Wonder Woman review (3 of 4)
by Manuel Reynoso
Wonder Woman is a 2017 American superhero film based on the DC Comics character of the same name, distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. The film is directed by Patty Jenkins, with a screenplay by Allan Heinberg and a story by Heinberg, Zack Snyder, and Jason Fuchs, and starring Gal Gadot and Chris Pine.
The summer blockbusters continue to roll out, and I continue being unimpressed. The same jokes, the same explosions, and the same juiced up male heroes. But seeing a successful superhero movie featuring a woman superhero, directed by an accomplished woman director, now that definitely peaks my interest. Patty Jenkins really hit a homerun in comparison to the last, abysmal superhero movies coming out of Warner Brothers. While I do believe there were some missteps along the way, Wonder Woman had fantastic acting, strong visuals, and stellar directing.
I really feel the need to express Patty Jenkins’s role in making Wonder Woman into the success that it is. Big Hollywood blockbusters are still primarily directed by male directors, with a male audience in mind. Time and time again do you see actress’s hip dominate the screen more so than anything else. But Patty did a fantastic job of having Wonder Woman dominate the screen without the use of over sexualization. Outside that, Patty’s directorial style seems to be very effective at creating and maintaining a set tone for the movie, and tying that in with the films visuals to complement that.
Patty heavily relied on slow motion to create striking visuals throughout the film. This created great scenes that felt like they were ripped straight from a comic book, but admittedly they can be a little hit and miss. But don’t fret, it’s definitely a lot more satisfy than it is distracting. Also like any high budget blockbusters, the film looked great. The set pieces were intricate, the costume design immaculate, and special effects were solid.
I know I’m starting to feel like a broken record, but the screenplay was definitely where Wonder Woman lacks. Way too much screen time early in the movie is spent with bad jokes as opposed to any form of character development. Characters are two dimensional, which absolutely betrays the great acting prowess of Chris Pine and Gal Gadot. It’s really just another typical hero’s journey tale with a unneeded romantic subplot.
However, the biggest missed opportunity of Wonder Woman was how much Wonder Woman herself lacks agency. I see plenty of headliners proclaiming Wonder Woman as a kick butt, strong woman character, but I honestly don’t see it. Too often does she take the passenger seat in her own story to Steve. It’s too bad, but I can’t help but feel that Hollywood still didn’t want to have a truly strong woman character with her own agency. Whether you consider this a nit-pick or a serious issue, Wonder Woman was at least engaging and fun to watch. Hopefully Patty Jenkins can get more work directing in Hollywood. She deserves it. PG13 2h 21m