Wonder Woman, 2017.
Directed by Patty Jenkins.
Starring Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Connie Nielson, Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Said Taghmaoui, Ewen Bremner, Lucy Davis and Elena Anaya.
Before she was Wonder Woman she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained warrior. When a pilot crashes and tells of conflict in the outside world, she leaves home to fight a war to end all wars, discovering her full powers and true destiny.
Watching Diana (Gadot) striding across No Man’s Land, deflecting bullets and kicking ass, then later lifting a tank above her head and throwing it is exactly what makes this film awesome and hopefully sets the DCEU on a new course. After the critical mauling that the films have taken so far, Wonder Woman is the shining light of hope that they can craft a coherent story with great action and a solid cast.
Opening on Diana’s home world of Themyscira we see her grow and learn to fight and become the best Amazon warrior ever. This opening act delivers heaps of back story and sets up the rest of the film expertly. By taking the time to get to the routes of Diana’s character screenwriter Allan Heinberg and director Patty Jenkins make us care about Diana and her mission. When an American spy (Pine) washes up on the island and Diana learns about the war that’s happening outside she goes on a mission to save the world.
Not since the appalling Catwoman and Elektra in 2004 and 2005 has a female superhero taken centre stage and finally we get Wonder Woman that delivers a ton of action and a sublime performance from Gadot. Gadot is Diana through and through. She takes on all the action scenes with gusto and in the film’s quieter moments she holds her own alongside the male cast. Throughout the whole film there are digs about her gender and a woman’s place but Diana is defiant; especially in one great scene where Diana says to Steve Trevor (Pine) that “you do not tell me what to do”. It’s a fist punching moment that will make any superhero fan applaud.
The supporting cast around Gadot is top notch. Chris Pine is solid as all American spy Steve Trevor and he gets some meaty character development as the film goes on. Ewen Bremner is also hitting it out of the park as drunken marksmen Charlie. Following his powerhouse performance in T2 earlier this year, this latest role once again shows how much of an unappreciated actor Bremner is.
There are a few flaws here and there. There’s some slightly dodgy German accents and for a moment the finale does slip into a bit of a CGI mess. It is pulled back by the solid script and Gadot’s emotional performance. On the whole Wonder Woman is a welcome reprieve from the overly serious and overstuffed plots of Man of Steel, Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad. It isn’t a complicated story, it is a solid piece of filmmaking from a visionary director about a kick ass superhero. Marvel have talked about doing a Black Widow film for a while but DC has set the bar high with Wonder Woman and Marvel are going to have to catch up.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★ ★