Wonder Woman: Spoiler-Free Review
Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman is definitely a movie you can’t miss. Not only is it the DC movie we have been waiting for since the end of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy, but it also does the famous DC character justice.
Jenkins’ directing is slick and evenly paced. This made the slow motion sequences within each choreographed fight scene more impressive. The details that she focused on during these scenes also showed how much attention the entire cast and crew gave to every small detail.
Gal Gadot’s portrayal of Diana, Princess of Themyscira/Wonder Woman is phenomenal. The best part about her interpretation of the famous comic book character is that she imbued her with a genuine sense of curiosity. This made her first interactions with Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor and her adjustment to life off of Themyscira both endearing and hilarious. She also did a fantastic job at showcasing Wonder Woman’s prowess as a fighter and the depth of her emotional range within the movie’s runtime (it is almost two and a half hours long, so she definitely had a lot of time to do so).
I do have to commend the movie’s casting directors for casting Lilly Aspell and Emily Carey as younger versions of Diana. Casting younger versions of a character can lead to some noticeable goofs like the girl who played young Lily Potter in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two. Thanks to Lilly Aspell and Emily Carey’s performances, Diana’s transition from a young girl to a full-fledged Amazon warrior was seamless.
As for Chris Pine’s take on Steve Trevor, I am not sure if it corresponds with the character’s portrayal in the Wonder Woman comics. I grew up mainly watching the Justice League reruns on Cartoon Network instead of reading the comics (this was when I didn’t like to read as a little kid), which caused me to have a basic understanding of Wonder Woman’s origins and who Steve Trevor is in the DC universe. In considering this, I think that Chris Pine did a great with portraying Diana and Steve’s romantic chemistry and the character’s identity as a spy for the Allies in World War 1 and Diana’s guide to the human world.
The movie also has multiple scene stealers. The first is Robin Wright as Antiope. Antiope is a badass Amazonian General and Queen Hippolyta’s sister (Connie Nielsen). If I could gush more about Antiope, I would but that would easily lead to spoilers. My only recommendation is that you should not get out of your seat (if you really have to, do it quickly) during the training montage at the beginning of the movie.
The second scene stealer is Lucy Davis as Etta Candy. I love her character because even though she is the comic relief, she also immediately helps Diana navigate early twentieth century London. I just wish the character had more screen time.
The third and final scene stealer that I will be talking about is Saïd Taghmaoui as Sameer (one of Steve’s war buddies like Charlie (Ewen Bremner) and The Chief (Eugene Brave Rock)). He was my favorite scene stealer due to his effortless charm and how he captured the character’s resourcefulness (you’ll understand when you see the movie). He also had ridiculous chemistry with Gal Gadot when their characters are speaking in different languages.
My only problem with the movie is that General Ludendorff (Danny Huston) and Dr. Maru/Dr. Poison’s (Elena Anaya) characters. They are your stereotypical villains that really don’t incite enough fear. The war crimes that their characters commit are terrible but I wanted them to be more convincing.
Besides that, I really enjoyed seeing Wonder Woman. I cried during Wonder Woman’s fight scenes because it was moving to see the character in her element and see her defy everyone’s expectations. I also cried because of how the movie was realistic despite its fantastical aspects. This was definitely a step in the right direction for the DC Movie Universe. I just hope that they keep up the good work in the upcoming Justice League movie.