Review: Wonder Woman (2017)

Fig.1 Wonder Woman (2017) Movie Poster

To many, the DC Extended Universe is yet to reach the levels of success that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has hit. Whereas the high majority of the films that are part of the Marvel Universe have been mega blockbuster hits and are adored by both critics and fans alike, the three DC Universe films that have been released thus far: Man of Steel (2013), Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and Suicide Squad (2016), have been incredibly divisive, to say the least. So, can Patty Jenkins help DC by bringing us a Wonder Woman film that will fill us with optimism for this franchise and it's upcoming releases - in particular Justice League, which will release later this year?

Fig.2 Diana Prince (Played by Gal Gadot -left) and Hippolyta (Played by Connie Nielsen - right)

As we continue to push for equality in our society, we want to see more diversity within our films, as well, because of this there was a lot of excitement and anticipation for this film, as it has a lead Female protagonist - unlike the previous three DCEU films and all the 15 MCU films that have been released so far. Previously, there have only ever been two other Superhero films, of note, that feature a Female main character and those were Rob Bowman's Elektra (2005), a Marvel comics film, and Pitof's Catwoman (2004), a DC Comics film - two incredibly unsuccessful films that have had no lasting impact, and quite rightly so. It is, therefore, a triumph that Patty Jenkins has managed to create a brilliant Wonder Woman film, for all to enjoy. 

This is the first full length Wonder Woman feature film, so to most cinema goers her story isn't as familiar, unlike other DC Characters, in particular Batman and Superman. This is an origin story that shows us how she adapts to our World and gives us information about where she came from. It is very exposition heavy to begin with and some scenes do move a little slowly. We are told quite a lot about her, who her family is, where she was brought up etc. This is understandable though due to our unfamiliarity with the character, and it is does help us relate to her quite well. Patty Jenkins makes Diana Prince's strengths and opinions clear, which leads to a clear arc in the character, as she grows from an unexperienced and quite rash person to be a confident and considerate individual.

Fig.3 Steve Trevor (Played by Chris Pine) & Wonder Woman/Diana Prince

The performances are very well down across the whole cast of characters. The stand out is, of course, Gal Gadot as she manages to bring a high level of strength and emotion to the character. She is very willing and assured of herself, which makes it such an empowering film. She isn't treated like a damsel in distress, she doesn't rely on a man nor do what a man tells her to do - she does what she wants to do because it's her choice -  a brilliant message to the Female audience, young girls especially. It would be easy for the film to be too over invested in trying to make that statement, and it could have left us with a character who is perfect and without faults. However, she is still trying to find herself and understand mankind, which would be difficult due to it's World War 1 setting. Steve Trevor, played by Chris Pine, accompanies Diana throughout her journey and helps her learn more about the World that she continues to question. He helps her understand what is right and wrong, what is and isn't accepted in the way we act. The relationship between them is told with care. Neither of them are above one another - they both have problems and they both have things that they're more experienced in compared to each other. Chris Pine also manages to bring some comic relief to the film - something that people believe to be missing in the previous DC films. The highlight here though is Etta Candy, Steve Trevor's secretary, played by Lucy Davis. She has great comedic timing and most of what she says got a laugh from the audience.

In terms of negative things about the film, it, primarily, has the same problem that a lot of Superhero films seem to have, and that is the Villain. Unlike the protagonist, the antagonist is familiar and feels like something that we have already seen a countless number of times. The ultimate aim for the Villain is one that has been done repeatedly and it leads to a final act that is very CGI heavy, something that conflicts with the rest of the film. It is paced incredibly quickly as well, unlike the previous acts that are paced very well.

Fig.4 Wonder Woman

In conclusion, Wonder Woman should be seen as a beacon of hope for the DC Extended Universe. It tells a story that is easy to relate to and will definitely have an impact of the female audience. Although the film is 2 hours 21 minutes long, which is much longer than most Superhero films, it goes by very quickly due to the amount of fun you'll have watching it - undeniably the best DC Extended Universe film, so far. 

Illustration List:
Fig.1 Wonder Woman (2017) Movie Poster - http://cdn2-www.comingsoon.net/assets/uploads/gallery/wonder-woman/wwposter5.jpg - (Accessed 02/06/2017)

Fig.2 Diana Prince (Played by Gal Gadot -left) and Hippolyta (Played by Connie Nielsen - right) - https://scontent.cdninstagram.com/t51.2885-15/e35/15035666_1618703245089914_3236312639843860480_n.jpg?ig_cache_key=MTM4NDE1MTU3MzgxNTI1NTg1NA%3D%3D.2 - (Accessed 02/06/2017)

Fig.3 Steve Trevor (Played by Chris Pine) & Wonder Woman/Diana Prince - http://www.dccomics.com/sites/default/files/GalleryMovies_1920x1080_WW-01748c_581be0d043d5a5.54352008.jpg - (Accessed 02/06/2017)

Fig.4 Wonder Woman - http://image.tmdb.org/t/p/w1920/pfIVaXgkWMLDRXsHWFrPPbmVm9a.jpg - (Accessed 02/06/2017)

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