Ever since I was kid I’ve always thought the character of Wonder Woman was one of the dullest in the entire lot of DC comics. I mean, when you think about it what is it that makes her so special? You’d be hard pressed to name something that brings her even close to the level of such iconic characters as Batman and Superman. Yes, she has bracelets and armor that can deflect bullets and a lasso that forces you to tell the truth. And, of course, there’s her powerful athletic prowess but other than that there’s honestly not a lot going on there. In the comics she sometimes flies in an invisible airplane. Even that isn’t on display in the new Wonder Woman film, the latest attempt to launch the DC Comics brand name into a viable movie franchise along the lines of the Marvel Comics film adaptations.
And that’s where Wonder Woman, the film, surprised me. For a character that I’ve always cared so little about and honestly found to be so boring for so many years, this is a film that somehow has turned out to be the best of the crop of DC comic films we’ve seen in the last several years. It isn’t perfect and has a few problems but it’s a step in the right direction after such ill-advised misfires as Man of Steel, Suicide Squad and Batman Versus Superman. The filmmakers seem to actually care about making a decent film that viewers may want to return to and that’s definitely a good thing.
The film opens with a scene from the previously mentioned Batman Versus Superman, where this incarnation of Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) first appeared. In flashback we see Diana (as she’s referred to on her home turf) and her idyllic life on a hidden island paradise during the WW I era. We also learn how she was sculpted from clay by her mother and brought to life by the Greek God Zeus. When US soldier/spy Steve Trevor’s (Chris Pine) plane crashes during the dark days of WW I, Diana quickly saves his life. It isn’t long before she leaves her utopian homeland and, after a thirty-minute section detailing her attempts to mold with modern society, gets involved in plans to defeat the Germans.
Like too many of these comic book adaptations, Wonder Woman is too long by about a half hour and contains enough slow motion action sequences that a drinking game could be established each time a character goes slowly by flying through the air. And for a film with a budget as big as this one reportedly had, the special effects look awfully cheesy, more often than not resembling a video game or a well animated cartoon. On the plus side the film has a great sense of humor and Gadot is a good choice for the title character. This may be the best of the DC adaptations but let’s not forget how low the bar was set. Those with an open mind and low expectations may find themselves giving in to Wonder Woman’s charms. Others beware.
Photo: Gal Gadot is Wonder Woman
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