13 June 2017

Movie Review: Wonder Woman

Hello my fellow book lovers! I'm back. The finals are over, and last night, I went to see Wonder Woman with a bunch of girls from my class. And how can I not share my thoughts on this movie?

Wonder Woman is, of course, the highly anticipated superhero movie set in the DCEU. It was written by Allan Heinberg, directed by Patty Jenkins, and stars Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman and Chris Pine as Captain Steve Trevor.

The movie tells the origin story of Diana Prince, aka Wonder Woman starting from her upbringing in the amazon kingdom of Themyscira, and her going to fight the Germans in World War I. By her side is the rogue spy and soon-to-be love interest, Steve Trevor.

So, did I like it? Yes. Yes, I did.

Sure, the plot is formulaic and, at times predictable; the imagery and the visuals, though stunning, look very familiar from the countless superhero movies I have seen in recent years; the third act is very CGI-heavy, and the main villain is unfortunately bland.

However,

between  this all too familiar plot, and the occasional overuse of CGI, there is a good and heartfelt story that centres around likable and inspiring characters. The strength of any good movie, I think is a strong and coherent story, where you understand the characters motivations and where you can see them grow and evolve. In the end, the visuals will do nothing for your film if you can't tell a good story.

When we first meet Diana, she is a naïve idealist who wants to save the world just because she knows that it's the right thing to do. In a lesser movie, this character motivation would be a cop out, and the main hero would be a bland do-gooder with no emotional depth. But in Wonder Woman, we actually understand why Diana is the way she is, and I personally find her childlike idealism refreshing. Of course, when Diana leaves her home world and sees the war up-close, her idealism is challenged, her faith in humanity is wavered, and the question is, will she lose her faith and become a cynic, or will her optimism and good spirit prevail. Gal Gadot is wonderful in her role. She exudes this childlike charm, and I have to admit that seeing her as the kickass Wonder Woman did feel inspiring and kind of empowering.

As for Chris Pine, I really like him in this movie. Despite playing "a rogue-ish cynical realist who's seen the awful brutish nature of modern civilisation" he injects a lot of warmth and humanity into the mix. Which makes his relationship with Diana all the more endearing. As someone who never really developed a taste for romance, I actually ended up liking their love story a lot. Is it predictable? Sure, but it's how they get there that's interesting. The movie takes time to let these two people get to know each other, and that's why their romance doesn't feel forced.

After having watched Wonder Woman, I get the feeling that both the writer and the director had a clear vision of what kind of movie they wanted to make. Too often today, studios and the creative teams clash, and the end product ends up suffering (not to mention the paying audience). But here, it seems that Jenkins had the creative freedom she needed to make a good movie.

Also, I have to give praise to Jenkins for casting real athletes to play the amazons. It really helps the movie's credibility when the actresses playing the mighty warriors actually look the part.

Well, this was my Wonder Woman experience. I'm really happy that I saw this movie. It was bright, funny, and inspiring.


My IMDB rating: 8 stars

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