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Review: Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman
05.29.2017
9 10

PLOT: As a young girl, Diana - also known as Princess of the Amazons - wanted to be a warrior and fight for good. Years later, when a young pilot makes a crash landing near the secret island paradise where she and her people live, Diana finds her chance to do good and help save the world from the “war to end all wars.”

REVIEW: There is something special about the big screen origin tale of WONDER WOMAN. This  adaptation has not only given Gal Gadot the chance to truly shine, but also gives fans a fresh  and intoxicatingly magical vision courtesy of director Patty Jenkins. It’s a bold and thrilling adventure that manages to excite, even when the action is not in the forefront. This is part of what makes this long awaited feature film so successful. The quiet moments are sublime. We are given real flesh and blood characters, ones we are rooting for each and every step of the way. It’s not easy to get a room full of critics cheering, but guess what, they certainly did here.

All her life, Diana (Gadot) wanted to fight along with her fellow Amazon warriors. Against her mother Queen Hippolyta's (Connie Nielson) wishes, she takes up training with the fierce General Antiope (Robin Wright). All the training comes in handy when a mysterious pilot named Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) wrecks his plane just offshore escaping from Germans. Unfortunately, Trevor brings the war with him courtesy of several German soldiers. After a stunning beach battle, Diana sets her sights on going back and helping her new found friend fight the war. For Diana, this means destroying the mytholgical Ares, the God of War, who she believes is responsible for the bloodshed going on in the world. Once she gets close to the devestation however, she comes to realize that there is more to the story than she was told.

As good as she was in BVS, Gal Gadot is a revelation here. The actress brings a real sense of innocence and genuine promise, and yes, incredible strength and fight. Gadot brings that and more to the role. She effortlessly gives Diana incredible strength, humor and heart, as well as a fire in her eyes as she heads to battle. Every single element of Wonder Woman is so beautifully captured in her performance. There is so much here that I cannot wait to see how she grows in future adventures. Of course she is stunning to look at, but she is much more than that. If you had any doubts about her pulling off her own film, you can rest assured that she carries the torch perfectly.

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Jenkins - working from a screenplay credited to Allan Heinberg - presents the early years of Diana and the most important influences in her young life. Her mother, Queen Hippolyta, has no desire to train her daughter being the only child left on the island. However, General Antiope is convinced she has something special, knowing that the world outside their safe haven may one day bring the violence of man - or worse - into their serenity. This could have easily been tedious to watch yet another series of training montages, thankfully it is a joy to take in. This early sequence explores just who Diana is, and why she carries this drive to save anyone she can - whether they want it or not.

As impressively handled as the introduction to Diana is, Jenkins takes on the action with ease. There are several impressive moments and she keeps things moving. One sequence in which she marches into a barrage of bullets, right in the line of fire, is just incredible. This is where we really get to see what Diana has in store and it is jaw dropping. For me, this is the moment that Diana truly embraces her heroism. It is fearless. It is awe inspiring. Instead of fully committing to huge special effects, there is a slightly grounded sense of danger involved. Whether the bullets ricochet off of her bracelets, or she uses her golden lasso to force men to tell the truth, the trademarks of Wonder Woman never feel silly or contrived. And when there are laughs, they are certainly intended and earned.

There is a minor issue, one involving the final act. It’s tricky to explain without giving much away, but there is a moment where you think the film may end in a very impactful and unusual way. This involves one the main villains in particular. Now this is not to say the bad guys don’t work, in fact they are all intriguing. Yet, the filmmakers had the chance to do something really surprising. Thankfully, this slight twist didn’t affect my viewing much at all. And frankly, when it comes to pleasing a larger audience, this third act will be an easier sell and have fans cheering.

Much of the humor comes from Gadot’s amazing chemistry with co-star Chris Pine. No stranger to summer blockbusters, Pine is excellent as Steve Trevor. The two actors share a rich and indelibly charming relationship. There is no forced romance, nor does the humor overtake the darker forces that the two must face. It also helps that the dialogue between the two feels very genuine for that period. In many ways they share what could almost be described as something you would have heard Clark Gable and Claudette Colbet share in IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT. Frankly, this may be Pine’s best performance to date.

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There is much to love here; and I didn't even get into the terrific score from Rupert Gregson-Williams, or the scene stealing supporting performance from Lucy Davis. Yet, the most impressive thing about what Jenkins accomplishes is by making this a film for everyone. This is not about gender, but it is one that women and girls are likely to embrace. For many viewers, this is destined to be the best superhero movie of all time - and frankly, it’s very high on my own list. Ultimately WONDER WOMAN brings a powerful voice to the summer blockbuster; one filled with hope, inspiration and more than enough thrills to satisfy everyone.

Source: JoBlo.com

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