I had high expectations for Wonder Woman after reading initial reviews, I wish I had seen it earlier before the hype set in. Even without the positive buzz, I probably would have headed out to see this in theaters just to see the two most beautiful people in the world interact. Like, wow, Gadot and Pine are stunning. The kind of people who make me want to give up on everything.
Wonder Woman is a pretty unique property where it is a well-known character without a major film/TV version of an origin story. Compare this to Batman (Nolan/murdered parents) and Superman (Smallville/alien landing), it really opened up the field for Patty Jenkins to set the landscape for this character for years to come. And she took advantage. This is my favorite DC movie since the Nolan era, and it managed to shine without completely losing the cohesion that Zack Snyder built, while also somehow being a good movie. I know, I am just as shocked as you.
The origin part of the story was just the right amount for me. We had some of young Diana on Themyscira, the introduction of man and conflict (always hand in hand), and her fish out of water time in London. These set the scene for the second half of the movie, which I anticipated to veer more into “DCU tie in” territory, but I am happy to say Jenkins managed to strike out on her own here, and the whole movie really came together in one standalone world in which I am sure there will be numerous WW movies to come.
I have a soft spot for fun, ridiculous superhero movies that rewrite history. See Captain America. Something about the idea of a superhuman Amazon fighting the good fight in WWI brings joy to my heart. My personal favorite scenes (taking Chris Pine shirtless out of the equation) were the early battle ground scenes, which were able to show how powerful and adept Wonder Woman was, while still having her opponent be menacing, but mortal. She could walk fearlessly through the trenches. While it is unbelievable, it was only one step away from reality. One big step, but not a crazy leap to me.
Where you start to lose me is at the introduction of the “greater evil” of the film, which is demonstrated in (SPOILERS SERIOUSLY) Remus Lupin. I mean Sir Patrick, aka Ares, aka the manifestation of all that is evil in mankind. I knew that this would all boil down into a ridiculous CG fight that was not made for me, but part of me still kept hoping that the “big bad” would end up just being what Diana feared. That the human race is flawed, there is no tangible devil looming over everyone forcing them to start wars, but that the villain in this movie would just be the reality of the world we live in. I suppose that would have been a much darker ending with a less satisfying fight scene, but I would like to think that Wonder Woman is just out there doing her best against the most despicable human instincts. Just like we all are.
Lastly, part of me always knew that Steve Trevor would die. He was too pretty to live, and since the movie was bookended by modern era Diana, I knew he wasn’t going to be around. Still ruined me. 9/10