It’s always hard to write about movies I love. There’s a feeling that my opinion won’t be taken seriously or will be regarded as hyperbole. And for a movie I really love it can feel like throwing pearls before swine. Obviously that isn’t the case as you, my readers, are amazing and know me well enough that I do not rubber stamp movies or give any franchise a pass. When I say I love a movie it is because it is deserved.
All that said- I LOVE Wonder Woman. And it’s not just because it’s the best DCEU film. And it’s not because it is the first decent female led superhero movie (although I’d be lying if I said that wasn’t a little meaningful to me). It’s because it spoke to me on an emotional level and entertained me in every way I can think of.
You could make the case that Wonder Woman follows a traditional origin story formula and I would agree with you but much like Moana it executes that formula so well. In both films, I deeply care about the characters and their journey.However, as much as I love Moana, Wonder Woman is even better. I just loved it so much.
The story is pretty simple and comes right from the comic books. Wonder Woman is Diana who is raised on the island of Themyscira among the all-female Amazons. She is the daughter of Queen Hippolyta and was created out of clay by her mother and Zeus. One day a soldier named Steve Trevor lands on their beach and Diana decides to become involved in World War 1 and try to save the people. Updating the conflict from World War 2 to World War 1 was very smart as the senselessness of World War 1 is far more obvious. Plus, you have the horrors of nerve gas and trench warfare in World War 1 to put as a backdrop.
I won’t tell you any more so you can experience it yourself but the key to this film working is Diana and Steve. Gal Gadot is effervescent, innocent and wonderful as Wonder Woman and Chris Pine is perfect as Steve. The two have incredible chemistry, and I really cared about them and their stories. This is not a film that empowers women at the expense of men. They are both needed and valued and their love is what is powerful. All love is powerful.
The journey Wonder Woman goes on puts it above most other superhero movies I’ve seen. She learns about not only the cost of war but the ease at which humans excuse that cost as nothing. I cried a lot both times when watching the film because I found her realization of human evil to be incredibly moving.
A lot of people criticize some superhero movies for having a lack of stakes. Not the case here. No spoilers but there is a price to pay for fighting evil and here it couldn’t be more devastating. And the resolution is far from tidy but more of a momentary breath and pause before we know mankind will succumb again to the worst in their nature.
You see the true villain in Wonder Woman is war itself and the corruptible nature of mankind that so often embraces it. Some have said Wonder Woman feels like a Marvel movie instead of a DC movie. Never mind the many DC movies that were far sillier than this (cough Green Lantern cough) but I think they are missing the point. Previous DCEU films like Batman v Superman are built on a traditional masculine energy and style of filmmaking. With Wonder Woman we get something entirely different. There is more of a traditional feminine energy to it. It is about emotions and relationships and that is why it is so moving. Even when it gets bombastic it does so because of despair and love.
That’s not to say Wonder Woman isn’t fun. It does have comedic moments to lighten the mood and those work as well. There’s also great action that will satisfy the action gurus of your group but again what was special to me is the emotional journey of a woman facing the horrors of war.
I really only have 2 tiny nitpicks with Wonder Woman. The accents on Themyscira are a little cheesy. I understand why they did it to match Gadot’s Israeli accent but it doesn’t quite work. They also use a slow motion effect in the action scenes a little bit too much. There is a villain reveal that could have been handled better but since the true villain was war itself I did not care. Aside from that, I thought Wonder Woman was spectacular.
I won’t give a ranking just yet but it is definitely one of my favorite superhero movies I’ve ever seen. Congrats to Patty Jenkins and everyone involved for finally giving me a blockbuster I actually cared about! Thank you!
And thank you for giving little girls the superhero they should have had a long time ago
Overall Grade- A
For parents there is some war violence that might be concerning and some nudity/sensuality.
34 thoughts on “Wonder Woman Review”
Great review, per your usual!
Thank you tons. That means a lot
I always like your reviews, but I think you really nailed it with this one. As you know, I have a weakness for the genre.
I’m one of the handful of critics who like “Batman Vs. Superman” and “Suicide Squad” (perhaps mostly because I’m a D.C. fan), but those films, admittedly, have obvious flaws. I still had fun with them, but “Wonder Woman” is a much better crafted film, from the script to the on-screen character development.
This year is shaping up to be a great one for the genre. I also thought “Logan” was brilliant and “Guardians of the Galaxy” is fun.
I hope I like this film.
Hope so as well. So far nobody I know has disliked it; although, not everyone has liked it as much as me
Leonard Maltin found it to be dull. That worries me since his opinion is one I often look up to.
Shrug. I can only speak to me and all of my personal friends that we loved it
I think you personally write your best reviews for movies that you love – I enjoyed reading this one. The leap in quality from the other DCEU films to this one is amazing. I feel it ranks among the best superhero movies ever; if not in my top 10, then certainly my top 15.
Thanks. It’s a vulnerable thing to write about something you love so I’m glad that comes across. I completely agree with you about the ranking
I saw it tonight and had a lot of fun! I don’t think I loved it like you do–I definitely like Moana better–but I liked it a lot, which is saying something since I’m not usually a big fan of superhero movies. I can honestly say it’s my favorite superhero movie to date. I’m amazed at the difference having a female director makes. Having a female superhero who isn’t overly sexualized (though she’s not sexless), who is a bad-ass without being crass or man-hatey, was breath of fresh air. I don’t think I felt as strong an emotional connection with it as you did, but it was strong enough to keep me engaged. There was enough story to make the action both justifiable and entertaining. Agree about the annoying slo-mo thing though.
As a side note, I found the previews they played before it amusing. It was kind of a random smattering of female-centric movies and action movies, but there really aren’t any other “female action movies” besides this one, so it felt like a disjointed attempt to appeal to both women and lovers of action movies. 😂
That’s a good point about the trailers. I hadn’t thought about it but you’re right. I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed it because I know you aren’t normally into the genre. Would you take Lorena or is the content to much? People keep asking me age recommendations and I’m not sure
I would absolutely not take Lorena, and I’m disappointed about that. The two things that really make it inappropriate for younger kids are Chris Pine’s nude scene and the portrayal of the realities of war. Minimum age for my own kid to see it would be around 12-13. I might show it to her sooner than that with some home editing (ffw through some scenes). Obviously, all kids are different and can handle different things. I do appreciate that the nude scene isn’t really sexual, which makes it a lot less objectionable than it could have been.
Yeah that’s what I’ve been wrestling with and I wish they hadn’t included the nudity either. I see what you mean. Sometimes it’s hard for me to guess since I dont have kids what’s appropriate for a 12 year old verses a 10 or 8 year old. Thanks for your feedback
Loved it too. I agree with you 100% on this review.
I liked the stuff with Ares; I think it worked.
Yay! I’m just a little tired of villain reveals but it was fine because of the deeper themes at play
What really impressed me was how much this tale could exist without the value added depiction of an origin story. The story here is less about the dawn of another superhero and more about a sheltered individual who comes to understand what is happening in the outside world around her.
I was very impressed with Gal Gadot. She is wonderful, although I kind of expected it because of her charismatic appearance in Batman v. Superman. However, I am once again pleasantly surprised by Chris Pine. I had no idea his part would be so key to the entire production. His chemistry with Gal was palpable. It really enhances the drama.
Yeah you are exactly right about the story. I loved Gal Gadot and it is her emotional journey that really sold me on the film. And I agree on Chris Pine. He was so charismatic and they had such good chemistry.
Great review. Almost wish I hadn’t read it because now I don’t want to post my review as I don’t think it’s as good. 🤣
Completely agree with your review! I cared about Diana and Steve’s characters so much and that’s rare for a superhero movie for me these days. I’ve always been a Superman girl, but after watching this movie, I have to say Wonder Woman is my favorite so far out of all the DC super heroes on the big screen.
I really enjoyed this movie as well! I found Steve’s secretary to be very entertaining in little screen time she had. One very small nitpick I had was how Steve couldn’t quite spit the right words out of his mouth when he was trying to stop WW from leaving. Maybe there were simply no words to be found and that was the point… Like I said, just a small thing.
I really reading your review especially your perceptive on Wonder Woman’s character and how she’s a great feminine figure that women can look up to. Just like men looking up to Superman. Also, I’ve written my two sense on the film as well. Keep up the good work!
Reblogged this on Personal Musings:.
Solid review, this movie had me fall head over heels for Gal’s creation of Diana. I plan on writing my own review/Wonder Woman essay if you want to check that out.
I absolutely loved this film. I’ve always been a fan of superhero movies for fun but this one was so different from those and so much better. It wasn’t just about fun for me but had a great message as well. It was empowering!!
I feel the same way. It felt emotionally true not just a superhero movie