By James Master
Let’s get down to brass tacks. It’s a good movie. In fact, I would put my reputation as a film critic that it is, by far, the best DC Extended Universe (DCEU) currently in the franchise. For those that aren’t familiar with DCEU, those films include Man of Steel (2013), Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), and Wonder Woman (2017). There are several more planned and the films are as good as Wonder Woman then I have hope for the DCEU.
So let’s get to the film itself. For those that aren’t familiar with the comic books, the film is centered on Diana, princess of the Amazons. The Amazons are squirreled away on a secret island protected by the last of Zeus’s magic and pretty much lost to time.
Everything changes when a pilot, Steve Trevor, breaches the magical shield and brings with him World War I. Thinking it a sign that she must go and slay the God of War, Ares, Diana leaves the island with Steve in order to stop the God of War from continuing to corrupt the minds of men.
The first thing that I would like to touch on is the acting of Wonder Woman herself, Gal Gadot. I know that there was some hesitation from fans about this casting choice and some of those concerns were soothed with the great performance Gadot gave in Batman v Superman. Without spoiling anything, I will say that Gadot gave a superb performance in this film.
In the film, Wonder Woman is confronted with WWI era Europe. She’s never experienced any of that world. It’s all foreign to her and she plays that innocence magnificently. I have to give praise to the writers and director in that they didn’t over play this trope.
Chris Pine plays the supporting role of Steve Trevor, an American spy, and gives a pretty good performance. Not as good as Gadot, but a solid performance. I had a complaint about Pine’s performance which I’m still not sure why they did it this way. There’s a scene where Steve Trevor has to infiltrate a German base. One would think that since he is a spy and has infiltrated German facilities in the past that he should be able to speak German. It’s shown multiple times that Wonder Woman can speak other languages and they have subtitles. When Pine’s character speaks, he doesn’t speak German. He speaks English with a really lousy German accent. I’m not too sure if the director meant this as a comedic moment or not, but I wasn’t the only one laughing in the theater at that moment.
My biggest complaint, and this is just my opinion, is that there was too much slow motion used in the film. Hold on, wait a minute, hear me out on this one. I have reasons.
The first being is that in most of the slow motion scenes they use computer generated images (CGI). Whenever the film did slow down I no longer felt immersed in the narrative because it didn’t look like I was watching people fight and do these amazing tricks on screen. It looked like I was playing a PlayStation 3. Seriously, PlayStation 4 has better graphics than some of those CGI fight sequences.
Overall, I would give Wonder Woman a B+/A- and would hope that DCEU films in the future follow the example Wonder Woman. It’s ironic if you think about it. Superman is supposed to be the one spreading hope since “this symbol stands for hope on my world.” It isn’t the Man of Steel that is giving me hope for the DCEU, it’s Wonder Woman.