Wonder Woman, which hits theatres Thursday June 2nd, is the next instalment in the DC Extended Universe. I was lucky enough to be invited to the premier last night in Sydney, Australia and you’ll be happy to hear that my review will be spoiler free.
This is a true origin story, taking the audience back to the core roots of who Diana is prior to her becoming the conquering DC hero we have grown to love. Gal Gadot nails the role of Diana/Wonder Woman. Her persona pays true tribute to the comic book character and you won’t be disappointed in her performance.
The last highly rated origin film that hit the mark for me was Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins. In its own right, Wonder Woman is just as good. I walked out of the cinema extremely satisfied that her story was told in a way that was clear, concise, and simple (trust me, simplicity is best sometimes). Comic-book films can sometimes overwhelm the audience with multiple subplots, too many core characters, and a pet-hate of mine which is, one too many villains. Wonder Woman is fluent in how the story is told, how the main characters are injected throughout it, and the evolution of the Warrior Princess. With all this combined, it doesn’t feel like you are there experiencing the story for its running time of 2 hours and 21 minutes.
The film is visually stunning, the story will captivate the hearts and minds of fans that have been waiting a life time to see a female comic-book hero grace cinema screens. Gal Gadot commands the attention of the audience, with the help of CGI (Computer generated images), the fight scenes show off just how powerful and commanding Woman Woman can be. The film was shot across multiple locations in both the US and Europe with the backdrop enriching the story, you feel like you are immersed into the DC Universe. Chris Pine who plays the American pilot, Steve Trevor, that Diana partners with, complements the film with his charm, and the chemistry between the two can be felt throughout the story.
DC films have been criticized in the past for being too dark and gritty. I admire Patty Jenkins for being able to strike a wonderful balance between the drama, action, and romance. All three have been cleverly weaved throughout the story, with core moments in the film making the audience laugh, and at the end receiving a strong applause. There was a sense of satisfaction from people exiting the cinema; I overheard plenty of positive talk praising the story and Gal’s performance.
For those who are passionate about gender equality who will go see this to observe the first attempt at a female main character in a comic-book film, you may pick up a few trends in how Wonder Woman was projected on-screen. Taking away my pop culture lens, I can see how some may criticize certain moments where Diana’s body language, the use of cinematography and even scripting was used to accentuate her beauty over and beyond her other more traditional comic character strengths. Pop Culture today draws a wide audience, and the gender diversity has significantly changed over the last decade. With this we just need to be careful that we don’t send a message to young females that you have to be stunning and beautiful to be a leader – nor, do we send a message to boys that in order to be a female hero you must first be “sexy”.
Wonder Woman is DC/Warner Bros. best film in the current DCEU, its story is fluent, characters well cast, and the focus is drawn on what we have come to see – the origin of Diana. We get to see who she really is, how she evolves into the hero and leader that we saw in Batman v Superman, and will see in the upcoming Justice League film.
I shared one disappointment along with the majority of the crowd that stayed, we didn’t get a post credit scene. Many of us hoped for a final scene that would possibly preview what’s to come in the DC Universe. My single disappointment didn’t alter my rating too much, this a “must see” film for all comic-book fans.
Damian’s Score: 9/10