DC Cinematic Universe has left a lot to be desired over the last few movies. Man of Steel is just a new telling of a story that we have seen many times before, and not a good one. I don’t think there is a movie with Batman in it where we don’t get some nod to the origin story time after time. Batman VS. Superman was the movie that we all thought was going to bring something special to the movie world of DC, but instead we were given a giant pile of kryptonite instead with one redeeming quality. Suicide Squad may not be the best movie, and may have been leaps and bounds better than BvS, but it still left a lot to be desired. And that brings us to the one redeeming quality of BvS, Wonder Woman. I was going into this movie as a skeptic due to DC screwing it all up. Before Wonder Woman, The DC Cinematic Universe has been nothing more than a sad coyote always getting hurt before catching that blasted Road Runner. So where is the DCU now after Wonder Woman?
I was a skeptic going into this movie, the past is not a good indication of what the future could truly hold for these beloved franchises. I was worried DC might not be able to produce a good movie. Also, add the idea that was already planted out there that Wonder Woman was doomed to fail from the beginning. Stories were being published on credible sites that Wonder Woman could be one of the lowest grossing DC films of all time. And after all of that, there was the notion that a female led comic book would never draw money. And as I sit after leaving the theater, I can honestly say that the critics, the naysayers, and anyone else were DEAD WRONG.
Wonder Woman is the best movie coming from DC Universe since Michael Keaton was in the Batsuit. Origins stories of a character that is already grained into culture usually seem to come across as weak. Case in point the first Harry Potter film. It is the worst movie of the franchise, but you have to establish those characters to move on with the story. By no means is Philosopher’s Stone the worst book of the franchise, but the movie is. That being said, Wonder Woman is able to break that trend with the origin of Diana. And I am not going to put any spoilers in this review because you need to make sure you go out of your way to see this movie. It was nice seeing an origin with substance. It was nice to get a back story with a lot of intrigue. It’s something you don’t get usually. You are able to invest more in the character than previous DC origin movies.
Gal Gadot may honestly be the best casting in a super hero movie. She embodies the character of Wonder Woman. She is able to give some sarcasm, which if you are a fan of the animated DC Universe, you know it is possible. She is able to take a naïve knowledge of a new culture and convey that through her eyes. One thing that is lacking in these movies sometimes is feeling what the main character feels, Gal Gadot will make you feel what the character is actually feeling on screen. After seeing those fight scenes, I would never challenge Gal Godot to a fight at any time. I also feel that it will be wrong to compare her to Lynda Carter. Lynda’s time as Wonder Woman will hold a special place in a lot of people’s heart, but (send all the hate mail you want) Gal Gadot is going to be more remembered for her role as the Amazon Princess. I never thought I would say these words in my life, but there is a new Wonder Woman.
Now comes the biggest damsel in distress in the world of comics, Steve Trevor. I love Chris Pine, and he can take a lot of credit for bringing Star Trek back from the dead. I remember what I thought when I saw the casting choice of him, “Well, from bad ass to bitch.” My words were and how do I put this, oh so wrong. For the first time, maybe ever, Steve Trevor came across as a bad ass hero which a lot of credit goes to the writing team and Chris Pine for that. Pine has an on-screen chemistry with Gadot and it shows. It helps with the story as well. Because you want to root for him too.
The story itself is wonderful. And I can’t preach that enough. Loosely based on some of the New 52 run in the comic world, I left that theater wanting more of Diana. I want more Wonder Woman. I honestly didn’t want the movie to end, which is a first for me with the DCU. Pacing is a big thing that was nailed on the head in this movie. Every one of these hero movies have a formula and in the middle of the movie comes a giant lull. Wonder Woman, did not have that lull. Each moment was a beautiful compliment to the previous one.
I want to take my time to explain one scene as vague as possible. The scene takes place on an area called No Man’s Land. When she begins to fight, I have never in my life experienced chills of that magnitude come over my body. Even so much as my eyes began to water. I cried a little at Wonder Woman. The scene was one of the most empowering moments of the entire story. If I had a daughter, I would want her to look up to Wonder Woman. Because this movie proves that women are just as powerful as men.
Wonder Woman is not the movie the world wanted but the movie the world needed. I have a feeling this is going to be one that is enjoyed multiple times on the big screen.
Final Grade: A