Like many of you, I went into the theater with incredibly high hopes, and middling expectations. I’d yet to see and enjoy a movie from the DCEU. Let’s get to the point: Wonder Woman is superb. It does NOT disappoint.
The film has all the earmarks of a summer blockbuster: The action is incredible, the score is thrilling, the costumes are gorgeous, the effects are jaw-dropping, and the acting is note-perfect. The script, it must be said, is entirely worthy of Diana of Themyscira.
On a hidden island of immortal women, Diana comes of age with a hunger to prove herself: to become a warrior like her mother. As she completes her training, a plane crashes just offshore. Diana doesn’t hesitate, she leaps into action to save its pilot— Steve Trevor.
Long story short, the War to End All Wars threatens to spill across the whole world— including Paradise Island. Diana leaves everything she knows behind, in order to stop the war in its tracks.
As Diana, Gal Gadot is magnificent. She brings strength and confidence to the role, but also tenderness and sympathy. Chris Pine is refreshingly modest in his role as soldier and spy. He quickly learns to respect Diana, and earn hers in return. Lucy Davis is a delight as Etta Candy; I only wish her role could have been bigger.
Danny Huston plays Ludendorff, the German officer determined to re-ignite the dying embers of war. He’s surprisingly dry in the role, no large servings of ham. Assisting him is Elena Anaya as Doctor Poison— the closest thing this film has to a comic book villain. They both make marvelous contributions in a film packed with strong performances.
The movie is a feminist triumph. Diana’s agency is questioned, but never for long. When bureaucratic bigwigs try to hinder her involvement in the war effort, she simply leaves them behind. She proves herself time and again, both as a fighter and a humanitarian. She doesn’t just care about everyone, she cares about the individual people she meets. They inspire her to take action.
The action scenes had me shouting, laughing with delight. It’s viscerally satisfying to watch Gal Gadot slice through her opponents, smash through walls.
The supporting cast is diverse and nuanced. The romance with Steve Trevor doesn’t feel forced, or overly saccharine. The film is peppered with comedic moments that left my jaw in my lap.
Special praise must be given to director Patty Jenkins and Matthew Jenkins, the cinematographer. It’s true: this is a story about a beautiful woman, but it’s never about her beauty. The camera never objectifies its star.
Again: the costumes are gorgeous. Credit goes to Lindy Hemming, no stranger to working on superhero and action films. The powerful score comes courtesy of Rupert Gregson-Williams. His music is nothing short of electrifying.
Wonder Woman is nothing short of a home run. It’s well-paced, the performances are stellar, the story moves you, and it’s beautiful to behold. Get yourself to the theater to see it. (And save me a seat, I usually get too much popcorn.)