Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Wonder Woman

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion (or other commenters), that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! It's one of the many latest films that Men's Rights Activists don't want you to see--so you should totes see it!  Screw those, guys!

Wonder Woman – 5 out of 5

My history with Wonder Woman is a tad sparse.  I never read a lot of her comics and really only experienced her when in tandem with the Justice League or just Batman or Superman.  To be honest, I just wasn’t a fan of her book but had a passing interest in her as a character.  Over the years, however, I’ve started to dig into her back catalog and become a bigger fan as I finally saw the appeal in this Amazonian badass!  When she made her leap into the feature films with Batman v Superman, she proved to be one of the films few highlights and when I saw the trailer for her first solo feature I was ├╝ber excited.  That excitement for Wonder Woman proved to be well deserved!

                                                                                                 Warner Bros. Pictures
Watch out, MRA's, she's coming to cut your members
off!  (There will be a lot of mockery towards Men's
Rights Activists in this review.)

In the secret ancient land of Themyscira, an island hidden from the world of men, Princess Diana (Gal Gadot) is raised to one of the greatest warriors the Amazonian people have seen.  Their paradise becomes invaded after an escaping spy named Steve Trevor (Chris Pines) crash lands his plane.  Trevor explains that German General Ludendorff (Danny Huston) is working with a mad scientist named Doctor Maru; a.k.a. Doctor Poison (Elena Anaya), and they are attempting to create a poison gas that can turn the tide of the war.  Diana believes that General Ludendorff is the ancient god Ares and agrees to accompany Trevor back to the front.  There she can fulfill her destiny and kill the God of War and become the legendary hero Wonder Woman!

                                                                                                   Warner Bros. Pictures
Remember when people complained on the internet about her chest size?
Any reason to complain, I guess.

                                                                        Warner Bros. Pictures
There was a time where I couldn't stand Pines.
I was very much in the wrong there because I
love the guy now!
Wonder Woman is one of the biggest comic characters in all of history as she’s 1/3rd of DC’s iconic trinity.  That being said, the lead up to this film was certainly an interesting ride.  First off, it’s pretty awesome that she’s finally getting her own solo movie but it’s strange that there were men who were offended by this—not that she’s getting her own movie but for the fact that a female hero exists, that really seems to bother some.  The keepers of the most fragile masculinity in all of existence, the Men’s Rights Activists, certainly created quite the uproar with this film.  Check out their reactions when the Alamo Drafthouse decided to hold a very successful Women’s Only screening—they seemed to forget that there will still be a chance for them to see it but one of them even wanted the entire city of Austin, Texas to have its economy collapse because of this event.  I don’t want to go for the very easy low hanging fruit but every woman and man secure in their gender are all speculating on the size of these dudes’ genitals and we’re not being generous with our assumptions.  Secondly, according to some, this film was not being marketed the way DC/Warner Bros. flooded the market for Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad.  However, as these issues pass us, I still found my way to the theater despite a supposed lack of decent advertising and the fact that butthurt dudes think I might be a traitor to my gender for seeing this and, I got to say, this film was freakin’ amazing!  

                                                                                                    Warner Bros. Pictures
He's been involved with 30 Days of Night, Fox's X-Men Universe and now DC.
Danny Huston is just making the comic book movie rounds.

Wonder Woman feels like it is actively trying to fix all the issues that held up the other films in the DCEU.  There’s no pacing problems as the film moves fluidly and is able to tell Diana’s origin story without it ever feeling like we are going over territory we’ve seen before (and that’s partially because we haven’t seen her origin a dozen times like Batman).  Additionally, the tone of the film is dynamic and is capable of being exciting and fun but also of being dark.  The film balances the right times it needs to be gritty and grimy but also knows that it can have some levity and humor.  Finally, the film has an incredibly solid story that mixes in all the right amounts of drama, humor, action, and heart—all the things that make Wonder Woman who she is!

                                                                                                     Warner Bros. Pictures
She had a lot to learn when she left Themyscira, like how staring contests worked.

On the performance end, this film is fantastic.  Danny Huston and Elena Anaya are very intimidating as the film’s antagonists, Lucy Davis (who plays Steve Trevor’s secretary Etta Candy) provides some great comic relief and Chris Pines has that great balance of humorous and serious as Steve Trevor.  Of course, where would this film be without Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman?  We got to see a taste of her in Batman v Superman but it’s here that we really get to see what she’s made of and how well she embodies the character.  Gadot completely encapsulated the strength and determination that is the hero side of this character but also got the fish-out-of-water element during the beginning half of the film when Diana enters the world of men and is totally unfamiliar with their ways and customs.  Gadot was able to manage a sense of wonder, curiosity and a battle-ready edge all under a single persona and it made the character feel like it leap off the page and into the screen and feel legitimate and authentic. 

                                                                                                    Warner Bros. Pictures
Here she is, literally leaping off the page and into the screen.

The only drawback I found in Wonder Woman has to do with the big reveal of Ares.  Without getting into that dreaded Spoilers territory, there is a major misdirection when it comes to this character.  When his reveal comes around I was definitely surprised but a little annoyed because there is never really much of a hint that this twist was remotely possible or even on the horizon.  Perhaps on a second or third viewing I might see some hints that are hidden along the way but my initial response was a little on the “meh” side.

                                                                                                   Warner Bros. Pictures
Ironically, the character of Doctor Poison is designed like a character
who would appear on Doctor Who.

DC’s cinematic universe has been off to a very rocky start.  So far, all their films have been met with bad reactions from critics and audiences.  From my perspective, I really enjoyed Man of Steel but was luke warm to Suicide Squad and Batman v Superman.  The two latter films had some redeeming factors that I genuinely enjoyed but they were littered with so many problems that they really were very messy films.  Wonder Woman seems to buck that trend as director Patty Jenkins helmed a film that contains excellent construction on nearly every front.

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