Movie Review: Wonder Woman
By Felix Quinonez
June 19, 2017
But when a sniper sets his sights on them - and innocent bystanders - Diana has to take out a high tower. Because it’s obviously out of reach, Steve, Sammy and Charlie use a detached car door to launch her up to the tower. And Diana, becoming the embodiment of female agency, smashes down not just the building but symbolic walls and would be oppressors.
Lately, it seems that DC movies have been so eager to show us the failings of our heroes, so it is genuinely awe-inspiring and breath taking to see Wonder Woman’s resilience and heroic side take center stage.
Unfortunately, when she finally confronts Ares, she learns that a vile villain didn’t put the evil in men, but it is instead something that is part humankind itself. And there is no simple way of defeating it. But she also learns that there is a capacity for good within mankind that makes it worthwhile to fight that evil.
It’s too bad, though, that it all seems to lead to a final battle that is disappointingly by-the numbers, but at least it’s not obnoxiously over the top like the one in Batman v Superman. And the bad guys are a bit underdeveloped but no worse than anything you might find in the MCU.
But when everything that came before is so strong, this adds up to a small complaint. The movie is a home run when DC desperately needed one. And Gal Gadot is the heart of the movie and her performance is both heroic and innocently optimistic.
She is simply wonderful. She looks and acts like a hero but she also exudes kindness and sweetness. And fortunately, Steve Trevor, played winningly by Chris Pine, makes for a great partner in crime. Pine gives a charismatic, entertaining and heartfelt performance. He is both confused and enchanted by Diana.
Together, they make a great team and have a charming budding romance. The two of them share wonderful chemistry that is quickly established in the movie. Early on, there is a sweet scene on a boat that plays like a delightful first date filled with nervous and awkward exchanges. The script, written by Allan Heinberg, has plenty of witty, fun dialogue between the leads but luckily it knows when it’s time for a romantic moment.
Perhaps influenced by its World War I setting, the movie has an old-school charm that is a welcome relief from all of the Snyder influenced self-seriousness and general lack of fun that defined the previous DC movies. And the fact that it’s a self-contained movie shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s great that the movie never stops itself to set up five other movies.
That a woman directed it becomes most clear from the fact that there is no male gaze. The camera portrays Wonder Woman as a figure of strength rather than as an object to be lusted over.
But the fact that the movie was made by a woman does not mean it’s only for women. Wonder Woman never feels the need to push the male characters aside. It has no “angry feminist” agenda to sell. The arrival of a female hero doesn’t mean her male counterparts will be replaced. It’s just meant to show that women and men can coexist as equals on the screen and in life.