Seen June 15th
For as long as I can remember, there have been talks about a Wonder Woman movie. There were talks of TV series pilots, including the infamous NBC pilot that basically turned Wonder Woman into a sociopath who didn’t care about anyone or anything other than the size of the tits on her action figure (And god do I wish I was kidding about that). At one point Joss Whedon was going to handle the movie but that didn’t pan out. Basically for pretty much my entire life there was only one live action Wonder Woman who went by the name of Lynda Carter, as far as I’m aware she is the only person to play the part on film… until Gal Gadot came around, and thank Zeus that she turned up when she did.
Without a single doubt in my mind this movie was worth the wait. Even though it’s not technically the introduction to the character (Since she appeared in Batman V Superman, a film I have no intent on seeing because the scenes I have seen fill me with a blind rage at how dumb they are), it may as well be. The film is the origin story for the character, going from her youth on Themyscira through to her taking part in the First World War From the very beginning of the story we know everything we can about this woman, born to fight alongside the Amazons and even as a child refusing to take the role her society has given her. Every scene on Themyscira before the major conflict starts is a master class in how to film this sort of setting. It may be an island, but it feels like an entirely different world. Every single character we come across is diverse and powerful, key scenes in this section are integral to the climax of the movie, we get exposition back-story in a way that doesn’t make you groan like exposition often can. Robin Wright as General Antiope is the one in charge of training Diana (Wonder Woman) and every scene with her is a treat, having spent the last 5 years seeing her as the cold calculating Claire Underwood, it’s amazing seeing her getting to effectively be the most important character (Other than our lead) for the first part of the film.
When we get into the plot proper with the arrival of Steve Trevor, played by Chris Pine, the film kicks into high gear and never let’s go. The first major action sequence is a glorious fight on the beaches of Themyscira between a German army and the Amazons and it’s just amazing, men with guns against Amazon women with crossbows shouldn’t feel like a fair fight but these women not only can handle shit, they kick ass and it’s incredible. Yeah there’s one moment where Pine has to shoot someone to quickly rescue Diana but considering she has to do that for him about 15 times by that point, I’ll allow it. In general every action set piece from there is just great, it’s big and it’s bombastic and in every single one, the only one who truly can save everyone is Wonder Woman and she does it quickly and against the roles that the men have given her. There’s numerous times when Pine’s character tells her to stay put, and every one may as well have her scoffing at him before going and saving the day anyway.
The cast in general is amazing, besides the three I’ve mentioned we have Danny Huston and Elana Anaya playing the main villains for the majority of the film and they are just incredible. Elana is easily the most dangerous of the lot since she is the inventor of Mustard Gas in this universe and there is something so weirdly perfect about having the most horrific villain in a female superhero movie being another female, that’s a really nice touch. Sure there’s other evil men out there doing some bad shit, but I think inventing mustard gas which is used to destroy an entire village of innocents might be worse than anything Huston can pull off. Also there’s a great Native American Smuggler character played by Eugene Brave Rock and again, fantastic. Every character is a joy and they span across gender and ethnicity with ease and I know that might be silly to bring up, but considering how long it took to get a goddamn good female led superhero movie, it’s something that should be mentioned. They only really point out the racial issues once with the line “I’m not the right color”, but it works and they make a point to let that sink in before moving on. In general this cast is what every superhero movie should strive for.
Also MAJOR props to Patty Jenkins as director who didn’t have an easy job. She had to take on the biggest female super hero of all time and make the movie work and she didn’t skimp on anything. There are shots in this movie that’ll drop your jaw, she pulled performances out of people that are incredible, she made a magical film… and it’s her second movie. My god, I don’t know if studios still do multiple picture deals, but someone better find out and make her sign one so we can have more movies by her because she absolutely get’s how this kind of film needs to be done.
I genuinely can’t think of a single complaint for this one, this was a film that had everything riding on it and didn’t drop the ball once. We had to wait decades for them to pull this one out of development hell but it was worth it. Maybe they could’ve given Lynda Carter a cameo role, made her Diana’s mother as a little nod to the only other woman to ever play this part on film but that’s a bit of fan service I’d of appreciated, but it’s not essential.
This is, easily, the best superhero movie I’ve seen in a long time and quite possibly ever. I would gladly say all of this again while being wrapped up in the Lasso of Truth.