Written by James Reilly – Student Pages Entertainment Journalist/Film Critic
Ah. The DC Cinematic Universe. Man of Steel was not the beloved start I’m sure Warner Bros. wished for, despite my avid enjoyment of it. Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice was not just disappointing – it was bad. Sure there were salvageable scenes, but overall it was a let down. Then we got Suicide Squad….tragedy.
BUT, alas, we have Wonder Woman. The film billed as the saviour of the DC Cinematic Universe, but did it live up to the hype? Yes, I think it did.
Wonder Woman, directed by Patty Jenkins, is the fourth film in the DC Cinematic Universe and its the film to finally find the balance between fun, humour and damn good action. The Yin to Marvel’s Yang, DC represented the dark side of the comic book movie genre. Where Marvel are “fun kids movies” DC is violent, dark and brooding. A film can be violent, dark and brooding but STILL be fun, no? Logan did it this year. Days of Future Past, arguably darker than any DC film is still fun. So why haven’t DC managed to crack the code to a dark, yet enjoyable, film? They couldn’t crack it, until now.
Wonder Woman is funny, dark, serious, inspiring and action packed which under any other director might of failed – but here Patty Jenkins hit the jackpot. She managed to craft an inspiring tale of hope admits the depressing world of the First World War, she still manages to find humour in the small things amongst the spectacle of the “war to end all wars”. Some of the jokes don’t hit, ironically the comic relief character is the least funny character of the film, yet throughout the film manages to find that balance between humour and brooding suspense. While I’m on about the script, the first act and third act does seem very exposition heavy yet it never seems to the point of offensive. The exposition serves the story, and despite suffering slightly from what Alien: Covenant did in treating the audience slight stupid by holing out information for “suspense” when in reality we’ve already caught onto the twist, its still a very capable script.
Gal Gadot scared me when she was cast. From a physical aspect and an acting aspect, she did not scream Wonder Woman for me. While I defend that there are arguably better and more deserved choices for the role, Gadot manages to hold her own in a film filled with stellar performances, most notably from Chris Pine. Gal Gadot manages to knock the comedic timing out of the park, and although I still have my doubts, she is more than competent in the role and I look forward to seeing her in Justice League later this year.
There were some spectacular action set pieces in this film. The editing ruined some moments and took me out of spectacle for a moment, yet the breathtaking cinematography brought me back and held my enjoyment. The slow-motion we see in the trailer is a very prominent trait in the film and there were some rare moments of benefit of the effect, but overall it was distracting and again took me out of some of the action. The film still manages to have some amazing fight scenes despite its distractions, much to the commendation of the director and cinematographer.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the film and despite my issues with the editing and slow motion, and some pacing in the exposition first and third act, I found myself impressed – FINALLY – with a DC film and gives me hope that they can continue on their best foot forward and knock it out the park again with Justice League.
Follow James at @JamesisGinger