As the movie enters its second weekend, projections say that WONDER WOMAN is going to conquer all other films for a second week. And it absolutely should.
The fourth movie in the new DC Comics Extended Universe, Wonder Woman is easily the best so far, though that isn’t really a high bar to have to leap over. Regardless, the film soars high, with a script that is both hard-hitting and humorous. Despite all the fighting, the movie has a warmth that has been largely absent from the recent slate of DC Comics movie adaptations.
In fact, I think this is the movie that Warner Bros. should have used to kick off the DCEU, and not Man of Steel. It would have set a much better tone and hopefully forced the production to raise the level of the subsequent movies.
Wonder Woman is the origin of Diana (Gal Gadot), princess of the Amazon island of Themyscira, who travels to man’s world when Capt. Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) crash lands on the island and tells the Amazons of the “War to End All Wars,” World War I. Diana, convinced the Great War is the doing of Ares, the God of War, becomes determined to go back to “Man’s World” with Trevor and take down what she believes is the cause of the war.
Trevor takes Diana back to Europe, puts together a team (first seen in a photo in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice) and heads to the front so Diana can complete her mission. A good chunk of the film is devoted to “fish out of water” devices, with Trevor needing to explain to Diana the ways of the world and keep her from pulling out her sword in the middle of London streets.
Gadot and Pine have great chemistry on screen, and the moments when they interact one-on-one were ridiculously charming. I also enjoyed Lucy Davis’ turn as Etta Candy, Trevor’s secretary who assists in bringing Diana up to speed.
Diana spends the movie focused on confronting Ares and defeating the God of War to end World War I. Because of her alliance with American Steve Trevor, she assumes that Ares is serving on the side of the Germans. The swerve that follows when Diana kills the German commander is fairly predictable, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t done well, and the final act, featuring Wonder Woman’s battle with Ares, is so well done. With a little sacrifice from her allies, Diana defeats her foe.
That’s not really a spoiler, is it? I mean, the movie is called Wonder Woman, of course Diana was going to win the day.
Wonder Woman brought in $100.5 million domestically in its opening weekend, the largest take ever for a female director, and it probably means a big payday for director Patty Jenkins. Hopefully Warner Bros. does the right thing and locks her down as the director for whatever sequel they decide on for the future, because Jenkins’ direction along side Allen Heinberg’s screenplay made a magical movie that was better than many could have hoped for.
The film talks a lot about hope, and Wonder Woman gives me hope that Warner Bros. actually can continue to release quality superhero movies.