receiving a package from Bruce Wayne designed to remind us of Bats V Supes – which, to be honest, we were trying to forget. (To be fair, thankfully, at no point do they try to invoke what should be the ghost of Suicide Squad.)
From here we travel back to the mythical Amazonian island of Diana’s youth, Themyscira, into which drops a man, (they don’t have them there) in the form of Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor, and a war (they don’t have them there – but they train like they do, for no reason) – let’s call it WWI.
Warrior princess Diana defies her mother, aunt, elders and decides to head off to the real world with Steve to help end the war – and, in this case, kick start the movie. Wonder Woman (the film, if not the lady) finds its groove when it hits the war zone. Indeed, the moment where Wonder Woman takes to the front – to sort it all out – is the moment the DCEU has been hoping and praying for. And director Jenkins makes sure it delivers in spades.
From there on in, Wonder Woman is in the zone, and delivers in a most satisfying manner. Yes, it has faults – the dark and drab grey-green colour palette of Snyder’s establishing films is to the fore, which is not a good thing here, and the movie has a reliance on slo-mo action sequences that feels frighteningly out of both date and touch. (Seriously, just look at how the Russos edited the last two Cap America movies and feel free to rip them off – at least you’ll feel more contemporary.)
But overall, this is solid rewarding stuff. Gadot is terrific as this almost fish out of water heroine, strong and uncertain all at once, and totally believably powerful when needed (although please lose the guitar lick “theme” – it’s already almost a cliché.) Pine, meanwhile, playing the himbo, is almost ridiculously charismatic. And the climax not only boasts a good villain, but a satisfying if bittersweet conclusion.
So, after a couple of fouls, DC are in the game at last. They’re still not in the Marvel first division, but on the strength of this, they’re finally showing some promise. And some fun.
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