Welcome to my review of 2017’s Wonder Woman starring Gal Gadot and Chris Pine. I went into this film very apprehensive as I was not a fan of the previous DC film universe films. I am glad to say this film is far and away the best DC film that I have seen.
This origin story follows Diana/Wonder Woman played the absolutely fantastic Gal Gadot. The film initially starts in Paris, in the present day, where Diana receives a package from Wayne Enterprises containing a photo of her as Wonder Woman during World War 1. The film then shows her journey from a child on the island of Themyscira. and her training until on a fateful day she sees a plane crashing into the ocean.
After rescuing Steve played by Chris Pine, they are quickly followed by German soldiers. In the following battle the Amazonians including relatives of Diana are killed. After Steve is interrogated by the Amazonians with the Lasso of Truth, he reveals that he is an allied spy fighting the Germans in World War 1. Taking a mythical weapon “God Killer” Steve and Diana leave Themyscira. Diana follows Steve believing she will fufill her destiny of killing Ares who she believes is the cause of all wars. Based on information from Steve she believes that Ares is General Ludendorff. Ludendorff is looking to create a new chemical/biological weapon to win the war.
Once they arrive in London Diana finds it difficult to adapt to her new surroundings and is shocked by the politics of the generals in the army.
With associates and the help of Sir Patrick Morgan, they infiltrate the Western Front in Belgium. Diana shocked and dismayed by the inaction of the troops crosses no man’s land to break through the German defences. With the allied forces behind her they manage to liberate the village.
They learn that Ludendorff is attending a gala nearby. Here Steve and Diana infiltrate the gala. Diana prepares to kill Ludendorff who she believes is Ares but is stopped at the last-minute by Steve to stop her compromising the mission. Whilst they argue Ludendorff launches his weapon. Diana goes back to the village they liberated to find all its inhabitants dead. Diana distraught, blames Steve for the loss of lives and returns to fight Ludendorff who she kills in battle despite him taking a spray that increases his strength. Much to her dismay, this does not stop the German troops preparing for war.
Sir Patrick appears in the background and confirms he is in fact Ares. He proclaims that he is not evil but only gives suggestions and inspirations for weapons and it is human nature to wage war and kill each other. He destroys the “God Killer” sword and reveals that it is in fact Diana who is the God killer as she is the daughter of Zeus.
He attempts to convince her that to return earth to a paradise they must destroy humans. As they begin to battle Steve steals the bomber carrying the weapon and flys high in the atmosphere. Here he sacrifices himself. Diana heart-broken and filled with rage begins to kill the German soldiers and stops just before killing Dr Maru who created the weapon.
We get a flash back to Steve’s final words to Diana where he explains she has inspired him to save the day today whilst she can save the world. These last words resonate with Diana who spares Dr Maru and kills Ares. She then returns to London as the war ends. We then return to present day where the movie began and Diana explaining and committing to protect all life as Wonder Woman.
Gal Gadot initially experienced unjust and frankly disgusting criticism when she was initially cast in the role of Wonder Woman. The performance in this film shows that the film makers made the right choice hiring her. She executes her performance as well as any super hero actor or actress. Unlike previous DC film, you care about her character and are desperate that she succeeds. Furthermore, we also care about her relationship interest played by Chris Pine.
What made her portrayal of Wonder Woman stand out is her ability to convey emotions and character development in a film that could have easily just become a super hero action film. Instead we see character development and great story telling not only from the director but Gal’s performance. Her doubters will be eating their words after seeing this film. I truly hope we get to see Gal in other roles that give her the opportunity to demonstrate more of her undoubted acting talent.
This film is by no means perfect. It runs a bit long and too much time is spent showing a young Diana and her battle to allow her mother to train her. Equally despite the fantastic performance by Gal the film does occasionally fall into the cliché action film moments with a unnecesary amount of slow motion shots. Although effective when used correctly it is too often used and detracts from the storytelling.
Chris Pine is fantastic in his role twhich enhances the emotional impact when he sacrifices his life to save innocent lives. My only disappointment is that the film does not explore more of his demons and back story. However, as with all films they do not have the luxury of Game of Thrones to go into everyone’s back story.
For me this film is far and away the best film in the DC Film universe and personally surpasses Marvels films. It is darker than Marvel films but for the first time in this universe, it strikes the right balance in the film. What truly makes this film a success through is the lead character and her portrayal by Gal Gadot. As i have mentioned previously this film is not perfect and the length and unnecessary and cliché slow motion shots detract from the film. Furthermore, apart from the two main characters there is a lack of back story for other characters. Although this is not a massive crime what is disappointing they try to just explain the back story of other characters with throw away comments.
I give this film 4 out of 5 stars. Gal Gadot is fantastic and the storytelling is on a par if not better than the best of what Marvel offers. However, this film lets itself down in key areas such as it’s over reliance on slow motion shots and poor development of minor characters.