Wonder Woman Review

June 8, 2017

Wonder Woman stars Gal Gadot as Diana and follows her journey off of Paradise Island into World War I.  Chris Pine portrays Steve Trevor as she pursues Ares and seeks to end the war.

Overall, this movie was fantastic.  It got a lot right.  It just looked right.  The Amazons looked right.  Everything felt right.  I especially liked the World War I angle, choosing not to go to the World War II where she actually debuted.  It made a lot of sense to have her involved in the “War to End All Wars” and learn about humanity through that than the Second World War.  Having the decades to follow the events that unfolded in this movie would explain her general disconnection from the world that we saw in Batman V. Superman.  And I do think this added a bit more depth to the character that we saw in that movie.

I did like the way her birth/heritage was addressed, as it added one of the elements of the New 52 I found more interesting.  I know the current story arch is retconning that out a bit, but I personally liked it.

Right now, I’m feeling like this has been the best DC movie in their DCEU.  Man of Steel was solid and did a good job of establishing Superman as an outsider trying to find his place in the world.  Batman V. Superman continued that, but tried to do too much in one movie.  Suicide Squad was a fun concept they just did not figure out how to have fun with.  Wonder Woman did a myriad of things and accomplished them effectively.

This is the fourth DCEU movie to come out and by my count the MCU has come out with thirteen movies.  The DCEU had its fourth film centered their top female character and are already planning another centered around Batgirl.  Marvel… I think the upcoming Captain Marvel is the first that will be their first of that nature, so we’re talking film eighteen or nineteen.  Even without a female title character, has the MCU really kept up?  Let’s break it down.

DCEU

Man of Steel:  Lois Lane and Martha Kent.  Essentially they guide Clark on how to be human and do so effectively.  Lois encapsulates this sentiment perfectly at the end of the film when Perry is telling her to show Clark the ropes and she says “Welcome to the Planet.”  The Kryptonian woman seen in the film–Faora-Ul and Lara Lor-Van–while only minor characters at best, are used effectively for the most part in their time on screen.  More so Faora-Ul.

Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.  Lois and Martha continue in much the same role, although Lois does have a more proactive role in searching out the truth of what is unfolding–seen more in the extended version of the film–before having a part in the battle with Doomsday.  Wonder Woman’s presence could have been utilized more, I won’t deny that, but I do think her solo movie has changed my perspective on how that came across.

Suicide Squad:  Ensemble movies are weird.  This movie was weird in that it essentially didn’t know what the hell it wanted to be.  The women?  Enchantress was a fairly generic villain.  Katana was not nearly utilized enough in that she really could have done a lot as a straight character for others to joke off of.  Amanda Waller was kind of uninteresting.  Harley Quinn was someone they did a lot with and effectively so, but seemed afraid to go some of those places with.

MCU

Iron Man:  For the most the Iron Man movies had one primary female lead in Pepper Potts.  Fairly generic love interest.  Black Widow debuted in Iron Man 2, had an effective supporting role.  The potential female villain of Iron Man 3 was kind of a missed opportunity in my mind.

Captain America:  Peggy Carter could have been used more, given more than a handful of episodes of a TV series.  Despite the build up, Sharon Carter really has not become much of anything.  Black Widow played an effective supporting role again.

Avengers:  Black Widow and Maria Hill were the primary female leads here, but there wasn’t really time for them to do much of anything in ensemble movies like this.  The first one did lay out a load of backstory for Black Widow though.  Enough for a movie or two.

Thor:  Jane Foster was a fairly generic love interest.  Sif is barely more than eye candy.  Queen Friggia had a couple of key scenes though.

Guardians of the Galaxy:  Gamora and Nebula provide an interesting subplot, but these movies are really more about Star Lord than anybody.  Gamora really is there to roll her eyes at the rest of the group more often than not.  Mantis was a wasted opportunity and Ayesha was kind of disappointing.

Ant-Man:  I actually liked the way Hope Van Dyne came across.  Glad she’ll get a larger role next time around.

Marvel TV:  Between Agents of SHIELD, Jessica Jones and the Agent Carter series, it feels like Marvel has made more effort with female characters here than with the big screen.

 

Overall, I just think by now we should have had a Black Widow movie.  Fifteen plus movies is kind of ridiculous when the other guys had a female led movie before their fifth one.  So the DCEU hasn’t necessarily done as much as they could have, but Wonder Woman has been a leap ahead.

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