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WONDER WOMAN

★★★

SUPERHERO ORIGIN STORY WITHOUT THE WONDER

THEATRICAL REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Jess Fenton
30th May 2017

There are only so many Batman and Superman movies one can make, and even fewer one can bear to watch. Last year, In an effort to spearhead ‘Justice League’, DC matched up frenemies Batman and Superman in a woeful tale of two guys who go from beating the snot out of each other to BFFs all because their mums have the same first name. Boy oh boy, it was bad. However, there was one shining light in that cinematic kerfuffle, and her name was Diana - AKA Wonder Woman. Yes, the lady with the golden lasso has finally got what she deserves: a chance to dominate the big screen.

A young Princess Diana grows up wanting nothing more than to be a powerful Amazon like her mother, aunt and the women around her. But her overprotective mother, Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen, 'Gladiator', TV's 'The Following') has other ideas. Alas, nature finds a way and Diana (Gal Gadot, 'Keeping Up with the Joneses', 'Triple 9') grows up to be the best of them all. When American soldier Steve Trevor (Chris Pine, ‘Star Trek’ franchise), a spy for British intelligence, crash-lands into their secret paradise island of Themyscira, he inadvertently brings war to them, leading to a battle on the beach of Amazonians versus the Germans. Hearing of a war raging the world, a world they were sworn to protect, Diana sets off with Steve to confront Ares (the God of War) and bring it all to an end. Of course Steve thinks she’s crazy, but brings her along nonetheless. With a small group of mercenaries, Steve and Diana head to the warfront to stop a radical group of Germans from dropping a deadly gas on both sides. Their journey leading Diana to find her heart, purpose and true destiny.

'WONDER WOMAN' FINAL TRAILER

Let’s face it - origin stories are always the best of the bunch, so despite our less-than-stellar introduction to big screen Wonder Woman, this outing already has a foot up. Then there’s the impossibly perfect casting of Miss Israel herself, Gal Gadot. This woman is Wonder Woman. She’s fierce yet vulnerable, strong, charming and ridiculously beautiful. I mean, have you seen her?!

So, ‘Wonder Woman’ starts strong. You’ve got a new world, legend and intrigue which, with the introduction of Steve Trevor and WWI, becomes an endearing fish (or superhero) out of water tale complete with humour and a love interest. No wait - that was ‘Captain America’. JK, they’re practically the same movie, and since Diana mysteriously stops ageing bringing her to modern times and Marvel’s Captain Steve Rogers was frozen bringing him into the 21st century... Where are I going with this? Ah yes, have you ever seen Captain America and Wonder Woman in the same room at the same time? I’m just sayin'. Sorry, I’ll get back on track now. ‘Wonder Woman’ is set in 1918 war-torn Europe. To say that the “weight” of war is a little lacking is an understatement. Yes, this is a comic book movie, but so was ‘Captain America’, and they managed to respect the period while still keeping their agenda. I will give ‘Wonder Woman’ this – with a little BTS knowledge about our leading lady, watching a Jewish woman storm headstrong into no man’s land and absolutely smash a whole mess of Germans is just a little bit awesome. Again, just sayin'.

And then the climax happens, which suffers the same syndrome and fate as its ‘Batman v Superman’ counterpart – weak, overblown SFX and too jarring.

‘Wonder Woman’ moves along nicely for about three-quarters of the film, better than can be expected yet never mind-blowing. And then the climax happens, which suffers the same syndrome as its ‘Batman vs Superman’ counterpart – weak, overblown SFX and too jarring. I realise that this fight sequence is why we’re all here, but the entire film leading up to this point has been something else, something better, something more human and natural. The film also manifests an overwrought love story and then shoves it down your throat in about 30 seconds. Argh, it’s such a disjointed mess. Dear DC, we want better. We deserve better. We need better from you. Your fans aren’t going anywhere. We’ll always hold out hope, but one of these days you’re going to have to bloody deliver.

FAST FACTS
RELEASE DATE: 01/06/2017
RUN TIME: 2h 21m
CAST: Gal Gadot
Chris Pine
Connie Nielsen
Robin Wright
Danny Huston
David Thewlis
Elena Anaya
Lucy Davis
Ewen Bremner
Saïd Taghmaoui
DIRECTOR: Patty Jenkins
WRITERS: Allan Heinberg
Geoff Johns
PRODUCERS: Charles Roven
Deborah Snyder
Zack Snyder
Richard Suckle
SCORE: Hans Zimmer
www.wonderwomanmovie.com.au
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MINI-REVIEW
By Jake Watt, 6 June 2017
★★
Watching ‘Wonder Woman’, you get the impression that someone cynically compiled the “best bits” of the war elements from ‘Captain American: The First Avenger’ and smooshed them together with all the supernatural and fish-out-of-water bits from the first ‘Thor’. Even the directing is unoriginal... the slo-mo and washed-out colour palette are straight from Zack Snyder’s DC Comics house-style. Huge chunks of this film feel very, very familiar and that effectively kills any suspense or excitement.

Compared to previous Warner Bros / DC products, 'Wonder Woman' is competently edited, modestly scored, tries less hard to be edgy and, overall, feels like a complete film. It is also genuinely refreshing to watch a female superhero knocking small armies of dudes aside like something from the video game 'Dynasty Warriors'. This does not make it a great film, however, it just means that the cinematic bar it stepped over (‘Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice’, ‘Suicide Squad’, ‘Elektra’ and ‘Catwoman’) has been set ludicrously low.

This film will make squillions of dollars because people are enticed by a female director doing an adequate job on arguably the world’s most iconic female comic book character. But supporting this dull cut’n’paste compilation of a film feels more like a necessary evil in order to ensure a good female superhero (or simply big budget) film is eventually made by female creators.

Doesn’t Wonder Woman deserve more than mere competency?

By Charliedavid Page, 6 June 2017
★★★
Superhero films - regardless of their Marvel or DC allegiance - are quickly becoming homogenous. While I'm glad to report this is the best comic book adaptation of the current DC stable and overall this year, that's not a particularly high threshold. Every pro came with its con - Gal Gadot was balanced out by cheesy dialog, some decent visual effects were cut down to size by an unnecessarily desaturated tone, and the vague amount of humour and pathos was cancelled out by the under-utilised and unbelievable sidekicks. In the end, this makes for an average film - enjoyable, but forgettable. I was never particularly excited by a 'Justice League' movie, and I can't say 'Wonder Woman' makes me want to see it any more.
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