Comic Book Brain
Wonder Woman - 2017
Wonder Woman, released June 2, 2017. Directed by Patty Jenkins
The Gal Gadot and Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman is now out on home video, and the film suffers a bit from reduction of the CGI work to a smaller format, which is not unusual with hero films from DC and Marvel. Jenkins' story line doesn't try anything fancy or attempt any end-runs around plot structure (like Suicide Squad) but just plows ahead, step-by-step, clearly telling how the virtuous and noble Diana Prince goes from inhabitant of Themyscira island, gets drawn into "man's world" where it is World War One, and with Chris Pine (Steve Trevor) as guide, comes to defeat both German soldiers and a threat from the old world of ancient Greek gods.
Part of the film's fun is having the literal and flawless Diana (she is something of a Christ figure in the tale, innocent and pure and bred as a sacrifice) touring through human society and encountering the good (ice cream and babies) and the bad (duplicity). We see that duplicity can cut both ways (on her home island a core teaching given to her turns out to be not entirely accurate, and places her into extreme danger), she also discovers the too often craven behavior of humanity also has a heroic side.
Chris Pine and Galdot work out together in a warm, funny way, and though the romance is more or less predictable, the ability of the duo to give it a slight screwball comedy edge is an added dimension. Director Jenkins has Pine and Gadot deftly modulate back and forth from the lightness into the drama, and on the whole the movie is probably DC's best packaged superhero film since Chris Nolan retired out of making Dark Knight movies.
The stunt work from the whole cast of Wonder Woman is first rate, though if you don't care for slo-mo there is some tediousness. But the Amazon battle against German troops starts the film off with a compact epic sense of war, and this continues with later battlefield scenes with trench fighting and the big battle against the supervillain.
David Thewlis (Sir Patric) is very good, as is Elena Anaya as Dr. Maru, and one wishes the script had given them both more time (and more depth for Anaya's role).
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