Thursday, 1 June 2017

Film Review: "Wonder Woman" (2017).

"Power. Grace. Wisdom. Wonder." This is Wonder Woman. This superhero film based on the DC Comics character of the same name. It is the fourth installment in the DC Extended Universe, as well as being the first live action theatrical film based on the character. The film is directed by Patty Jenkins and written by Allan Heinberg. When an American pilot crashes on their shores and tells of a massive conflict raging in the outside world, Diana leaves her home, convinced she can stop the threat. Fighting alongside men in a war to end all wars, Diana will discover her full powers and her true destiny. 

Development for the film was on-going since 1996, with several writers and directors attached such as Ivan Reitman, Todd Alcott, Laeta Kalogridis, and Joss Whedon. In 2014, several directors were considered to direct the film before Michelle MacLaren was given the job. However, in 2015, MacLaren dropped out of the project due to creative differences. In 2015, Patty Jenkins replaced MacLaren. Many actresses were considered to play the role of Wonder Woman throughout the years before Gal Gadot landed the coveted role. Principal photography began in November 2015, before filming wrapped in May 2016. Filming took place throughout the United Kingdom, France, and Italy. Additional filming also took place in November 2016 while Gadot was five months pregnant. A green cloth was placed over her stomach to edit out her pregnancy during post-production.

The film stars Gal Gadot as the titular character with Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Connie Nielsen and Elena Anaya. The cast all gave spectacular and powerful performances, especially that of Gadot. Gadot has, without a shred of doubt, single-handedly laid to rest my concerns whether or not she can carry her own franchise. Gadot has just the right touch of strength and femininity. She really is Wonder Woman. I can not wait for her future films. She and Pine had great on-screen chemistry where their personalities and ideologies suited for each other's characters, and is what made their dynamics interesting. However, despite the amazing performances, there were characters that were not completely without flaws. This regards the villains played by Huston, Anaya and Thewlis, who all suffered the same razor-thin characterisation found in Marvel films, despite the three actors giving their best.

Wonder Woman brilliantly blends humour and gravitas, taking advantage of the perfectly cast Gadot to craft a loving cinematic tribute to an American pop culture feminist icon. Fantastical and gritty, but also exciting and fun, this is a film that understands the essence of one of the definitive superheroes. Director Jenkins and Screenwriter Heinberg's work in creating understanding into who Wonder Woman is and what motivates her must be applauded. They have accomplished something that the original TV series had somewhat lacked. However, there's no doubt that, at times, it's a flawed movie, but it is still nonetheless one of the most wonderfully entertaining movies made in recent years. It's exactly what comic book fans hoped it would be.

Simon says Wonder Woman receives:

Also, see my review for Suicide Squad.

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