If you read my blog post at the start of the year, you may remember that Wonder Woman was one of my most anticipated film releases of the year. In fact, it was second on my list, right after Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. After going to the cinema to see it earlier on this week, I can now say that Wonder Woman definitely deserved a place on that list and lived up to my expectations.
As the first female-led superhero movie since 2005 (which is completely astonishing with so many awesome superheroes like Black Widow, Captain Marvel, Squirrel Girl, Batgirl… etc.), Wonder Woman has been under a lot of pressure to perform well. There’s been this general feeling that if Wonder Woman doesn’t do well at the box office, it could be a long time before we see anyone attempt another female-led superhero movie again (which, again, is insane, because there are so many awful male-led superhero films out there, and they seem to have endless second chances). Safe to say, I was ecstatic when the positive reviews for Wonder Woman started flooding in, and now I would like to add my own.
Gal Gadot is a fantastic Wonder Woman. For me, she was the highlight of Batman v Superman, and in Wonder Woman, she is even better. Gal Gadot’s Diana Prince is passionate, bold, and is all heart. The thing I love about this incarnation of Wonder Woman is that whilst she’s undeniably strong and brave and won’t take no for an answer, she’s also incredibly warm and caring. This reminds us that compassion can be strength, and that emotions do not have to be a weakness. It also makes Diana a very likeable and relatable character. Another thing I love is that Diana isn’t perfect. The writers have done an excellent job of creating a character with depth and real flaws. She definitely can’t be criticized for being a “Mary Sue”.
The story of Wonder Woman is genuinely interesting, and managed to keep my attention throughout, something very few films have been able to do recently. It never felt too long, or too boring, and I enjoyed it from start to finish. I like how Diana’s origin story has been interleaved with World War 1, although this did make a couple of the similarities to Captain America: The First Avenger a little more obvious. There are also a couple of twists and surprises in this film, which I appreciated.
One of my favourite parts of the film comes at the very beginning. Early on, we see the Amazon women training on the island of Themyscira, and this scene was simply awesome. There’s also a brilliant fight scene which takes place on the island, and this was another highlight. The choreography looks fantastic, and it was just such a great feeling to see so many women in this kind of scene, as I’m so used to it being mainly men performing these kind of stunts.
As almost all films do, Wonder Woman has its flaws. There are a couple of moments between Steve Trevor and Diana where the dialogue feels cringe-worthy and there are a few of the obligatory jokes that come from Diana never having seen a man before. Luckily, the film doesn’t play on this angle for too long, and actually, some aspects of this are funny and helps to lighten the mood of the film. I also think the film maybe plays on Diana’s naivety a little too much, particularly when she leaves the island for the first time, but again, this lightens the mood.
One thing I would have liked to see more of in the film are the Amazons. The scenes on the island were so perfect that I was sad to realise we wouldn’t be returning to it later in the film. Hopefully, future films can explore this a little more, and maybe even see the return of some of the characters we met there.
I think one of the things Wonder Woman does well is that it feels a little different to other superhero films. Hers is a different kind of origin story, and on a grander scale than something like Spider-Man, for example, which helps it to feel unique. Overall, Wonder Woman is a really great film that stands out amongst the huge volume of superhero films that are being released at the moment. I’m so glad this film has received such high praise, and I would highly recommend going to see it if you haven’t already. I’m looking forward to seeing more of Diana in Wonder Woman 2 and I’m intrigued to find out what I think of the upcoming Justice League film.
Images: DC Films/Warner Bros. Pictures