After lacklustre efforts of Batman VS Superman and Suicide Squad, DC Entertainment return for their third attempt at getting their superhero formula right with Wonder Woman. Thankfully, where the previous titles fail Wonder Woman shines in a superhero story that ticks all the boxes you’d expect from this genre, whilst never doing anything that really sets it apart from the multiple other superhero stories.
Acting as an origin film, Diana (Gal Gadot) is a woman raised among Amazon women to be the greatest fighter of all time. When pilot Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) crash lands on the island they inhabit in secret, she learns of the world war ravaging the planet outside the confines of the island and sets out to stop the war to end all wars. Along the way she learns how to harness her true potential while learning the value of humanity in the process. As an origin story its good, hitting all the familiar beats you’d expect but it never quite feels like it does anything particularly outstanding. Yes, this is the best female superhero film by a long shot, yes this is DC’s best work so far but in terms of longevity it feels lost among other films in the genre that do this better and with more flair.
When it comes to Wonder Woman herself, Gal Gadot nails the role. With a combination of charisma, wonder and strength, her portrayal of the female superhero is outstanding. Going into this there were doubts she’d be able to pull off the heroine and with DC’s track record concerns were high but she destroys that completely within the opening half hour. If there’s one shining light in this film its her. There are times where she shows a more vulnerable side to her character too which is written perfectly and helps to really flesh out her persona and makes her more human. The supporting cast are good too, albeit forgettable in the shadow of Wonder Woman, and do a good job of authenticating the time period.
The action is the main draw as you’d expect here and visually, the film is excellent. Despite an over reliance on slow-motion action shots, the film is choreographed well and portrays the trademark weapons and moves of the heroine in spectacular fashion. Whether it be her whip, sword or her shield, each are used to good effect to showcase the heroine and her strength and most importantly, not overused. Right up until the final frame, the action depicted here is really good and arguably some of the best DC have crafted in their films.
Despite the brilliance of Wonder Woman and the care put into crafting her origin story, its such a shame that it never quite feels like anything other than a good superhero film. Its not as intelligent as Logan nor is it as funny as Guardians Of The Galaxy but its not as poor as Suicide Squad or Green Lantern either. What we get then is a film that falls neatly in the middle of the superhero spectrum, delivering a good, safe action film whilst not standing out from other titles.
Overall then, Wonder Woman isn’t the best superhero film you’ll see this year but its certainly a good watch and worth your time and money. You can easily go into this without knowing anything about the heroine and have a great time and this is partly due to Gal Gadot, who does a fantastic job of portraying the heroine with a combination of strength and humanity. With good action and a passable story, DC finally nail the formula for their superhero stories while not trying anything out the box and that bodes very well indeed for the future of this franchise.