With the cliche article title aside, there is a lot to be said about the first silver screen rendition of none other than Wonder Woman. Directed by Patty Jenkins, an undervalued conductor to a film (Monster) that would get the great Charlize Theron her first Oscar, comes Jenkins’ first true attempt at making a superhero film since she was booted off of Thor: The Dark World, and we know how that turned out without her. Going the route of Captain America: The First Avenger, Wonder Woman chooses to bring her origin story during the time of the Great War, a wise choice on the part of Jenkins, screenwriter Allan Heinberg as well as the minds of Zack Snyder and Geoff Johns. Respectively, those are some lofty names in the world of DC and their Extended Universe, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that Jenkins directed the shit out of this movie, some CGI and tropes not withstanding.
But you’re all probably wondering about the woman who plays Diana, right? Well, don’t worry your tiara wearing heads on that one because we can officially call this Gal Gadot’s coming out party as an actress and as a truly believable and commanding heroine on screen. Not that it’s fair, but to go with her abnormally mesmerizing looks – in anything she wears by the way – Gal Gadot embodies everything Princes Diana should be and that never changes with her character. Not only do her subtle looks and gazes of disgust, contempt, and heartbreak make you feel everything she does, but couple that with the opposing looks that breathe warmth, love, and happiness then all you want to do is just keep watching our naive hero take her Exodus into the world of man.
While Gal steals the show overall, her co-star Chris Pine, who plays iconic comic character and love interest Steve Trevor, manages to not only work off of Gal and her off of him, but it’s done so in a way that feels as honest as Diana’s lasso. Compare their chemistry between any other superhero couple we see on screen and you can easily defer their’s is one of the most fun to observe on screen. They are more Tony and Pepper from Iron Man or Gwen and Peter from The Amazing Spider-Man, not Thor and Jane. That may be a jab or it could be a simple tip of the hat, but take it how you want. What they bring is something that never feels forced throughout the film which is refreshing because their relationship is established as something honest and overall organic. Pine and Gadot work off of each other like you’d hope leads of a film would which, for me, was one of the many driving forces of the film, and that’s something that makes me happy Jenkins did what she did with this character.
I will say this though, as much as I had hoped Jenkins would be the one to break the curse of overly large finales, we get a rather bloated ending to what was an outstanding film up until that point. I hope DC can learn to get away from gratuitous slow motion and overused CGI for the fight sequences and make them a little more grounded – unless it’s Superman of course. The best fight scenes come from Gadot in close quarters being able to show off her physicality and while the idea of Wonder Woman fighting means her picking up tanks, I hope they can make it a little more believable next time. If they can do it for Affleck’s Batman then they can do it for Wonder Woman. Also, less CGI close ups and slow-mo walks are well advised. That’s one thing I admit they could learn from a few of the Marvel films.
In general, my gripe is only with the final showdown of the film. There is a lot to be excited with the future of Wonder Woman’s character on screen, Jenkins’ directorial prowess and vibrancy and color of the characters yet to come. Respects to Jenkins and Gadot for impressing the world with their skills as director and new actor and respect to DC and Warner Brothers for allowing their films to have room for quality scores. I just wish Wonder Woman didn’t follow soooo closely to Captain America: First Avenger with one thing and it involves handling a quality villain… I’ll let you guys see the movie to see what I’m talking about. Come @ me if you saw what I meant or if you just didn’t know WTF I was referring too.