By John McGee
Gal Gadot makes her silver screen debut as a major lead in Wonder Woman, and from her first scene to her last you will completely lose her to the iconic titan she so deeply portrays: Diana Prince, aka Wonder Woman herself.
Wonder Woman is long in the making, but benefits from the wait in terms of anticipation and the visual power of modern special effects. They had years to put this film together and get it right (look out “captain Marvel,” Wonder Woman 2 will be out before you see the light of day) and they delivered big time. The final battle with (spoiler but not spoiler) Ares is rivaled only by the Doomsday fight from Batman v Superman in terms of visual quality and epic superhero action.
Ala Batman v Superman, Wonder Woman also has her signature “warehouse fight” scene. Much in the same way Ben Affleck won over the most vitriolic and vehement of his haters, so will Gal with her passion and fire in this scene, and honestly every scene she graces. I cannot stress enough how much she outwardly adores the role and understands every value the character stands for (and all of her flaws).
As for the supporting cast, Chris Pine does a hilarious and heartfelt performance of Steve Trevor without stealing the show as some critics claimed months ago. He fully embraced the idea that Wonder Woman is the lead in this film and gave it his all. Ares is almost as terrifying as Javier Bardem’s Salazar—they’re a close top 2 on the list of scariest 2017 film baddies.
Whoever wrote this script cannot have had a hand in writing Pan. It’s astounding what a little Geoff Johns can do—the script was tight and well-paced and witty. Hopefully the creative team stays relatively intact for the sequel—they need each other.
The only minor gripes I can bring forth for Wonder Woman are timing and set up. The timing is terrible because of the overstuffed money cows coming out this year: Despicable Me, Transformers, Cars, etc. It’s tough to find good release dates, yes, but I’m worried that a sequel might suffer if no one turns out for the first.
The set up is only awkward because I’m seeing Justice League marketing and we just came off of modern day sequels to Man of Steel. In terms of universe connectivity Wonder Woman drags us back and forth between past and present in more ways than its narrative: it’s continuing the modern narrative of BvS and Suicide Squad while giving us past narrative on Wonder Woman. It’s just a bit awkward to piece it together, especially for those new to the DCEU or just watching because it’s a Wonder Woman movie.
In conclusion, it’s a pretty stunning film. You can tell the makers worked hard on it, even though it looks easy due to the quality they managed to produce. Not only does it give the character the platform she deserves, but it’s an excellent addition to an already amazing DC film universe. Get out there and go see it if you want to enjoy your summer movie experience before your kids drag you to the next Pixar or Despicable Me sequel.