It's the weekend we've all been waiting for. Two year's ago WB announced Wonder Woman and the casting of Gal Gadot and the reception was cautiously optimistic at best. Fandom was in agreement that it was time for a superheroine to debut on the big screen but would Warner Bros be ready to launch such a Herculean project after the lukewarm reception of the past three DCEU movies? It seems they were.
By now you have probably heard the positive hype from the early reviews. At it's height, Wonder Woman was at 96% on Rotten Tomatoes making it the highest rated superhero film in history. While it has slipped a few percent since then, the fan excitement has only grown. Overall, Wonder Woman is a smashing success. Thrilling and engaging, the 2hr 20 min run time goes by in a flash. The best way we can describe it without spoiling would be in these familiar movie terms.
The first act on Thermascyra is like a chapter out of Game of Thrones. Regal, beautiful and complicated, Diana's life is both freeing and a prison. Its such a strong depiction that it makes us yearn for it's own miniseries on HBO. The second act is reminiscent of Superman the Movie. Doe eyed Diana is a fish out of water in the hustle and bustle of the big city. She's not as naive as Clark Kent but just as innocent. There is even a call back to the alley mugging scene which is a total delight. The final act is very similar to Marvel's Captain America The First Avenger as our team fights through a myriad of Germans in hopes of averting a major disaster. Overall it's a pretty standard hero's journey that we have all come to expect. However, the tone, cast and emotional arc really sets this version apart from it's predecessors.
The biggest stand out is Gal Gadot. While she might not be the most experienced actor in comparison to the talented supporting cast, if she didn't work the film would have tanked. Early concerns of her slim frame have been quieted as she excels as a fierce Amazonian warrior. However, while she a formidable heroine, her real strength comes from her heart and compassion. Gal is just so earnest in her portrayal of Diana Prince that you just can't help but love her. So what she lacks in experience she makes up for it in instinct and sincerity.
Wonder Woman is not without faults but it accomplishes what so many others have failed. Even the great Christopher Nolan Batman series, begins to buckle under its own seriousness by the third act. Since that time, joy has been a rare commodity in the DC Extended Universe. However, Wonder Woman is a thoroughly enjoyable film from start to finish. A lot was at stake cinematically and culturally but Director Patty Jenkins pulled it off with flying colors. She should be praised from the highest mountain top of Paradise Island.
After a battle sequence, Steve Trevor tells Diana that she was the reason why they succeeded. She responded by saying they did it together. Well, now it's time for us to do it together. If Wonder Woman is going to succeed, it needs more than high praise but it needs our dollars. Go see it, then go see it again and again. Let Warner Bros know that we need more films like this and it will shape the future of the DCEU movies.
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