Director: Patty Jenkins
Starring: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Connie Nielson, Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Saïd Taghmaoui, Ewen Bremmer
Studio : Warner Bros
76 years since her first appearance (All Star Comics #8), Wonder Woman finally has a live action cinematic film of her own. Coming into the DC universe after the ill received Suicide Squad, this iteration of the popular comic book character carries a lot of pressure in relaunching consumer expectation of the wider studio plan.
The plot of Wonder Woman can be split into two distinct sections, presenting a specific character in a fish-out-of-water scenario. The first explores the mythos of the titular character, as he is taught the ways of her people. From the perspective of washed up fighter pilot and spy Steve (Chris Pine), the audience is brought into their mythology. The second section is more concerned with pushing character development further, with Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) leaving the confines of her people and taking part in World War One. This gives a nice symmetry to the production, while also giving both the world and its characters some much needed development.
Although these two sections are joined by a wider narrative – concerned with taking down the god of war who has plagued humanity for eternity – the film never fully focuses its attention on this aspect, opting instead to bring in wider context to the character that first appeared in Dawn of Justice. Due to the level of exposition that the film targets its narrative around, Wonder Woman struggles to maintain balance in delivering a interesting and unique arc. Attempting to explain too much, the film becomes fast paced in its delivery, moving from sequence to sequence within a short space of time. This means certain aspects are never fully realised, and the film becomes shallower in the less important segments of its production.
Gal Gadot is still perfect casting in the titular role, with a look that fits the character and an acting talent that feeds perfectly into the wider cinematic universe. The role she plays within this film, and the earlier instalment, is easily the best element of the DCU and fully compliments the wider picture. Chris Pine likewise is an interesting addition to the cinematic universe, with his character being so much more than a typical love interest. With strong character development, Steve is really the driving force of the film – pushing the narrative through to the end and given a sense of consequence to the exploits of the characters. With two interesting characters, the film struggles to reach the same levels with regard to its antagonist – suffering from the same issues that plague other comic book adaptations. This means that for all its strengths in the development of the protagonist, the villain is easily its weakest element.
Compared to other films in the franchise, the most noticeable difference found within this production is the use of colour onscreen. This subtle change alters the entire tone of the film, and as such brings a much needed lightheartedness to proceedings. Placed alongside the humorous – but never comical – feeling that the screenplay brings, Wonder Woman is a fun and enjoyable superhero romp. Utilising two fish out of water scenarios, Wonder Woman manages to present the foundations to an enthralling cinematic superhero. With the director’s individualistic ideas and aesthetics, the vision of Wonder Woman is brought to the screen well, while also complimenting the wider DC Universe. Wonder Woman feels like both a stand-alone picture and an instalment in a broader idea.
Wonder Woman is a fun cousin to the DC universe productions that have come before. With a different tone, and effective use of colour, this cinematic outing is enjoyable to watch and brings a true cinematic vision to an acclaimed comic. With a feminist edge, the exploits of this production will resonate with a particular audience – alongside the wider superhero continent. With fresh protagonists, the film struggles to deliver effective villains to compliment their introduction. The film focuses its plot on the development of its two principal characters – but does so at pace. A blend of Thor and Captain America, Wonder Woman may well be the fresh start DC needed.