Whether you loved Warner Bros. previous DC film outings or not, there is no denying the relatively mixed reviews “Man of Steel,” “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “Suicide Squad” received. As someone who loved “Man of Steel” but was quite disappointed in the two that followed, I was eager to see Warner Bros. hit a slam dunk.
Although I was ecstatic to see the positivity for “Wonder Woman” prior to its release, I was still a bit hesitant as a result of my disappointment in “Batman v Superman” and “Suicide Squad.” However, I am so happy to say that this film is not only a great, refreshing take on a superhero film, but a great film all around.
The film begins with an introduction to Themyscira; an island of female warriors. When Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) saves Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) after his plane crashes in the sea, she is introduced to a world far different from what she is used to. There’s a stark contrast from the paradise she is used to living and the horrors of World War I. The film follows Steve Trevor and Wonder Woman’s mission to save lives and stop the war.
Patty Jenkins, most known for directing 2003’s “Monster,” brought the most iconic female superhero to life on the big screen. Jenkins’ superb pacing throughout the film allows us to see a serious portrayal of war, great action sequences, humor and more. Each of these elements are so well executed through Jenkins’ direction. Whether it’s Diana’s naivety to the world outside of Themyscira or the witty Steve Trevor, the humor lands at almost every try. Moreover, the action sequences were such a thrill to watch as Diana comes into her own throughout the course of her journey.
Since Jenkins was first announced to helm Wonder Woman, to the release of the film, it was obvious she had a ton of respect for the character and that’s one of my favorite things to see shine throughout the film. Through Jenkins direction and Gadot’s performance, Wonder Woman is shown as not only powerful, but innocent, naïve and above all; kind. It’s so much fun to see Gadot portray these emotions and actions throughout the film. Viewers will get to see a much more inexperienced Wonder Woman than what was shown in “Batman v Superman” and Gadot portrays it flawlessly. If you were unsure of Gadot after “Batman v Superman,” you’ll be convinced that she IS Wonder Woman after you see this film.
While Gadot was excellent, the same could be said about Chris Pine. Pine gives a great performance as an experienced soldier, affected by the tragedies he has seen throughout his time serving in the war. The chemistry between the two is a pleasure to watch. Steve Trevor’s maturity, knowledge and experience in the war is contrasted with Diana’s pure innocence. The two play off of each other so well, some of their moments were my favorite to witness across the whole film.
Steve Trevor’s secretary Etta, played by Lucy Davis, was a delight to watch when she showed up on screen. So much so, that I believe she was underutilized as she was almost guaranteed a laugh throughout the entire theatre. At one point, she is given a great deal of responsibility to help Trevor and Diana, however we barely hear from her again. I had hoped to see more of her humor from that point forward.
While this film is such a departure from “Batman v Superman” or even “Suicide Squad,” I believe fans of those films will enjoy “Wonder Woman.” You will be introduced to a bad-ass heroine, a great story and lots of humor. I hope to see Warner Bros. go in this direction with their DC properties in the future. Well done, Warner Bros., Patty Jenkins, and everyone else involved in the film. It was truly fantastic.