Hard to believe that this is the very first movie of this beloved comic character. There was a classic tv series, back in the seventies, but never a proper big screen outing. Except the guest appearance in last years „Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice“.Simply said, welcome Diana, princess of Themyscira, a.k.a. Diana Prince, a.k.a. Wonder Woman.
And what a warm welcome you deserve – after that terrible aftertaste last weeks „Alien Covenant“ left in my movie lovers mouth.
Who greenlit that non-screenplay for that redundant, boring and plain stupid Alien prequel/ sequel?? „Wow, you never really trash movies“, said a friend yesterday. But „Covenant“ deserves it.Back to the newest and fourth movie in the „DC cinematic universe“ series we got. I have to say that I’m a fan of Zack Snyders „Man of Steel“ (the first one in this series), liked his „Batman V. Superman“ (the second one) and didn’t like „Suicide Squad“ (the third one).
„Wonder Woman“ is way more like its „Marvel cinematic universe“ equivalent „Captain America: The first Avenger“ (2011).
It works on its own, establishes characters and places we will see in upcoming movies and is pure rollicking fun. It’s not the second world war, but the first one and yes, there are again German bad guys.
Tis time they don’t refer to their „boss“ as „The Fuehrer“, but as „The Kaiser“.
But the evil guys accents are the same and even Chris Pine has to use undercover that accent in a funny scene. And, as in „The first avenger“, the movie Germans are always a step badder than their historical counterparts. Just like the Red Skull had his H.Y.D.R.A. Division, this bad guy, Ludendorff, played very hammed up by Danny Huston, has his „Doctor Poison“.
I never really liked Gal Gadot in the „Fast & Furious“ series, but I have to say that she’s perfectly cast here. She’s spunky, but innocent and upright at the same time. The movie follows every step of the classic „heroes journey“, a well established and very often used narrative structure, but it never feels „been there, done that“.
We open on Themyscira, a fictitious Greek place and birthplace of Diana. And although Gal looks sweet and partially hot, it’s here mother and her aunt who are the stunners IMHO: Connie Nielsen (who somehow „disappeared“ after „Gladiator“ 17 years ago) plays Hippolyta, the mother of Diana and the wonderful Robin Wright here warrior aunt Antiope. Men, do I was the opening on Themyscira were longer – way longer. Everything with the amazons was great, but those to ladies were „amazing“ – every pun intended.
But then, up from the skies, a plane crashes into the waters of paradise beach. And who’s in it and let’s me forget the wonderful ladies? My man-crush Chris Pine!
He’s wonderful in this movie. Okay, I think he’s wonderful in everything, but he’s the perfect Steve Trevor and – without spoiling anything – I really do hope that we’ll see him somehow back in the DC universe. I always thought that he would be a great Hal Jordan/Green Lantern, but he’s now a part of this DC property. But after watching him in this clothes and in this fedora hat: how about Chris Pine as a new Indiana Jones: PERFECTION 🙂
„Wonder Woman“ is fast paced, but in a good way. Screenwriter Allan Heinberg let’s the story breath in a classic way. The movie doesn’t hit us with multiple frenetic openings like „Suicide Squad“ did, but tells it solidly and traditionally. Maybe Heinbergs upbringing as a TV writer helped him structure this origin story.
Patty Jenkins direction is solid and especially the very well choreographed action scenes are a sight to be seen.
Rupert Gregson-Williams score works fine in the movie, but hasn’t any memorable themes in it. They use the „Wonder Woman“ theme established in „Batman V. Superman“, but the rest sounds too generic and too much like the „Transformers“ scores – none of them composed by Rupert Gregson-Williams. But… it’s the one score I keep listening to the last couple of days.
Only weaknesses of „Wonder Woman“ are: it’s a little bit too long, Ares, the god of war and the main bad guy (I won’t spoil who it is) is too much like „X-Men“s Magneto and… Oh, that’s it. Nothing else. Just good summer popcorn fun. It reminded me very often of „Raiders of the lost Ark“, „The Rocketeer“ and „The Mummy Returns“ – good stuff to be reminded of“!
Can’t wait to see Diana back in action again – this November in „Justice League“!
P.S. Wonder Woman is related to another big „shared universe“: the „Greek Mythology shared universe“. That’s the place were Hercules and Jason and Perseus had their own adventures and met up with dozens of other heroes to master bad guys and monsters. The very first „shared universe“! (So good, that the Romans had to copy it one-to-one)