I missed this film at the cinema but as it was now available for rent I decided it was time to catch up with it.
And…I didn’t think it was that great. It was undoubtedly better than any of the other DC shared universe films so far. Also, Gal Gadot played the role convincingly but…it was overlong for the story it had to tell. In addition, the bad guys had no personalities and the action sequences became repetitive. The ultimate motivation of the big-bad made him seem incompetent (World War 1 was horrific but didn’t limit human population growth much) but at that point, I’m being nit-picky.
Like other recent DC films there were many good set-pieces – the battle on the beach of Themiscryra, in particular, was very well done. It also managed more humour and I thought the section set in London was the most successful part of the film. Likewise, by having a stronger focus on personal relationships than the other DC films (except, arguably Suicide Squad) the film felt less cold and war scenes carried more risk – not much risk for Wonder Woman obviously but there were characters who you didn’t want to die.
Consider that the film is twenty minutes longer than Captain America: The First Avenger the other superhero film it most closely resembles and yet manages to do less in that time in establishing characters. The problem seems to be what it has in common with the other DC films: too long, a focus on set pieces rather than the whole film, and a lack of humour and warmth. To be fair Wonder Woman had more of the latter but I felt frustrated that what we got showed the potential for a much better movie.
Gal Gadot though completely owns Wonder Woman as a character. I think this already clear in Batman v Superman but in her own movie, it is indisputable. The flaws the film has are not in its central performance which Gadot manages with aplomb. She is convincing in all aspects of the character in a way that redefines it.
Overall good, but not great. Hopefully Patty Jenkins will be given more freedom to take the sequel beyond the limits of the current house style for DC films.