Monday, June 12, 2017

Movie Review: Wonder Woman (2017)

Wonder Woman, indeed! The DC superhero's origin movie is a triumph, anchored by Gal Gadot's performance and director Patty Jenkins' focus on what makes the character great: the purity of her strength and purpose.

In the film version, Diana of Themyscira grows up among the Amazons, who are sworn to defend mankind. When an "above average" specimen (according to him) crashes into their hidden refuge, Diana leaves the island with him so she can fulfill what she sees as her sacred purpose: to save the innocent and defeat evil.

The movie takes its time building up Diana, which is the key to its success. Gadot is phenomenal as the goddess in her various incarnations: as a restless young woman questioning her mother; as a stranger to the modern world; as the one person you want on your side in any fight; and finally, as a true friend of and believer in humanity's light. In particular, her fish-out-of-water moments in London serve both as comic relief and further insight into her personality. Highlights include her stern lecture to military officials, a comment on how glasses are a poor way to disguise her looks -- "Great, now she's no longer the most beautiful woman you've ever seen" -- and her rushing off to coo at a random baby.

Diana's unquestionable crowning moment of awesome occurs at No Man's Land, where she puts her bracelets and shield to impressive use. Tired of being told that she can't stop to help, Diana throws off her disguise and powers through the mud and bullets and death. Based on that scene alone, I predict that at least 50% of all Halloween/convention costumes I see this year are going to be Wonder Woman, and rightly so.

Wonder Woman's distinct musical theme is kept in reserve for her truly epic action scenes, which are a joy to watch. Alas, if only the same could be said for her final showdown with the villain. This particular fight just didn't have great CG, and I honestly couldn't take the bad guy seriously after the reveal of his secret identity.

However, this is also the battle where Diana limit breaks, as it were, and the image of her hoisting a tank over her head in a blind rage is now forever seared into my mind. Jenkins knows how to do superhero shots, that's for sure.

In conclusion: as a moviegoer exclaimed after the credits, "I want to be her!" -- amen, sister! While none of us have been trained by a truly jacked Princess Buttercup (Robin Wright), nor were we specifically created by a god to keep other gods in check, we now at least have someone to wonder at and aspire to.

TL;DR: Watch immediately if you haven't yet.


This post brought to you by the summer heat!

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