Anthony's Film Review
Wonder Woman (2017)
With a nice story and a strong leading lady, this superhero movie surely packs a punch...
As far as I know, the first 21st-century appearance of Wonder Woman in a live-action film was not as the main character of the 2017 movie Wonder Woman, but rather as a brief and late introductory cameo in the 2016 movie Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which was meant to partially introduce the group of DC Comics superheroes collectively known as the Justice League (analogous to the Avengers of Marvel Comics). I only mention this because they could've avoided wasting a small part of that movie just to have Wonder Woman appear so briefly. Of course, it doesn't matter if you saw that movie. The real introduction of Wonder Woman is the 2017 movie centering on her. Thankfully, it's a much better movie than Batman v Superman.
As you might expect, the story in this movie involves exciting action alternating with drama to move the story along (which provides an excuse for the action). It's practically a common pattern of action movies. But what makes this one interesting is a theme that pervades both the story and the action: worlds colliding. On one hand, you have a powerful Amazon warrior woman named Diana (Gal Gadot) who lives on an island paradise concealed to the rest of the world by a magical veil. On the other hand, you have an American spy named Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) who, during World War I, has been caught infiltrating the Germans. What happens is that Steve accidentally enters Diana's world, and Diana vows to end the war in the human world, believing that Ares, the god of war, is somewhere out there. There are moments where Diana and Steve learn about and react to each other's cultural customs, and there are moments when Diana's superhuman strength and fighting prowess are no match for the Germans' advanced weaponry.
The journey that Diana, Steve, and a band of comrades embark on will take them across Europe through battlefields that they would not get through without Diana's help. They must get to two villainous characters, a German military leader named Ludendorff (Danny Huston) and a chemist named Dr. Maru (Elena Anaya), and stop a massive attack with chemical weapons. It is interesting to have Diana fight during World War I, given that Wonder Woman was created in the early 20th century and that the wide scope of the war aligns with Diana's quest to destroy a supposed god inspiring large-scale war.
It's worth noting that there appears to be more non-action scenes than action scenes, such that the story seems to go on a little long at times. But at least the action sprinkled in breaks up any monotony. Furthermore, the movie has one thing that is worth waiting for: a late surprise twist that many might not see coming. Once that moment arrives, things get much more interesting and stay that way until the end.
On my 1-to-10 rating scale, this movie mainly feels like an 8 because of the lengthy storytelling and action that's pretty good. The unexpected surprise temporarily pushed the imaginary needle higher on the scale, to maybe about an 8.5. It's not really enough for me to generously give my rating a bonus bump by one whole point. That's not to say the climax is disappointing, because it's far from it. The whole thing is still a nice way to introduce a Wonder Woman who can really kick butt and keep us inspired.
For more information about Wonder Woman, visit the Internet Movie Database.