‘Wonder Woman’ (2017, 12A)

Is ‘Wonder Woman’ a superhero success or an awful adaption of the Amazonian princess’ story?

Diana (Gal Gadot), Princess of the Amazons, has been shielded from the outside world within her island paradise, inhabited only by the fierce, female Amazon warriors. But, when male pilot Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) crashes within their magical borders, Diana’s world is turned upside-down as she discovers of the ‘Great War’ raging outside. She escapes from her island with Steve to fight against in the trenches, donning the sacred armour of the gods and becoming Wonder Woman.

Compared to the other three films in the new, DC movie universe (Man Of Steel, Batman V. Superman, Suicide Squad) Wonder Woman is absolutely superb, and even when not compared to its poorer counterparts, it still holds up well. The plot, though unoriginal, is executed well and I’d rather a tried-and-trusted hero’s journey than an over-complicated and weak storyline that is hard to understand and appreciate (*ahem* Batman V. Superman).

Despite some dodgy green-screen effects at the very beginning of the film, the visuals in ‘Wonder Woman’ are simply fantastic. In a lot of modern superhero movies CGI has been brought up a notch, bringing more realism to these otherwise fantastical stories. ‘Wonder Woman’ is no different; not only were the big, showcase spectaculars executed well, but some of the smaller details, such as the glow on Diana’s Lasso of Truth were done convincingly.

Now, however realistic these effects become, they can be over-used and it can all get a bit too much, as — unfortunately — it has in more and more superhero movie finales. ‘Wonder Woman’ also falls victim to this and all the bright lights and loud music make for a, though spectacular, rather detached experience; I simply cannot empathise with Wonder Woman when she’s lifting up tanks amongst explosions and using lightning to fuel her anger.

Another common trope ‘Wonder Woman’ falls victim to is the over-use of slow motion. Though it looks cool, I cringed every time I saw a bullet slow down as the heroes ran at a tortoise’s pace through gradually flying sand. It’s a cliché, and an overused one at that.

Though Gadot and Pine both gave excellent performances as the two leads, the other three members of their team (played by Saïd Taghmaoui, Ewen Bremner and Eugene Brave Rock) felt a bit redundant as they did… nothing. No, they didn’t really do much, except a light bit of comic relief every now and then (though I must admit that the comedy was few-and-far-between compared to a Marvel film) and running about after Wonder Woman.

Overall, ‘Wonder Woman’ was a strong superhero movie from those at DC. There’s still a way to go until the films are on par with Marvel, but the signs are good. The good performances and special effects mean that ‘Wonder Woman’ earns eight-out-of-ten.



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