I left the theater last night relieved. Ever since Suicide Squad I had been worried that DC was going to screw up Wonder Woman’s first solo film in her 75 year existence, but Gal Gadot, Patty Jenkins and crew pulled it off, and more than that, they gave the DC Movie Universe the hope and charisma it so desperately needed.
Wonder Woman follows Diana (Gal Gadot) from childhood on the island of Themyscira to her first outing as a hero in World War I. This of course is a change from her comic book origins where she fought in World War II, but the time swap works well for this movie. Seeing the horrors of The Great War really drive home her belief that she needs to stop this before more people get hurt or killed, and the world has not advanced so much that a sword wielding warrior on horseback would seem that out of place, but it still has advanced enough to provide plenty of opportunity for a little fish out of water humor.
The cast of this film is fantastic. Chris Pine (the best Chris) as Steve Trevor is funny and brave, and a great guide to the “man’s world” for the Amazonian Princess. His rag tag crew is a delight, but without Gal Gadot’s charm and strength this movie wouldn’t have worked. She embodies Wonder Woman perfectly. Angry at the injustices that are all around her, but still hopeful things can be changed for the better. I also love Elena Anaya and Danny Huston as the main villains, they are wonderfully comic-book-y, but not in an over the top way. They strike a good balance between maniacal sneer and believability.
That is not to say Wonder Woman is perfect however. The final fight is a little forced and long and has too much dodgy CG. The film at two hours and twenty-one minutes could have been tightened up a bit, but man, the second act of this movie is pretty much perfect, so I will take the slow start and generic end for those moments of perfection. Watching Diana become the hero the world needed and enjoying doing it was rousing, and I am not exaggerating when I say, it made me cry a little.
We have been waiting forever for Wonder Woman to get her chance to shine on the big screen and Patty Jenkins delivered. There have only been a handful of female led superhero films, and they have all been trash, so leave it to most iconic female comic book hero of all time to finally get it right. Make sure that we don’t have to wait another 75 years for another Wonder Woman and go see this movie. When Justice League comes out this November, Wonder Woman is going to be the draw.