Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Film Review: Wonder Woman

As someone who has never read/seen anything Wonder Woman related I went into this not knowing at all what to expect. The trailer instantly sold it to me, mainly I have to admit because of the prospect of Chris Pine in First World War period costume, but also because I wanted to know the back story behind who is perhaps the greatest of all female superheroes. I wasn't disappointed. In short, I loved it, so much so that I've seen it twice! I'm a sucker for films set in the past, so it's no surprise that this film is up there for me alongside the first Captain America: The First Avenger film as my favourite super hero movie. In fact I think it may actually surpass it! There are a lot of similarities between the two films (especially the ending but I won't talk about that here), and that isn't necessarily a bad thing. It made me laugh, it made me cry, it was everything I wanted it to be and more.

Gal Gadot is perfect casting for Diana. She is beyond beautiful inside and out, making her turn as Wonder Woman, a hero firmly on the side of 'good', entirely believable. The scene of her crossing No Man's Land is already well on it's way to becoming iconic (it's insanely well shot and gives me goosebumps everytime), and she even pulls off the comedy elements convincingly. I honestly don't believe any one could have done it better. Chris Pine too is spot on as Steve Trevor, and he and Gal made a perfect team. I've loved Chris right from his early acting days in Princess Diaries 2, and have enjoyed watching his star rise over the years. He's always been a dab hand at comedic roles, and his turn as Captain Kirk in Star Trek actually managed to make me interested in the franchise. In Steve Trevor he creates a character who I absolutely adored, and the way in which he let Diana take the lead was so endearing. Not that he would have had much choice had he tried to stop her! They each had their own battles to fight, yet also had each other's backs.

Having watched Batman vs. Superman for the first time recently I can say with some certainty that DC have learnt from their mistakes with Wonder Woman. Granted I watched the extended cut of BvS, but it felt like it was never going to end! Weird dream sequences, endless fights and a confusing plot left me bored. Wonder Woman in contrast has a straightforward storyline and plenty of humour and banter between the characters, something more recent superhero films have been lacking. It is a perfect combination of the war context and camaraderie of Captain America, coupled with the 'fish out of water' idea explored in Thor, as Diana struggles to understand and adjust to her new surroundings. I only hope the inevitable second solo film can follow up on this. I'd love another historical one, 1920s or 40s maybe, but I strongly suspect it'll be back in the present day which is a shame.

Now I'm off to spend a fortune on Wonder Woman merchandise. Dare I say I've been converted from Marvel to DC? I think I just might have.

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