Wonder Woman (2017)

Diana grew up to become an Amazon warrior.  Little did she know, she was much more than that and when the time comes, she heads to war with a man who crashed near the island she lives on with only women.  There she discovers her full potential as much more than a warrior, but also a hero.

Based on the character created by William Moulton Marston and a story by Zack Snyder, Allan Heinberg, and Jason Fuchs, the script by Allan Heinberg works here, developing the character of Diana from a young age, giving her character, guts, and intelligence.  She becomes a fully fleshed character before she meets the man who will inspire her to leave her island to go save people during the Second World War.  The way she is then shown coming into her own as a hero, or a superhero, is charming, funny, and exciting at times.  The film works on many levels due to the writing, but also due to the directing by Patty Jenkins who shows that she can take a good script and turn out great scenes and coherence.  Her way of directing works fantastically well with lead Gal Gadot’s interpretation of Wonder Woman.  She clearly has a way of connecting with her cast to get the best out of them that she can.

Speaking of Gal Gadot, she is great in the part.  Sure, she does not have the usual boobalicious shape that most versions of Wonder Woman have, but her presence on screen here is charismatic.  She takes Diana from training to be a warrior to being a warrior to wanting more to becoming all that she could be without any of it looking forced, with a pride and confidence that are absolutely necessary to pull off a part such as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman.  Also fantastic is Lucy Davis as Etta, Steve Trevor’s loyal and dedicated secretary.  For horror fans, she will look and sound familiar, and for good reasons, as she known and loved as the long suffering Dianne in Shaun of the Dead.  Here she is funny, and just filled with the right quips and humor to balance out some of the seriousness.  Her ways and the attitude she gives her character of Etta steal the scenes she is a part of and makes this reviewer which she had more screen time.  Playing the catalyst to Diana leaving her island and a strong ally in her fight against evil, Chris Pine plays Steve Trevor with a bit of charm, strong courage, and a touch of humor.  Together with a few others, he adds touches of humor and relieves some of the tension but without turning things silly or into a big joke.  Many others here are doing fantastic, from good guys to villains, but naming them all would take much too long.

The cinematography by director of photography Matthew Jensen creates an epic world for Diana to evolve in as it should be.  The way her home island is shown is majestic and stunning, while the war is dark and gloomy.  The film look amazing and this adds to the epicness of it all.  Working with these images, the effects which are mostly CGI in what looks to be most of the scenes look good, adding to the film and not distracting l like in some recent movies.  The third act does have a whole load of them which can be a bit much, but thankfully it does not destroy the film.  While the sheer quantity of effects shots seems excessive in that third act, they are well rendered and work with the story.  Of course, it could have used a bit of trimming on that last third to make it feel a bit less like a showcase for the effects and more like the ending of an epic story of courage and finding oneself.

Wonder Woman takes the origin story and makes it its own thing, creating an interesting story and a character people will want to see more of.  Yes, she is a known character that is beloved, and here she is given proper dues and a proper film.  She’s one of those characters little girls can look up to and seeing the reaction of some them coming out of the screening, this version looks to have achieved its goal giving girls and boys a superhero they can look up to and want to emulate.  Gal Gadot gives a strong performance, one that not only her fans will appreciate, but also fans of the character.  She’s a good woman, a strong woman, a wonder woman.