It is difficult nowadays to hold high expectations for movies, particularly for superhero movies, especially those coming from the DC cinematic universe. A long-time fan of the DC comics and heroes, I’ve often looked forward to the superhero movies that came out, although never particularly satisfied or pleased by them – ‘serviceable, but fun enough’ is usually the best I can say of many of these movies as a whole.
However, I found myself solidly pleased by Wonder Woman. A powerful blockbuster-level movie with a female lead character in the comic genre is uncommon. One that does well with polish, depth, and emotional impact is even rarer – I can’t really recall another film which gets things together so well in recent history.
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman is nothing less than spectacular. Her naivete and maturity are both shown with convincing emotion, from the shores on Themyscira to her scenes at the Louvre. Chris Pine as Steve Trevor is also a great supporting actor. His wonder (totally understandable) with Diana is palpable, while his role gives him highlights without stealing the thunder from our dear Princess.
The visuals and music are great, giving a wide variety of both throughout the movie. The idyllic Themyscira and the No Man’s Land segments were awesome to watch, and what seems to be the now-iconic heavy riff (originally featured in Batman vs Superman) accompanied things really well. The Angel on the Wing theme (WW OST) also provokes that sense of hope and awe which Wonder Woman evokes.
It was also fun to observe how Wonder Woman dealt with women’s rights and equality concepts in the movie. The setting helped to highlight these issues quite well, without feeling roughly handled, but remaining convincing. Other topics such as the broken nature of man, the horrors of war, all of these were featured and touched on in the movie, which made for interesting nuances.
The action sequences and plotline were outstanding especially in the first half of the movie, although it unfortunately seems to weaken towards the end. I can’t put my finger on things very well, but the climactic fight scene, while competently executed, didn’t quite match the polish and sharpness that was present in the earlier half of the movie.
Wonder Woman has a lot of greatness in it. It is the first superhero movie in a long time that has been able to handle pushing positive, hopeful ideals, without sounding preachy or excessively cheesy. It delivers good and strong messages – from love & hope to female equality – without feeling forced. It is one of the most well-balanced and finely crafted movies of its genre.