Damn. I really wanted to love Wonder Woman and at times I did. Overall though, the film relies too heavily on tried and tested tropes to get us to a CGI reliant climax that left me feeling cold, instead of warm and fuzzy.
We first meet Princess Diana as she is sneaking a peek at her clan of Amazonian Goddess Warriors as they go through their paces on a beachfront boot camp.
It is the kind of scene I would want my nine year old daughter to see to encourage her to keep up her martial arts. These women are fierce, fit and completely self sufficient.
The Island Paradise inhabitants might well prepare themselves for battle, because as Diana matures into the tribe’s most powerful warrior (against her mother’s wishes) an intruder crashes into their world, bringing with him the might of the German Army and the horrors of the First World War.
Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor is a perfect foil to Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman. He is a spy, “better than average” in his own words, and able to play second fiddle to allow Gadot’s character to shine.
After all that is what we are here for – A Wonder Woman Movie. And Wonder Woman – the character played by Gal Gadot – is wonderful, the film she is in less so. Her presence is a solid reminder of how she really was the best thing about BvS, and I would happily tune into her next adventure.
As far as Patty Jenkins direction, I don’t think there is a single scene with extras that didn’t look like they had no idea what they were supposed to be doing. A small point perhaps, but a factor that grows increasingly distracting as you realise the entire film is just another chapter in a flailing franchise that desperately needed some good news.
Clearly that news has been delivered with positive reviews and strong box office returns as the film opened around the world. Interestingly I found that several of my fellow Australian film reviewers (Stephen Romei in The Australian, Leigh Paatsch in the Herald Sun, and Luke Buckmaster in Crikey) felt the same way as myself, and I can only surmise that every (DC) superhero film we watch is measured against the genius of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy, and perhaps we need to accept things are never going to be that good again.
2 & 1/2 Stars. Somewhat Lacking