Wonder Woman is the most recent addition to DC’s very own cinematic ‘extended universe’ (DCEU) and while it is undoubtedly the best film to come out of their corner of the superhero genre in a good few years, it still pales in comparison to the lofty standards set by their competitors, Marvel.
The film tells the story of Diana aka. Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), an Amazon princess of the island of Themyscira, who lives a quiet and peaceful life until an American spy, Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), crashes just off shore and brings with him the horrors of the First World War. Diana’s response is to accompany Steve back to Europe in order to join the fray.
The two leads, Diana and Steve, work very well together and show a good amount of light-hearted chemistry throughout the film with both actors getting their fair share of chances to shine. What is particularly noticeable is that both characters have their very own and unique approaches to the situations they face and it makes for a good contrast in the characters. Steve, the spy that he is, will go about a situation covertly and try to sneak his way around, whereas the brash and foolhardy Diana will go in guns blazing, or sword swinging in this case.
The film is let down slightly in its long list of supporting characters. This is most evident in Diana and Steve’s band of not so merry men, who wander round the battlefields of Belgium like the WWI equivalent of the Village People, all of whom are given a brief introduction and then aren’t really used for anything else, now where have I seen that before? *cough* Suicide Squad *cough*. The villains are menacing enough and do offer a degree of threat throughout, but my biggest pet peeve is the choice of actor for one of said villains, I’m not going to name names here for spoilers sake but I think the casting choice didn’t quite fit the character to whom I am referring, especially in the action-heavy final act.
Although the supporting characters didn’t quite get the development they perhaps needed, this is not a problem for the two leads, as the first half of the film is used to build the characters of Steve, and Diana in particular. This works well as the slightly slower build up leads to more emotional oomph when the action arrives in the second half of the film.
You can’t escape the fact that the main hype surrounding Wonder Woman is that it is the first big-budget blockbuster superhero movie to star female hero as the lead. I must say that it is a very long-overdue and welcome change to the grumpy, gritty and grunting male heroes that we are graced with so frequently. Gal Gadot is excellent as Diana as she is able to show a degree of endearing innocence while exploring war-time London but can also handle herself heroically in the chaos of the WWI battlefield, leading to some of the most bad-ass moments of the film. It wouldn’t surprise me to see more female heroes take to the stage following the initial success of Wonder Woman.
Although it might not be up to the highest of Marvel’s cinematic superverse standards, Wonder Woman is most definitely a step in the right direction for DC and is absolutely worth the watch if you’re in need of a fun-filled superhero film. It is surprisingly pleasing, and somewhat refreshing to see a good, solid film come out of DC for once. More of the same in the Justice League, please!
Wonder Woman was released in the UK on June 1, 2017.