Wonder Woman Review

Man. I wanted to love this.

When DC first announced they were making a cinematic universe, I was excited. I love comic book movies, so when I heard there would be two continuities to keep up with, I prepared my body for good movies with the good ol’ Justice League. Then, Man of Steel came out. And it was… Bad. Painful. Boring. Stupid. Innumerable quantities of words sprung into my mind to describe how I felt about it, but the most prevailing one was “disappointing.” I am sad to say that the trend of DC disappointments continues with Wonder Woman.

Before we go into what this movie screws up, we should talk about what it gets right. The character of Diana herself is beautifully done. Gal Gadot did a fantastic job of portraying a naive, but commanding and independent warrior who is way out of her depth, but won’t let that stop her. Her character offered for some good fish-out-of-water humor, and her natural charisma lent itself to the other comedy present throughout. That’s another thing, it’s funny (albeit somewhat inconsistently.) Chris Pine did a great job as Steve Trevor. He’s a great actor in general, he’s done well in most everything I’ve seen him in. Pine and Gadot worked together exceptionally well, which helped their romance feel natural and earned. Trevor’s posse is fun to watch. They’re mostly inconsequential characters, but since they don’t have much screen time, they don’t need a horrible amount of impact to the story. Chief sucked, though. Aside from that, I thought the production was well-done, especially the costumes. It all looks authentic, DC has generally done a good job in terms of production.

What takes me out of the movie, though? Most everything else. In terms of cinematography, there are multiple shots that could have benefited from just a little bit of adjustment. It’s not particularly exciting, either, often times falling flat when the scenery should lend itself to any number of great shots. I often find myself unable to appreciate the set design because they just won’t show me the set. While the two leads and two of Trevor’s posse did well, everyone else did poorly. Some notable examples are: Chief, Diana’s mother, the Amazonian general, Lupin, Chief, Trevor’s secretary, the German general, Chief, Dr. Poison, CHIEF, and others. Everything that happens in Themyscira is dull. The movie picks up when they leave for London, but then takes a drastic dip during the last thirty minutes, when it transforms from a semi-grounded flick with mostly OK action and visuals to a steaming hot pile of wet garbage in the form of a CG-riddled final battle that truly, deeply, underwhelms in the harshest sense. The plot is incredibly stupid, dangling plot twists over heads, not realizing that we aren’t babies, and are capable of thought. The action is marred by atrocious editing and spastic bouts of slow motion, which reaches Death Race 3 levels of overuse. Any visual effect is instantly obvious the moment it’s used, making the last thirty minutes even worse. This shouldn’t be a problem, Marvel’s Doctor Strange had some of the best VFX I’d ever seen, so why does DC have so much difficulty with this?

Now, on a technical level, this movie is at least competent. It’s not good, but it’s not Suicide Squad. But this movie is nowhere near a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes. I feel like this movie was the conclusion in a Jean-Claude Van Damme-esque cycle, in which a line of utter garbage is released, so when something competently made is released, everyone thinks it’s a lot better than it is. That’s not to say you’re wrong for enjoying this movie, no one is wrong for enjoying a movie. I just expected a little more from what was supposed to be DC’s comeback.

4/10.

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