Wonder Woman Movie Review

It’s time for another movie review presented by our good friends over at FatCats Gilbert on the southwest corner of Greenfield and Baseline! FatCats Gilbert is the best place to see all of the latest movies at the box office including the brand new DC Extended Universe film, Wonder Woman! To see all showtimes and to purchase tickets, you can click right HERE!

This movie needed to be great. I don’t think DC really had a choice here. Even though I liked Man of Steel and even enjoyed Suicide Squad, I think they needed to bring us a brand new movie that universally wowed everyone who saw it. Was Patty Jenkins the one to make that movie? Was Gal Gadot the one to lead it? To be honest, in Batman v. Superman, I liked Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, but I wasn’t crazy about her as Diana Prince. I loved the trailers and everything I was seeing from the marketing, so I was really hoping to love this movie. Let’s talk about it!

Wonder Woman is directed by Patty Jenkins and stars Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, and Connie Nielsen. Diana, played by Gal Gadot, is an Amazon princes and a fierce warrior. She wants to learn to battle and fight alongside her fellow warriors to protect her homeland from the god of war, Ares, and his possible return to destroy humanity. When Steve Trevor, played by Chris Pine, crash lands on her island of paradise, she is brought into the real world and faces everything that mankind has to offer.

I can’t even contain my excitement. Wonder Woman is by far the best movie we’ve seen in the DCEU, and it’s right on par with the best comic book movies we are seeing now days. I truly believe that this film is the moment in which Marvel and DC high-five each other and throw a party because comic book movies are at the height of their powers. Though fanboys might think the two companies hate each other, comic book movies all play on the same field. If one is great, fans will want to check out the next one no matter who produces it. Wonder Woman is a movie to celebrate for that reason among many, many others. First of all, Gal Gadot killed it in this role. I mean she absolutely murdered it past any expectations I had. I still love her as Wonder Woman, but this is a Diana Prince movie, and she nailed that as well. She perfectly encapsulates the child-like persona that Diana embodies. She’s always learning something brand new, and even when she is fully gown, she exhibits the same ideas that you would expect from a child. Despite being a warrior, she oozes love and compassion, and that is the driving force of her journey. When she hurts someone, she understands the consequences and the ramifications of her actions. This is much more a movie about humanity than it is an action blockbuster, and these character moments drive the movie emotionally and from a story standpoint. In learning about humanity, Diana dissects it and understands the basic platforms of it, and her learning process is really beautiful. I also loved Chris Pine as Steve Trevor. I think people finally started to understand that Chris Pine is a heck of an actor after Hell or High Water, and he’s amazing in this film. What I loved about Steve Trevor is that he isn’t just the dumb sidekick boyfriend. He is also one of the main forces that propels Diana’s discoveries. In addition to being awesome by himself, he has a lot to share about humanity and the way the world works. Much like what I loved about A Monster Calls last year, it takes time and a complete adjustment to the brain to understand that the world isn’t a black and white place. There are plenty of grey areas between the black and white, and things aren’t always as they seem. There is almost always a bigger picture and something more to be seen, and the journey never ends. Steve Trevor takes Diana on that journey, and this movie is a fantastic character piece where I felt like I was experiencing everything for the first time right alongside Diana.

Patty Jenkins also directed this movie extremely well. Visually, I think there are a lot of positives with all three previous DCEU films, but in my opinion, Wonder Woman blows them all out of the water. For me, the addition of vibrant color and meaningful lighting let this film’s visuals shine through. It doesn’t have that grainy, dark, deep lighting and color that both of Zack Snyder’s movies have that keep the tone at a miserable low for the entire runtime. Sometimes that tone works. When Batman and Superman go head to head, give me that lighting and that tone. Other times, it fails. Wonder Woman has a vast color spectrum, and it looks incredible. I also have to praise the action scenes. I wouldn’t have expected Patty Jenkins to direct action scenes this way. Maybe action is her passion or her calling because the way she shoots these battle scenes blew me away. These are fantastical battle scenes with amazing wide shots and complete focus on storytelling as well as character building, and my mouth was stuck wide open a few times throughout the film. On top of the visuals, Patty Jenkins understands Wonder Woman. Without a director who knows this character the way Jenkins does, there’s no way that we would get the storytelling quality and the character composition that we do. I also loved the score. I really didn’t care for the Batman v. Superman score. I think it’s one of Zimmer’s weakest of his career. But that statement doesn’t come without an exception. I loved Wonder Woman’s theme. On top of the epic superhero score throughout the film, anytime I heard Wonder Woman’s theme, I had chills. It was typically in an intense battle scene where we see Wonder Woman’s fighting style put on complete display, and though it is very different from the rest of the score, it fits the tone and the visual component. Finally, I just want to touch a little bit on something this movie did that will set it apart from every comic book movie we have ever seen. It takes a completely correct approach when going over the strength of women. Wonder Woman isn’t just a strong female lead. She’s a strong lead in general, and I think that’s something that this movie nails so perfectly. In this time, this movie addresses female strength in a completely different way than through hate, attack, and pushing others down. This movie makes Wonder Woman an incredible character through strength and compassion, but doesn’t do it because she’s a woman. She’s a character of poise and power, and Steve Trevor doesn’t have to look like an idiot for Diana to be awesome.

I don’t think that it’s any secret that I loved this movie, but I did have a couple of problems with it. First of all, the villain was very flat. I feel like I complain about this every time I see a comic book film now, but that area wasn’t improved in Wonder Woman. In fact, I had a moment of confusion with the villain that I could probably get into a bit more in a spoiler-filled discussion. It wasn’t a long moment of confusion, but it took me out of the film for a second and actually became one of the most disappointing aspects. Next, I did think that there were a couple of points that slightly dragged. It was never enough for me to fully check out of the film or even feel like it was unfocused, but there are minor pacing issues. Finally, there are a few moments that call back to prior superhero movies. I’ll discuss one simply because it’s in trailers and television spots. In one scene, Diana and Steve Trevor walk into an ally where they are held at gunpoint. Diana is able to save Steve Trevor by deflecting the bullets. That’s a pretty obvious callback to the original Christopher Reeve Superman film from 1978 when Clark Kent catches a bullet to save Lois. To be honest, I liked that one for a few reasons such as the fact that I love that film as well as the similarities between the two characters, but there are a few others that I won’t spoil that I didn’t particularly care for that I can and definitely will talk about in the spoiler-filled review.

Overall, I absolutely adore Wonder Woman. In my opinion, this is the best movie that could have been made for this character. Gal Gadot owns this character, and you can tell that she did her research for this role, and both she and Patty Jenkins completely understand and love this source material. Diana is innocent, and despite seeing her at age 8, then 12, then fully grown, she always has a youthful sensibility about her which made it easy to connect to her character and take this ride with her. Her character motivations are always validated and her origin story is fascinating and something that I could get both my heart and my brain invested in. I loved Chris Pine as Steve Trevor. He is always useful, and I loved how Diana learned about mankind through him. What Wonder Woman will be remembered for is how it approaches female strength. Strength in women isn’t achieved through belittling others. It’s achieved through real strength, but also compassion, intelligence, bravery, and will, and Wonder Woman exhibits all of those traits. On top of the brilliant and grand action scenes, Wonder Woman is a character story, and it will give everyone who is pulling for DC, including Marvel, something to cheer about. I’m going to give Wonder Woman an 8.8/10.

Will you be checking out Wonder Woman? Comment down in the comment section and let me know! As always, thank you, and keep listening to 88.7 The Pulse!

About Justin Lyons

Hey, it's Justin Lyons! I am the Chief Film Critic for The Pulse. Have any questions for me? Please feel free to email me at movies@pulseradio.fm

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