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It's a brand-new month and you know what that means right? Yes, another super hero movie to kick off the summer blockbuster season. This time it isn't Marvel cranking out the comic book, cinematic feature, but their rivals DC studios. With its recent shaky track record, the DC cinematic universe hasn't gotten the best publicity in terms of quality. So, the studio has decided to get the leading lady herself to pave the way. Yes, today's review is on Wonder Woman starring Gal Gadot and Chris Pine. Can this movie break the bad luck streak of DC/WB studios? Robbie K here to share some opinions on the matter, so let's get started, shall we?
1. Gal Gadot is incredible and steals the show with her poise, pizazz, and acting talents. A fantastic casting direction that really brings the woman to wonder to life in beauty, ferocity, and bouts of heroism (a.k.a. kicking bad guy butt). Acting, stunts, and an on-point delivery of her lines makes this actress one of the tops in my book!
2. The action is on point (for most of the movie) filled with impressive displays of weaponry, martial arts, and historical warfare. Wonder Woman's battles held such emotion, managing to bring the suspense all while delivering that feel good, post battle high, you might have gotten from reading a comic book. The team brings some fast-paced thrills we have wanted for almost a year and a half.
3. A good representation for girls. I may have already said this, but this movie targets a wide variety of audience members in some form or manner. Yet this reviewer has to give props for the design of a character that is certainly worthy of representing the female super heroes and inspiring the female population that they certainly can do anything.
4. Comedic timing: It's not going to be a super hero movie (at least in this day and age) without some laughs to break up the tension. Wonder Woman continues this trend, filling the void with well-timed one-liners, a few awkward encounters that often deal with sex, and some slap-stick gimmicks that do the job well.
5. Character Development: I know most super hero movies have this element, but there is something about Wonder Woman that stood out to me. This film managed to spin Diana's character development into a roller coaster ride of feelings that almost made me tear up. Her journey to discovering herself and her role into this new world was poetically portrayed, using multiple angles to get the job done. It could have also been due to the powerful soundtrack, the visual effects, or maybe Gadot's acting, but it really worked for me.
6. Fast Pace: We all know those movies that drag (and yes, I'm talking much of DC's library). Not the case for this film. The nearly 150-minute run time flew by for much of the movie having me at one point saying, "Dang, it's already been 90 minutes." Not something I often say.
1. Unoriginality: You'll find that Wonder Woman shares a lot with Captain America: First Avenger. The set-up, setting, and build up almost matching outside of the weapon of choice and martial arts moves. Certainly, not the biggest limitation, but something that others have been bothered by.
2. Almost pointless crew: The crew that joins Diana held such promise in the picture, but it was dropped so hard in this movie. Outside of Chris Pine, the other members do little for the overall mission outside of a few throws, some "tracking" and mainly comedic relief. There were hints at character development and deeper dynamics, but they fizzled out faster than sparkler at 4th of July. I know, this movie is about Wonder Woman, but why even include these guys if that was the goal.
3. Preachy: Some reviews state the whole feminism/males are pigs is overdone, and to an extent I agree. Yet the bigger dislike was the preachy monologues that sometimes plagued this film. A few times the heat of the moment was lost in a display of self-reflection, which is great, but not in the midst of a battlefield. Some of these moments also had that eye-rolling factor for me.
4. Overuse of CGI: I like special effects, I like stunts, but I don't like overuse of a gimmick. The slow-motion interludes during the action scenes added some cool emphasis to Wonder Woman's skills (alongside some cool finishing moves). Somewhere along the production, someone got a little trigger happy with the effect and used a little too much for me, and soon started disrupting the cool stunts they had Gal do. In addition, there were some special effects that were a bit cheesy and took the edge off of Wonder Woman. Learn from Michael Bay people, too much of special effects makes for many jokes.
5. The ending: Don't turn away, hear me out. The ending is great on many levels (emotional, prowess, role model, and morals). However, it lost the momentum the first few fights had with them, trading suspense for flashy special effects, drawn out banter, and unimpressive choreography. Sort of felt like the ending to X-men apocalypse where the bad guys bark was worse than his bite.
Wonder Woman delivers on many levels and breaks the mediocre displays that DC has cranked out over the last year. It's emotional, it's dynamic, it's fun, and it provides a solid role model for admirable heroes. I feel the movie met most of my expectations and I was happy with the overall product. It's far from perfect though, and still has a few things to tighten up (like developing other characters, balancing the CGI use, and keeping the momentum going). Still, I have to recommend this one for a theater visit, especially you comic lovers out there.
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