Wonder Woman: solid, yet safe, DC entry

Wonder Woman: solid, yet safe, DC entry

Amanda Roth

Chris DiLullo, Sports Editor

Wonder Woman, the fourth film in the DC Comics Extended Universe behind the likes of Suicide Squad and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, was released in theaters across the nation June 2. Starring Gal Gadot as the iconic figure and Chris Pine of Star Trek fame as Steve Trevor, the film opened to wide critical praise.

As a film and comic book fan, I was eager to see this new DC Comics film. I loved Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman, and although I disliked Suicide Squad, I felt that I would enjoy Wonder Woman given my positive track record with DC Comics. Ultimately, I did, just not to the degree I wanted.

My major complaint is that the film is safe. It doesn’t really do anything new with the character and doesn’t take any real risks. The film universe it resides in has a track record of being divisive and Wonder Woman’s role was to change that reputation. Movies like Batman v. Superman are divisive because they tried to do something different; not everyone is going to like that. Mostly everyone will like Wonder Woman because it’s familiar and does things people already like.

Of course, there are things that are great about the film. The action and set pieces within the movie are entertaining and innovative. With a character that has never really been put to film, director Patty Jenkins was allowed to explore and make the character her own. Using the variety of magical weapons that the character has at her display, Jenkins makes the action fun and jaw-dropping at times. There are some scenes that legitimately gave me chills.

However, how Jenkins portrays the action is ultimately not very different from how the film universe’s head, Zack Snyder, does. The set pieces are entertaining and the way the character fights is innovative, but the scenes don’t really feel distinctly shot by Jenkins, which is disappointing. The way these scenes are portrayed is entertaining and interesting at first but becomes tiresome by the end.

Another positive for Wonder Woman is its writing. Scripts are not usually thought of as highlights of comic book movies, yet Wonder Woman bucks the trend. Creative and witty dialogue introduces a new tone for the notoriously somber DC universe and character development is logical and smart, with characters making decisions and judgements based on how we know them and not simply for the sake of advancing the plot.

Gadot and Pine also are highlights, delivering winning performances that drive the movie and give it a likeable quality. Both are charming and their chemistry makes the character interactions feel real. The supporting characters are also entertaining and, despite being given small amounts of background information, feel developed and not forced.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the villains. The movie’s World War I setting gives it a crutch, as it is able to proclaim the villains to be evil simply because they are Germans. There are also several villainous acts and reveals that don’t make a great deal of sense and feel forced for the sake of the story. They extend the movie, which feels slightly too long at two hours and 21 minutes and simply seem illogical upon reflection.

Wonder Woman, despite its flaws, is still a summer flick that is fun and should be appreciated, as it is the first modern female-led comic book movie directed by a woman. All audiences should go and support it simply to promote diversity within Hollywood and to get more female-led movies and more films directed by women. Unfortunately, the film isn’t as good as I had hoped it would be and while it is solid, it doesn’t quite live up to predecessors like Man of Steel or Batman v. Superman.