Wonder Woman, review: ‘Gal Gadot is a nice contrast to the world weary angst of all the DC boys’
PUBLISHED: 18:10 02 June 2017 | UPDATED: 18:11 02 June 2017
© 2015 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Ratpac-Dune Entertainment LLC
It isn’t any kind of landmark and perhaps it is judged too kindly just because it isn’t monstrously disappointing like the previous DC films
Being a superhero – man’s job innit? But not at Warner Brothers, where the men have so far made a right pig’s ear of trying to emulate the success, and money, of Disney’s Marvel operation; indeed made more of a pig’s ear of it than you might have believed superhumanly possible.
If you gave an infinite number of Jokers, an infinite amount of time and money and resources I doubt they would have come up with an abomination like Batman Vs Superman. So now a woman has had to come charging to their rescue, a woman who, given the company she has had to keep, is something of a wonder.
The problem with the Bros Warner’s approach to creating a DC comic films universe is that the films so far – Man of Steel, BvS, Suicide Squad – have come at us with a sense of entitlement. They’ve been the equivalent of the Tory election campaign – we’ve got Theresa May, that’s all you need to know. In contrast to this air of presumption that Batman, Superman and Joker are effortlessly superior, right from the beginning Marvel have gone out and really made the case for their characters.
Which is a lesson learnt for Wonder Woman, and a lesson that needed to be learnt because WW is a mix of two of Marvel’s more difficult sells – Thor and the first Captain America movie.
As with Thor, she is basically a God. But, while he is of the, comparatively, lesser explored Nordic tradition, she is from the Greek school of Zeus and all that crowd. Maybe it’s just me but, just as with Thor, I find there’s something unseemly about bringing established mythic figures into superhero narratives.
So the opening of the film has us watching Diane grow up on the secret, mist shrouded, island of eternal, but not bullet proof, Amazons where the all female population walk around in garish outfits, tell each other how marvellous they are and learn how to fight.
As someone who can’t stand the Asgard bits in Thor movies I was grateful for the intervention of World War I, in the form of crashed pilot Chris Pine, and a motivation to get her off that island and go save mankind.
What follows probably takes a few too many cues from Captain America: the First Avenger’s WWII storyline, including the formation of a band of brothers to go and work undercover behind enemy lines. (It also seems to imagine the German forces in WWI to be basically the Nazis. I’m no apologists for the Hun, but it seems harsh.)
This is made on a much less grandiose scale than BvS which isn’t a bad thing but the effects look a little cut price in places. The action sequences are smaller too and always consist of quick quick slow airborne martial arts sequences where full speed action is interrupted by bursts of slow motion.
The plot is silly but has a nice mix of lightheartedness and gravitas. There’s a good cast and strong performances. Gal Gadot gives the title character a kind of childlike pout when things aren’t to her approval which works well, and is a nice contrast to the world weary angst of all the DC boys.
The music score, based upon the Wonder Woman theme created for BvS by Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL, is absolutely terrific. The film has a cheerful momentum to it, that means that as it goes along it gradually persuades you to loosen your objections and enjoy it for what it is.
It isn’t any kind of landmark and perhaps it is judged too kindly just because it isn’t monstrously disappointing like the previous DC films, but its a comic book movie whose lighthearted moments seem funny and whose heartfelt moments seem heartfelt, which is surely enough.