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The Dose: ‘Wonder Woman’ is DC’s best film in years

The Dose: ‘Wonder Woman’ is DC’s best film in years

The Dose: ‘Wonder Woman’ is DC’s best film in years
June 03
14:12 2017

Michael Vu | Staff Writer

Without exaggeration, this film has a lot of pressure on it. Although the previous three DC Extended Universe films have been financially successful, none have matched the critical success and longevity of most Marvel Studios endeavors. Well, rest easy, because this film is leagues better than any of those past films. It’s a strong debut for the Amazonian Princess and the most thoroughly enjoyable DC film since “The Dark Knight.”

The movie takes place during the height of World War I, starting from the beautiful shores of the island of Themyscira, where there’s only Amazon women warriors shielded and protected from the outside world. There, after meeting American pilot Steve Trevor (fantastically played by the charismatic Chris Pine), Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) sets out with him to London to fight, hoping to win the war for the Allies.

In this movie, Diana has yet to become the mature, strong-willed and experienced superheroine we saw in “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” Instead, she’s a younger, more naïve character, a true fish out of water who starts seeing more of the world outside of the island where she lived all her life.

Unlike “Dawn of Justice,” she was given actual characterization, from an out-of-her-element Amazonian to a full-fledged warrior fighting for all of mankind. Gal Gadot owns the role of Wonder Woman so perfectly. She commands every scene she’s in, whether she’s figuring out that the world isn’t as black and white as she once thought, to the scenes when she charges into battle and mows down bad guys left and right.

Opposite Gadot is Pine’s character, who helps anchor Diana to reality, being a realist and helping her get accustomed to the outside world. Pine’s natural comedic timing and acting capabilities are fantastic additions to the film and bring tremendous weight to it.

Director Patty Jenkins’ (“Monster”) phenomenal direction breathes new life into what should have been a by-the-numbers origin story, instead making a coming-of-age tale with a self-contained story. You know, unlike another two-hour trailer for an upcoming movie where all the heroes eventually come together to fight a big boss. As the first female director of a superhero movie, she made the cinematic definition of “girl power.”

Like the other DCEU films though, the cinematography is on point. Each frame has a gorgeous location of the visual effects, shot with a grand scale – from the scenic beach views of the island to the grimy, dirty trenches of Europe. It’s a beautiful movie definitely made to be seen in theaters.

The film’s score is also commendable. With a mix of her theme from “Dawn of Justice,” the score is epic, spirited and very reminiscent of John Williams’ original “Superman” score and Hans Zimmer’s “Batman Begins.” It has a very heroic sound to it and helps set it apart from all the other contemporary superhero themes.

It isn’t without its problems. Most superhero movies share the flaw of spending so much time on the hero that the villains become underdeveloped and not as memorable. Unfortunately, that’s the issue of “Wonder Woman.” It does a bit of a bait-and-switch on who the real antagonist is through most of the movie, and the surprise is very jarring and out of left field. However, his purpose for the plot does help Diana’s character progression.

Overall, “Wonder Woman” is the right step DC and Warner Bros. are taking in terms of quality, and allowing the director and writers to work on their own time to create the best film it could possibly be. If all the future releases are as great as this one, Marvel Studios will finally have their box office rival.

Featured Image: Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) makes her solo film debut in Patty Jenkins’ “Wonder Woman.” Warner Bros. Pictures.

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Michael Vu

Michael Vu

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