Wonder Woman (REVIEW)
I went in excited to see this. It was a new director with a character that stole the show in Batman V Superman and all the trailers pointed to this being a great adventure story around a warrior. What we got was not too far from that. The begining of this movie made me kind of mad just because it was the same old tired parental/royal pressure of "You can't become a warrior, I need to protect you from that kind of thing" double standard from the Queen of the Amazons and Diana's mother. That becomes a hurdle she has to overcome and accomplish anyway with the help of someone willing to do it in secret. It's about 20 minutes of the film and I was completely bored.
Then Steve Trevor played by Chris Pine shows up and things get exponentially better. From that point on I was much more entertained as there was someone to play off of. They found such a chemistry and balance, with humor and adventure that was lacking at the start. The fish out of water story for Diana was funny, entertaining, showed her inner struggle to help others during war time like she had never faced and lead the charge in a male dominated world not to prove something but because she wanted to.
Gal Gadot and Chris Pine are an excellent pair that really keep the movie together. The supporting cast is fun and brings a levity to the story that is mostly genuine save for a few of jokes that are a bit on the nose. The villain is just a weak as they have been for comic book films the past few years, nothing really special about them but at this point I feel like I am a bit tired of villains in stories and would rather see personal conflict. I want to see characters overcoming their flaws or succumb to them and learn a lesson, not just, here is the bad guy, here is what we need to do to beat the bad guy, we beat him yay!
Overall though it wasn't a huge slug fest, there were a few memorable moments that made me smile and the action was kept to a relative minimum in favor of character interactions and understanding where people stood in the fight against the British and Germans in World War 1. However I would have liked to have seen a bit more depth. As it is, the casualties of war felt pretty slight when all was said and done. I didn't feel the stakes and felt a bit too easy for my taste.
The addition of Patty Jenkins is a seemingly welcome one. Like Marvel films they seem to keep a consistent look, this one does go a bit brighter to start but when we hit London it is back to the grimy streets and muted colors. She does the speed ramping Snyder likes but seems to refrain from cutting too fast and keeps the action relatively cohesive. Some of the CG during the fight scenes was pretty obvious to the point where people looked rubbery as they swung around and flew through the air.
The score was very adventurous and clearly had some Hans Zimmer influences as it took some similar notes from the Sherlock films during some of the London sequences but also the more standard heroic scores that you hear in things like the old Marvel opening title music to keep thingsmore pulpy and less gloomy which is always a plus, because comic book movies are supposed to be fun!
Overall this is a fine film, much better than the DCEU films that came before it with some stellar performances and a story that is just enough to facilitate the actions of the characters. I'll give the team credit, they definitely spent more time working on creating a character and building up her and her relationship with Steve rather than worry about some random bad guy which I think it a definite step in the right direction and one I hope to see more of in the future. I want stories with interesting characters that doesn't need a villain to be the main drive behind their motivations. This was at least an attempt at that and it is appreciated.