‘Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice’ will go down in film history as being one of the most divisive superhero movies ever made. However, whilst fans & critics fought over many elements the one thing that always seemed to earn praise was the involvement of Wonder Woman. One year later and she’s now the subject of her very own movie, helmed by director Patty Jenkins.
Audiences have been crying out for a female lead superhero film for years now. It seems ridiculous when you count the number we’ve seen over the last decade and realise none of these were fronted by a female. If it’s any consolation, and it definitely should be, ‘Wonder Woman’ has certainly made the wait worthwhile. The character of Wonder Woman/Diana Prince is one I wasn’t familiar with beyond her famous traits. I suppose this helped slightly but regardless of this lack of knowledge she’s a fascinating character for the focus of a film. Her initial naivety to earth & mankind and her desire to meet the immediate needs of those requiring help was so refreshing. Her attitudes & points of view few feel fantastically relevant. Of course it is the beautiful Gal Gadot who brings this character to life and demonstrates all of these qualities. She does so in an extremely sincere manner and is easily performing at her career best to date. Co-starring with Gadot is Chris Pine who plays Captain Steve Trevor, a WWI pilot. The pair have a charming chemistry delivering laughs, heart and some surprisingly developed dialogue. This helped to elevate their on screen partnership to more than just a romantic relationship. The supporting cast, including Robin Wright, David Thewlis, Lucy Davis & Ewen Bremner, do a tremendous job of fulling their roles too, continuously contributing quality to the picture.
‘Batman V Superman’ threw Wonder Woman straight into the action with little introduction, which worked for that film. Therefore, it’s no surprise that here the narrative is an origin story. This is nothing to groan about though, with the lack of her story being told before it’s a necessary direction for the character. The film begins by informing audiences of Diana’s world, it develops with a great sense of fun & humour, ending up being something quite epic but with plenty of badass action inbetween. As a result the film is paced brilliantly, meaning audiences won’t ever feel it’s hefty running time. The action scenes deserve special praise being some of the finest work I’ve seen in any superhero film. Where previous films/directors plague their action sequences with shaky cam & quick cuts ‘Wonder Women’ uses slow-motion in spectacular fashion showcasing every impressive detail. This technique is used in just the right amount and always enhances the fight sequences making these moments a delight to watch. Jenkins really knows how to film action, doing so with skill & attention to detail. Wonder Woman always packed a punch but it’ll be no shock that her scenes are always most effective when combined with her killer theme music we first heard in ‘Batman V Superman’.
Many had put the entire weight of success for the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) completely on the shoulders of Wonder Woman & Jenkins. A weight it would have been quite easy to buckle under, thankfully though with the film-making equivalent of the titular characters super powers Jenkins has confidentially restored faith in the DCEU. ‘Wonder Woman’ will no doubt forever be one of, if not the, most triumphant moment for DC’s cinematic universe.
Rating – 9/10
Question: How would you rank the four films in the DCEU so far?
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