Review: Wonder Woman – Triple Header!

There’s hope for DC yet! Wonder Woman is a major win for DC!

SkullDouggary from G33k HQ, Becky from Four Gamers HQ, and myself (Nadya of Gotham Geek Girl) teamed up to bring you a joint review of the latest D.C. live-action solo Movie Wonder Woman starring Gal Gadot as Diana Prince /Wonder Woman. The film, directed by Patty Jenkins conquered the box office this weekend with $223m (Global); with the biggest female director opening.  You’ll see our largely spoiler free reviews below.

Becky – Four Gamers

As many of you already know and have heard, DC Comics and Warner Bros. Studio’s newest movie Wonder Woman has been receiving an unprecedented amount of praise across the board from well-known critics and maybe even some of your own friends. Believe me when I say that the “hype” is indeed real. Wonder Woman is not only a phenomenal cinematic masterpiece, but the message within the “movie magic” is as powerful and true as the legend herself.

Without going into too much detail, let me put a few rumors to rest.

Patty Jenkins gives Gal Gadot some tips on proper shield form.

First, to the skeptics who are worried about the strength of women engulfing the plot line or being lost by oversexualizing her character, listen to me when I say that both sides should lay down their arms. Within this story is a greater message that is crystal clear without any kind of saturation from either side. The character of Diana was written in such a way that you see her not as a woman or war machine, but as a symbol and a hero like any of our favorite comic book characters. Even in the cinematography I was distinctively looking for those signs of sexualization (i.e. butt shots, focusing on breasts, etc.). What I found instead was the purposeful decision to focus on her face and the intensity of her eyes. When in combat the focus shifts to the strength of her arms and legs as she passionately carries out her duty. If you slow down and take the time to notice these artistic choices, the message becomes more apparent. Second, this movie is not about women empowerment. Rather it is a vehicle to the much greater discussion and debate of the state of mankind. There are more themes highlighted in this film that hit will hit home to many, but “extreme feminism” or “the extremist feminist agenda” is not one of them. And last, this is a movie for all to enjoy. My crew at Four Gamers HQ (who is made up of a 7 guys/3 girls ratio) all greatly enjoyed this movie and all for our own reasons. There truly is something for everyone and despite our differences we all came together with similar conclusions about the movie’s message and the character as a whole. Maybe all of you will, too.

To conclude my thoughts here (more in depth review will be uploaded to our Four Gamers HQ YouTube Channel), Wonder Woman was an incredible reminder of who we are as people, and a prime example of how to handle having a woman as a protagonist in a film. It’s amazing how simple conscious decisions like camera angles and dialogue can impact the way we view a character. I applaud the way Warner Bros. and DC Comics decided to handle the balance of strength and fragility of Diana was beautiful. The mix of ignorance about the world to the way she handles the truth was both relatable and powerful. Definitely a message the world needs to hear and be reminded of.

Nadya – Gotham Geek Girl

Gal Gadot made her first appearance as the most famous female superhero in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, where she instantly made a lasting impression. Wonder Woman carries on in her solo debut; not only does Gal kick major ass but her portrayal of the warrior Amazon Princess has captured the audience’s hearts.

D.C. is finally getting it! This exciting epic action/ adventure set during World War I, had me at the edge of my seat and excited throughout the entire film. I absolutely loved that it was a period piece. Aside from a great origin story, well-written plot, perfect pacing, and amazing effects the movie was perfectly cast.

There was fantastic character development; and great chemistry between the entire cast. You fell in love with the characters, and nothing felt too forced. I loved the intensity and dynamic between her and Steve Trevor (Chris Pine). Their connection actually felt necessary, I felt like it humanized her.

“It’s about what you believe. And I believe in love. Only love will truly save the world.”

Gal portrayed such a strong female lead, that you couldn’t help but fall in love with Diana. She was fierce, and stubborn but she showed so much courage and compassion. Throughout the entire movie she had such a strong intensity in her eyes. Gal did a brilliant job of portraying Diana’s innocence and curiosity. She was empowering, showed true strength and was a symbol of hope. She was a true hero.

I was also super impressed with the Amazons of Themyscira. They were strong, fierce, and powerful warriors without any oversexualization or exploitation. Diana’s origin was a key factor in the success of this movie, and I felt like the art direction was super successful in bringing her story to the big screen. There were plenty of fantastic fighting sequences, that coincided perfectly with the quality of the effects.

Unlike BvsS which was all over the place; WW was not only entertaining, but well structured and easy to follow. Although we were definitely impressed when we got our first glimpse of Gal, DC doesn’t have a great track record of live action movies, (IMO other than the amazing Nolan/Batman series). So I was super ecstatic that WW was such a great movie, that I would definitely go see it again.  WW was refreshing, a great origin story with a strong female protagonist and a great deal of action. I highly recommend anyone to go see it.

Now I am even more excited than ever for the Justice League movie, and have hope for future D.C. Movies slated to release over the next few years!

“I will fight, for those who can not fight for themselves.”

Skulldouggary – G33k-hq

I want to say right off that I thought Wonder Woman was REALLY good.  I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, in fact it’s the best DC film I’ve seen in a looooong while.  With that out of the way it wasn’t perfect, not that it needed to be, it had a few thematic issues that most likely have more to do with DC Studios’ decisions than with director’s Patty Jenkins work on the film.

So first off, the great stuff…Gal Gadot sold the part, she was every inch the Amazonian Princess she needed to be to make the story work.  Her presence and sheer charisma made her the focal point of every scene she was in….even with  Chris Pine doing his absolute best to steal scenes.  The sets and cinematography really took us out of the theater to Themyscira, Britain, and Europe.  Aline Bonetto (Amelie) and Anna Lynch-Robinson (In Bruges) created some fantastic locales for the characters to live in.  Themyscira and London were especially notable because I felt they didn’t go too overboard when they easily could have.  Paradise Island had an otherworldly feel to it, without being too opulent.  London was a stark contrast being dismal and industrial, but avoiding some of the obvious earmarks other films often drop in just to make sure you know where you are.  The film was shot well and gratefully did not use too much of the “Snyder Slowdown” that has become his slightly overused trademark.  Zack’s touch can be felt throughout the story and even in some of the scenes shot, but this really is Jenkin’s film.   By the way, quick shout out to Robin Wright (Princess Bride, House of Cards) for her amazing job in the role of Antiope.   If you are reading this to decide whether to go see the film or not, you can stop with my part of this review right now…before I get to what I didn’t care for in the film, it was not enough to make me want to warn anyone off this movie, in fact I’m ready for round two already!

Jeannie Epper (WW Stuntwoman) and Lynda Carter

(spoilers) So let’s get to what didn’t work, or what specifically didn’t work for me.  There is some of this film that sort of writes itself, and by that I mean certain aspects everyone expects to see in Diana’s origin story.  They took a few liberties with those elements that frankly left me sort of cold.  In fact the origin story really isn’t that much of an origin story, a huge part of who Wonder Woman is was left completely out of the script.  We’ve all heard the talk about Wonder Woman’s supposed Kryptonian background being the basis for who she is and her powers…it stood to reason that they made that change since a magical island of women warriors hidden by the gods wasn’t palatable to modern audiences.  However the odd thing is, that part remains in the story…it appears that Diana is the odd woman out on the island and does not share their ancestry.  So why go to the trouble to reuse Superman’s origin to make the story more “believable” in the universe you built when you are going to leave the legendary elements of it intact?  The rest of the Amazonian warriors were superheroines in their own right, I could have bought WW being one of them just fine.  This leads to my first Marvel comparison, all of the island and the place the Amazonians occupy in our history is just too close to Thor (IMHO)…using aliens to explain away an ancient culture’s mythology.  My second Marvel comparison comes from, you guessed it, Captain America.  Both characters were born in the patriotic 40’s and use world wars as thematic backdrops.  Even the last act included a “super plane” capable of mass destruction that had to be heroically piloted out of harms way at the cost of the life of the brave pilot.  I had figured DC made the decision to move their war back one and use the first world war instead of the second to put some more distance between the two movies, but there really wasn’t any need for it.  The funny thing to me is what they primarily shared was the “fish out of water” trope…but Wonder Woman uses that in the beginning of the film and Captain America ends with it.  I feel DC makes knee jerk decisions to avoid comparisons to Marvel, like omitting after credit scenes, but then ends up stepping right in it anyways…all the while still not giving us that last little stinger at the end I KNOW all of you are wishing for just like me.  So besides just a few little retreads, and a muddy ending (I need to see it again, because I MUST have missed something!) I still REALLY enjoyed my time in the theater.  Wonder Woman is a MUST see for ALL comic fans!

 

Becky

Becky AKA Gamer Becka from Four Gamers HQ

Nadya Martinez

I’m a comic book enthusiast, annual comic con attendee, movie loving, art freak.

Douggary Grant

Evil genius and future ruler of this puny planet.

 

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