Two weeks ago, Wonder Women, one of the biggest blockbusters of the summer finally hit DVD/Blu-ray shelves. It’s a film that has been highly talked about due to the fact that it’s the first big budget female driven superhero film that also happens to be directed by a woman. I wasn’t able to see the film in theaters but I remained very skeptical of all the positive praise for the film simply because DC superhero movies haven’t had a good track record under Zack Snyder’s reign as head of the DC universe. That being said, I wasn’t going to write off a film without seeing it so, without further ado, here’s my review of Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman.
The film opens up with a young Diana, princess of the Amazons, who begins to learn the art of combat to the chagrin of the Queen. As she grows older she becomes the most skilled fighter on the Amazons’ sheltered island but when an American pilot (Chris Pine) crashes and discovers their land, he is followed by German soldiers and it introduces the Amazons to an entirely new world. Under the belief that Ares, the God of War, is responsible for The Great War, Diana sets out with Steve to help save lives and hopefully end the war.
Wonder Women was a mixed bag for me. It had great moments and it had some, well, questionable ones. I’ve given a break down of the good and the bad below.
The good: Gal Gadot was a wonderful Diana/Wonder Woman. She was able to embody the ferocity of a true and just warrior perfectly while also being able to retain the naiveite of a bright eyed young woman looking to learn more about the world. As she was introduced to the ways of modern society, she had to figure out how to fit in. One classic example of this is trying to wear the period clothes rather than her armor. As always, this provided a good bit of humor in the build up to the drama and action that we all were looking forward to.
Another highlight was that Steve Trevor didn’t steal the show. Many times side characters, or even the other lead, become positive distractions and are usually much more enjoyable to watch than the leads in the film. I felt that despite having a large presence and Chris Pine being very charismatic, he wasn’t able to overshadow Diana’s story. As much as he was catalyst for how the story progressed, Diana was still the one who really took the initiative with every conflict making sure that no matter what, she was going to be protecting those who couldn’t protect themselves.
When it comes to World War super hero stories, I found Wonder Woman to be way more entertaining than the snore fest that was Captain America. The villain(s) may not have been as good but the film was certainly more fun. A rare win for the DC world of superheroes over their Marvel counterparts.
This was a big one for me, but how the hell did Diana’s sword and especially her shield, make its way to the front. When they leave London she is dressed in her period garb without a cloak. She gets onto the ship with the crew but there is no shield in sight. Later she enters battle and the shield magically re-appears. Seriously, how does something like that go unnoticed?
Secondly, when she runs into battle against a flurry of bullets, why do none of the bullets seem to strike below her shield? You’d think there would be a stray and that when that bullet hits her shin, she would realize that they don’t actually hurt her, naturally becoming a game changer when it comes to fighting.
For some reason, Patty Jenkins decided to utilize some of Zack Snyder’s signature slow motion aesthetic for a few of the actions scenes, most notably during her first attack at the front. I found that the tool was used at the wrong time during those fights, especially when she entered the local town. This ended up pulling me out of the moment rather than being excited by the fact that she was kicking ass and taking names.
Finally, I found the film to be almost entirely devoid of emotion. Yes, there was emotion between the characters on screen but it wasn’t palpable. As an audience member, I generally didn’t care when someone died or suffered nor when someone was victorious. Additionally, I rarely felt pulled into action sequences. It was just a superhero movie that followed the standard formula but left out the emotional touch that’s generally required to elevate it to something more.
Overall, Wonder Women was an enjoyable film but one that is highly overrated. The highly publicized political/social issues attached to the film definitely caused the inflated praise but that’s how it goes in today’s society. I definitely recommend people checking the film out as it’s a step in the right direction but there is a lot to improve to make it something truly spectacular and memorable.
The Blu-ray pack comes with a stellar looking feature when played on an HD TV but is also comes with the following features which should satisfy any bonus content nut:
- Epilogue: Etta’s Mission – Etta Candy gets the boys back together for a secret mission that could impact humanity’s future.
- Crafting the Wonder – Wonder Woman finally comes to life in her first, breathtaking solo film. Explore the journey to create an adventure worthy of DC’s greatest warrior.
- A Director’s Vision: Themyscira: The Hidden Island
- A Director’s Vision: Beach Battle
- A Director’s Vision: A Photograph Through Time
- A Director’s Vision: Diana in the Modern World
- A Director’s Vision: Wonder Woman at War
- Join director Patty Jenkins as she takes you on an exclusive journey through “Wonder Woman’s” most pivotal and exciting moments
- Warriors of Wonder Woman – Witness the creation of the Amazon army as the women of “Wonder Woman” transform emotionally and physically into the world’s most powerful and heroic warriors.
- The Trinity – Filmmakers and comic book creators explore the legend of Wonder Woman and how she stands shoulder to shoulder with Superman and Batman to create the pillars of the DC Universe.
- The Wonder Behind the Camera – Meet the women behind the wonder as they welcome a group of aspiring filmmakers on set for an exclusive, once-in-a-lifetime experience.
- Finding the Wonder Woman Within – Feel the power of Wonder Woman as award-winning poets and inspiring public figures reveal the impact and importance of DC’s greatest heroine.
- Extended Scenes
- Blooper Reel