“Slightly above average” – Wonder Woman Review

Difficult to buy Claire Underwood as an Amazonian. Even with her limited screen time.

Wonder Woman marks the first ever solo outing of the beloved DC character. It’s been a long time coming. Gal Gadot helms the mantel of the titular character, reprising her role from Batman V Superman : Dawn of Justice – a movie that led many movie-goers, including me, to believe that even after the inclusion of the A-listers of DC, the DCEU just wasn’t going to deliver. Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel had failed in getting Superman right. Don’t even know what Suicide Squad was.

Thankfully, Wonder Woman rose above all that.

The movie is set against the backdrop of World War 1, with the inclusion of some fantasy elements – Greek gods and the like. While battle scenes occupy a great deal of reel, the focus here is on the protagonist. Gal plays the part nailing every aspect of her performance – the fish out of the water, the naive outsider introduced to the real world. It is her earnest beliefs, her drive to fight for the helpless and her resolve to defeat the perpetrators of evil that stay with you. Getting the character’s characteristics right is what this film does well. There’s emotional turmoil, stakes, humour and plenty of action sequences. Chris Pine as Steve Trevor is a perfect complement. He balances out the warrior princess’s fighting prowess with practicality. The storyline is pretty straightforward, echoing Captain America : The First Avenger in terms of feel without being too resembling.

This DCEU tent pole had a lot riding on it. The franchise needed a win which WW provides. Not without faults. Hearing a lot of critical acclaim about a huge summer blockbuster raises expectations unrealistically. Those are rarely met. Holds true in this case. Wonder Woman, while being a solidly crafted and a fully realised project, doesn’t hold up in a lot of technical aspects. The storyline strides briskly, which is not an issue. It’s the scenes and sequences in them that feel improperly edited. The Amazonian paradise segment is disappointingly downsized, only the bare necessities are depicted. Ample opportunities for a bit of family drama arise but are quickly resolved and done away with. Prolonged use of slow-motion shots is unnecessary. Overuse them enough and it steals the thunder right out of the sequences where it is needed the most. Dialogues come off as unnatural during many of the exposition-heavy sequences – two areas this film needed to work on more.

Lastly, I’m not sure what to feel about the accents. Amazonian or German, someone went very wrong somewhere.

WB and DC can finally breathe a sigh of relief. Wonder Woman rises above its peers in the DCEU by giving the world a worthy adaptation of the “sculpted-from-clay-brought-to-life-by-Zeus” demigoddess. It works. Its fun. Its got heart and sincerity. Don’t expect critical film-making here, just another blockbuster.

Rating : 3/5

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