Monday, July 3, 2017

Late to the Game - Review: Wonder Woman

Yeah. So I'm going to start off with thoughts on DC heroes. DC Comics (who produce the icons such as Batman, Superman, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern) are really solid at producing iconic, memorable, superheroes. Far better than their Marvel competitors, in my humble opinion.

That said:
  • DC movies don't hold a candle to the Marvel ones.
  • I largely dislike DC heroes.
Mainly, I really dislike Superman and Wonder Woman. I'm down with Batman. Mostly. Aquaman was a childhood favorite, but I mostly think he's a bad joke now. I love Green Lantern in his or her various incarnations, but DC has done a wonderful job muddying that mythology.

In film, the Marvel movies are just more fun than the DC ones. The first two Nolan-directed Batman films were pretty solid. The third was weak, but that's pretty much that. I've seen bits of the Superman films on flights. Enough to personally find them to be crap and not be inspired to finish them. The Green Lantern movie was... yeah... moving on. Batman vs Superman was a crime against cinema. I couldn't get through it far enough to see Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman be introduced.

So imagine my surprise when all the reviews (and several friends) praised the Wonder Woman film.

So today I finally saw it.

Damn that movie was awesome!

Wonder Woman pressed all the right buttons as a film. Solid origin story. Vulnerable-yet-badass hero (heroine?). Solid supporting cast. Good villain. Original setting (World War I). Solid feel. Great mix of humor and action.

Seriously. When they can produce films like this, it really makes me wonder what the fuck Warner Brothers was smoking for the Superman and Superman vs Batman films.

Except for a childhood crush on Lynda Carter's '70's Wonder Woman (from the titular TV series), I've never really cared for Wonder Woman. She's always seemed a bit silly. She flies an invisible jet? She has some kind of magical lasso? She's got a vague background-slash-origin that varies a lot. She's always seemed a bit of a ridiculous character to me.

No longer. This film knocked all the other DC heroes to the wayside and put a tiara of badassness on the brow of a dark-haired immortal heroine who makes Bruce Wayne look like a ridiculous tool and Clark Kent/Kal-El look just plain childish and silly. A crazy man who dresses like a bat and an alien who likes to wear under-roos can't compete with a goddess.

Wonder Woman did a brilliant job defining the character of Diana in her role as a child among seemingly-immortal Amazons. It established a solid mythology and did a great job setting up the antagonist of Ares. Casting Gal Gadot was fantastic. She was the perfect blend of badass while seemingly naive and a bit emotionally-vulnerable. Chris Pine's Steve Trevor was far better than I expected. The rest of the cast of characters were just icing on the cake. And setting the film in WWI was inspired genius!

Gorgeous and clever movie. It only slightly takes a back seat to Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2 in my book. But just slightly.

I'm almost tempted to give the Justice League movie a chance. Almost.

No comments: