The numerous and varied action sequences were easily the highlight of the movie, and of 2017 so far. Diana’s abilities were doled out slowly, in interesting situations that made the most of her talents to solve problems. The action built naturally as the stakes continued to raise. There were many memorable moments I’d love to check out again that I won’t spoil here.
Although the film frequently cut away to what appears to be a stunt double, Gadot still looked fierce and believable as the warrior princess.
Her line delivery was inconsistent yes, but I still loved her portrayal. Gadot infused her Diana with strength, intelligence, curiosity, and a naivety that melted away when confronted by the stark reality of modern civilization.
What she couldn’t always portray with words, she more than made up for with emotive facial expressions and body language. She demanded attention and looked at ease carrying one of the biggest films of the year.
The backstory sets up Diana’s fighting spirit and the push and pull between her mother and aunt. It even handles the ‘born from clay’ lore smoothly in a way that comes off believable and humorous as Diana and Steve Trevor’s worlds collide.
The time taken to setup the main characters, especially the quieter moments, resulted in bigger payoffs later on. Movie-making 101 of course, but this is unfortunately not seen often enough in big-budget action films.
Gender politics didn’t take over
We’ve heard the stats about how Patty Jenkins is only the second female director to helm a live-action $100 million project. Couple that with the lackluster female-starring superhero movies of the past (Catwoman, Elektra) and Wonder Woman becomes a landmark project. Fortunately, Wonder Woman forgot about the politics and simply focused on being the best film it could, regardless of gender.
It was fantastic to see Gadot and Jenkins representing women, but they were most importantly a Director and Actor before anything else.
After the darkly and muted palettes of previous DCEU movies, it was refreshing to see bright color again! Themyscira’s paradise popped, Diana’s hardware gleamed, the action was lit well enough to see what was happening, and even the London segment had life in the dreariness.
The traditional third act action scene was shot in the usual Zack Snyder darkness, but Jenkins still kept the action coherent and overall created a beautiful looking film.
Wonder Woman Characterization
Batman vs Superman caught a lot of criticism for mishandling the personalities of the two leads. Batman and Superman have always sacrificed themselves to uphold justice and protect as many lives as possible, but in Snyder’s world, they’re turned into gun-toting murderers. Superman even resents saving people!
Wonder Woman felt true to her comic roots, and felt more Superman than the last Superman.
Action movies aren’t usually known for character arcs but WW did quite well in this area. Diana started the film with an intriguing mix of optimism, ambition, and a sense of being on the outside of her own people. She grew to strike out on her own in order to find herself. Meeting the rest of mankind and experiencing modern civilization added depth to her view on the world and society. She eventually carved her own place in the world where she belonged.
Those were my favorite elements, how about yours?