For Reel

Wonder Woman (2017)
August 10, 2017, 3:33 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Patty Jenkins
4 Stars
Wonder Woman.jpgAlthough Wonder Woman‘s final act spectacle is a familiar hodgepodge of comic book movie pitfalls (lame villains, unintelligible action sequences, and distancing CGI), the film is otherwise pleasantly resistant to blockbuster trends. Screenwriter Allan Heinberg and director Patty Jenkins don’t so much stretch to reinvent Wonder Woman for the modern age, but rather explore just what it is that makes the material unique. When the film places Diana (Gal Gadot) in 1918 London, the film both services the weight of human suffering and engages in genuinely satisfying screwball comedy moments. That is, unlike the dour Batman films, Jenkins treats the material with a heavy sincerity while simultaneously recognizing the value of levity in character interactions. Diana and pilot Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) both come alive as characters during their sexy banter and the confrontation of their opposing ideologies. If Diana’s personality is wrought as rigid, the contrast between her optimism in human goodness and Trevor’s recognition of wartime reality is what leads to the film’s most interesting bits of characterization—their love comes from not only their sexual interest in each other, but the fact that they’ve literally influenced the other to see the world through new eyes. Had Doctor Poison (Elena Anaya) remained the primary antagonist, the film would have better explored the impersonal violence of the modern age, but for what it is, the film is a pleasing romance that intelligently considers the implacability of evil.

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