Film Review – Wonder Woman (2017): Eddie’s Take

Title – Wonder Woman (2017)

Director – Patty Jenkins (Monster)

Cast – Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, David Thewlis, Connie Nielson, Saïd Taghmaoui, Ewen Bremner, Danny Huston, Elena Anaya, Eugene Brave Rock, Robin Wright

Plot – Leaving her home on the female only island of Themyscira, Princess Diana (Gadot) of the Amazons teams up with American spy Steve Trevor (Pine) to help put an end to World War 1.

“I will fight for those who cannot fight for themselves”

Review by Eddie on 6/06/2017

For Jordan’s take on Wonder Woman CLICK HERE

It would’ve taken a brave soul to confidently go out and say that Wonder Woman would be a success.

Of course it was always likely to make some quick $$ for its studio and get extra airplay due to its female driven hero being the centrepiece of the feature, but on the back of DC Comics recent output of films that have made money, but not exactly found a place of fondness within peoples affections, Wonder Woman was always going to be a wait and see proposition.

It’s with some form of relief then that we can now safely say that Monster director Patty Jenkin’s reimaging of a character that has long been left in the shadows of her manly counterparts is a success, financially and critically, but this big budgeted comic book event hides its genre defined play by plays behind the fact it has a female leading proceedings, in a film that remains constantly fun but also utterly by the numbers.

In a marketplace that has been inundated with comic book blockbusters for over a decade, Wonder Woman’s story of Amazonian princess Diana leaving her idyllic all female only island life with Chris Pine’s World War 1 American spy Captain James Kirk (aka comic book favourite Steve Trevor) to hunt down some incredibly weak “German baddies” and put a stop to the warring and fighting, is a story not up to the energy and appealing nature of its heroine.

From the moment Diana hops onto a boat with Steve and sets sail to experience the world, we know where the story is heading and as is the unfortunate usual nature of modern day comic book films, Wonder’s Woman’s more nuanced and original ideas feel squandered on an overblown conclusion and rather terrible computer generated spectacle that feels cut from another movie altogether.

The finale is actually a rather glaring example of Wonder Woman’s often so-so CGI work that can at times take away from the visual pizazz and spectacle Jenkin’s and her team have delivered when bringing Diana’s whip and sword led carnage to life.

For a film with such strong production values elsewhere and budget to spare, it’s curious as to why CGI in such a tentpole picture would look often like nothing more than a slightly above average video game. It may sound like nit-picking, but for a film centred on what it can provide to its audience in a visual sense, it’s a big no-no.

Aside from some questionable CGI and lacking baddies (complete in one scene with a moment of almost Dr. Evil like laughter at their dastardly plans) Wonder Woman’s other unfortunate element is the fact that it seems as though the studio for all its talk and bluster, was afraid to let Wonder Woman fully take centre stage in her own film.

Tagged in the majority of the runtime with Pine right alongside her, as our Godly princess learns the ropes of the outside world and her own true powers, Pine gets to play a version of his Enterprise captain and have almost equal screen time as Gal Gadot’s incarnation, which is both a shame for the movie and for Gadot who really is the shining beacon of this otherwise standard event.

As she showcased in limited yet memorable screen time in Batman vs Superman, Gadot feels like the perfect fit for an icon like Diana Prince.

Showcasing the physical prowess, the smarts and the charisma the character needs, Gadot will no doubt become a newly minted superstar of the DC universe and whenever Gadot is allowed to take centre stage and get away from forced romantic flirtations with Pine or awkward costume fittings, Wonder Woman in full flight is a joyous sight to behold thanks to Gadot’s career making turn and hopefully a reason for future standalone events to take further time to shine the spotlight on her character and her screen presence.

From running headfirst into the battlefields of Europe or beating up goons in the back alleys of old school London, you can’t help but escape the feeling that Gadot and therefore Wonder Woman had more to give to this film than was eventually allowed.

Final Say –

Overcoming a rather laborious and cringe worthy opening act as well as some second rate visuals culminating in an unfortunately mediocre final stanza, when Wonder Woman herself is front and centre of this superhero film (with less of a difference than many would have you believe) it’s a fun popcorn event that sets up a nice stepping stone for future adventures.

As long as they agree to let Gadot do her thing without the help of a male offsider.

3 Captain Kirk doppelgangers out of 5  

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27 responses to “Film Review – Wonder Woman (2017): Eddie’s Take

    • Yeh it really wasn’t great mate, I especially thought the “bads” in the film were just laughable and totally misguided. For a character like Diana I felt like we could’ve had something a little more out of the blue.
      E

  1. You got it right. By the numbers.
    That is why the rare moments that did not feel as if they had been transported from any other flick of the kind felt so refreshing. I am mainly referring to the bath scene, and the subsequent discussion of the male anatomy.

  2. It’s a shame. This is the first DCEU movie that’s looked interesting to me, but even if it had been as good as it seemed, you know that now that the origin’s out of the way her next movies will just be completely tangled up in the overarching Justice League plots, and personally I want nothing to do with any of that.

  3. I loved it so much. I cried and cried. I bonded emotionally with Diana as she learns about war and to accept the frailties of human nature. It may be my favorite comic book movie

  4. This is actually the first review I have seen that isn’t as positive. Which is a good thing. I will be seeing the movie in less than two weeks (it comes out later here), but I always like to judge things for myself. So far the movie has been mostly getting rave reviews, and I’m always cautious when I see that happening. It’s refreshing to see a review that also manages to highlight the movies weaker points. Still honestly I am still looking forward to the movie. Great post! 😊

    • It’s very enjoyable mate, certainly for me not worthy of the big hype but I could just be a little grumpy ha.
      I really look forward to future adventures but I hope the films next experiences are a little more original in execution.
      E

  5. You got it more spot on than any other review I’ve read – I liked the ‘Crocodile Dundee’-like scenes of her adjusting to life in London, but the first and last acts were poor, as you say uninteresting. I was resisting the urge to check my phone throughout the whole of the last battle! We all knew how it was going to end but they dragged it out anyway, there was just no tension – just CGI punching itself in the face for 20 minutes! Anyway thanks for this level-headed review

    • Cheers Window. I must admit I wasn’t much looking forward to this but once reviews hit I got pretty amped. I just can’t buy into all the praise for another superhero film that’s been done a million times before but this one’s big difference is its a female who takes naming rights as the lead. A fun film but not a memorable one.
      E

  6. I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels this film is pretty mediocre. I was so excited to watch this film for so many reasons, but the film failed to live up to my expectations. I’m not a big fan of most comic book films (the action can be sleep-inducing) and for some reason I thought this would be unique. I agree with you about the cgi and Pine getting too much screen time. I did really love the trench fighting scene though. Maybe I’ll like it on the second watch, but I was disappointed seeing it last night.

    • Yeh mate I had fun with this but really there is nothing that happened here that I would call memorable and Pine’s constant encroaching on Gadot’s screen time really did not sit well with me at all.
      E

  7. Pingback: Film Review – Wonder Woman (2017): Jordan’s Take | Jordan and Eddie (The Movie Guys)·

  8. It was a good movie. One time watch kind of but did it deserve to be compared to TDK? Hell no and did it deserve a 80% rotten tomatoes rating definitely not.

    And I know for a fact that they will bring back Ares because d’uh

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