I had a date with a Wonder Woman today. I refer, of course, to my beautiful wife, but we also checked the boys in to Nana Day Care and had a husband and wife date to see the movie Wonder Woman. It was ace because it featured actual hot drinks that were drunk while they were hot, snacks that no one nicked off us and sitting down for more than ten minutes before someone needed a drink/the toilet/a toy finding/misc.
But what of the film, you cry? Or not, I don’t know.
Well. I have been a fan of Wonder Woman since I was a child (my feelings for Lynda Carter became less and less pure* as I got older, I’m slightly ashamed to say) and so I have been looking forward to a Wonder Woman movie for a long time. I was heartened by the fact that Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman was a bright spot in the overlong, over serious and terribly confusing (in so many ways) Batman Vs. Superman. A whole movie, however? Would I enjoy that?
Yes, is the answer. Yes, very much.
Gal Gadot is perfectly cast as WW. Exotic, athletic and yet possessing of a mixture of wide-eyed naiveté and compassionate strength, goodness radiates out of her. The film in general is very well and interestingly cast. Chris Pine is playing the sort of character he can play in his sleep, but still he does it with wit and charm and provides comedy and heroism without stepping on Gal’s toes. Robin Wright is fantastic and gloriously tough and steals much of the beginning of the film. Wonder Woman’s sidekicks are a diverse and interesting bunch, and Lucy Davis as Etta Candy creates a lot of fun in her scenes. More Lucy Davis, please.
The story is rather generic but the performances and the settings help to make the film feel original. The villains are a touch underwritten and bland but the actors do their best to make them more interesting and for the most part succeed. The scenes set in the trenches and towns of Belgium are fantastic and the movie really shines here. The action sequence set in No Man’s Land (featured heavily in the trailers) is a fantastic highlight of the film. The attention to detail is very good (speaking as someone with a very strong interest in The Great War) and I spotted very few errors in the historical sections (apart a sound effect of a trouser zipper which made me grit my teeth slightly). Really, given WW’s PG13/12A rating the war scenes were about as hard-hitting as they could be given the restrictions of the rating.
The opening of the film is perhaps a touch too long but does serve to introduce the characters well, everything at the end resolves in a satisfying way and there were moments where I felt quite emotional, which is always a good sign. (Although I cried at the end of Dragonheart, so perhaps my emotional state is a bit to delicate to really use as a guide!)
So yes. I loved it. A movie and actress worthy of Wonder Woman, the best DC film since The Dark Knight, a superhero film that managed to avoid a lot of the things that make superhero movies feel a bit samey, and an uplifting, enjoyable experience. Is it a bit cheesy to say it was ‘wonderful’?
I suppose so, yeah. But it was, so there.
*Lynda Carter was one of my three great loves as a boy becoming a man, the other two are Kate Bush (the Babushka video) and Madeline Smith (Up Pompeii). I am actually not ashamed, it turns out. An honourable mention also goes to Janet (Blue Peter and mother of Sophie Ellis-Bextor) Ellis.