Jeff's Reviews

Thoughts on every movie I've ever seen.

Wonder Woman (2017)

Directed by Patty Jenkins

Starring Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Connie Nielsen, Robin Wright

Author

The relatively inexperienced Patty Jenkins takes on a huge project and does great. As Zack Snyder’s visually masturbatory direction threatens to cheapen the DC universe, Jenkins’ more traditional direction and storytelling allows for good character development while still remaining faithful to the Snyder look and feel.

People and places are a little confusing to those who might be unfamiliar with the mythology. These Amazon women are NOT from the rainforests of South America but from an island near Greece, where a mythical tribe of women warriors live and endlessly train for war. I like how all the women imitated her Israeli English accent. Certainly helps make the Amazon tribe seem more cohesive. Overall, they’ve distilled a lot of the comic and cartoon and TV show mythology to its most bad-ass elements and kept most of the goofy stuff out.

Most female action stars are either a) beautiful and feminine and awkward or b) athletic and tough and unattractive. Gadot walks this line perfectly, mixing equal parts of femininity and kick-ass to create a character who is beautiful and tough and believable. Her face is exquisite, and she shows it off with confidence. Her smile is dazzling, and her distinct expressions for “rage”, “OMG”, and “determined” are all adorable and effective. And she’s tough, too. I would guess that Israeli military training set her on the right path and further training for the movie added the final touches. Yes, a lot of Gadot’s scenes use stunt doubles and CGI, but Gadot maintains a nice, aggressive energy throughout the movie. Pine is OK, but the easy sex jokes get a bit annoying. A Lynda Carter cameo would have been perfect.

Some of the action scenes are cheapened by imperfect wire acrobatics, and some of the CGI is a bit heavy-handed, but thankfully, we’re nowhere near Zack Snyder levels of fake. Overall, the action is fun and well-shot. The island training and battle sequences feature some real athleticism. While the shot of Diana raging through the flames to massacre German soldiers was beautiful and powerful, her climactic fight with Ares was a bit goofy. Wonder Woman can fly, apparently? And strike Jesus poses in mid-air.

Really great job on the score by Gregson-Williams. The muted electric guitar builds over the course of the movie, eventually revealing the full motif and joining an overture of horns. Good stuff.

I bet feminists have a field day with this one.

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