Mittwoch, 21. Juni 2017

WONDER WOMAN - Movie Review

Title: Wonder Woman
Running Time: 141 min
Director: Patty Jenkins
Writer: Allan Heinberg
Starring: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, David Thewlis, Robyn Wright, Connie Nielsen, Danny Huston, Elena Anaya

After Christopher Nolan had finished up his critically acclaimed "Dark Knight Trilogy", Warner Bros decided they want to catch up with Marvel Studios and start their very own cinematic DC Extended Universe. The first entry, "Green Lantern", was such a flop that they immediately removed it from the canon. "Man of Steel" turned out to be more "'Meh' of Steel", and in 2016 both "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" as well as "Suicide Squad" completely crashed and burned. As these films became pinnacles of what is wrong with today's movie industry, the pressure on the "Wonder Women" film became bigger and bigger. So is this the motion picture experience that can save the DCEU? Or the final nail in this franchise's coffin?
Well, the executives at Warner Bros Studios can surely breath a sigh of relieve, because "Wonder Woman" is not only the best film in the DCEU to date, it is also an absolutely fantastic superhero movie in general. In a time, where many different studios constantly try to one-up each other by cranking out multiple films a year, it gets harder and harder for a movie to stand out from the crowd. And yet, "Wonder Woman" does, for multiple reasons:
First of all, this is a film that completely stands on its own, which is unfortunately unusual for today's superhero flicks. There is no cameo or set-up of another DC character. There isn't even a post-credit scene. Therefore the filmmakers were able to take their time with the development and emotional journey of their main character. As a result, the movie feels well-rounded, and the dramatic moments had enough set-up, so that they really pay off. This is also where the great casting comes in. Gal Gadot shines as the iconic heroine. Her layered performance is miles away from what she offered in "Batman v Superman". She sells both, the dramatic part as well as the action, and shows us that naivity and strength are not contradicting character traits. Thus, her portrayal gives Diana Prince the humanity the audience needs to connect to an Amazonian Goddess. Her love interest is played by Chris Pine, who is more charismatic than he has ever been. Even though he always brings his trademark charm to a film, his comedic timing as well as his chemistry with Gadot are perfect in this movie.
And while we are already on the topic of men and women interacting, I should probably address the elephant in the room. Because "Wonder Woman" is the first female led superhero movie since Rob Bowman's horrible incarnation of Elektra 12 years ago. So in addition of having to save the DCEU, the future of women in film rested on this movie's shoulders as well. Fortunately, "Wonder Woman" does it exactly right. Other self-proclaimed feminist movies have empowered their main characters by dumbing down the men around them, which only leaves the sour taste of the idea that women can only be strong when men are weak. But in this film our heroine exhibits strength despite the fact that she is surrounded by highly competent men. Even though she is obviously superior when it comes to her abilities, they are always true equals that fight side by side. And. The. Fighting. Is. Epic!
Yes, as soon as the first big action set-piece on the beach of Themyscira begins, you know that badassary knows no gender. The amazingly choreographed and beautifully shot battle of Amazons vs German Soldiers leaves you in awe. And it is not the only fighting sequence to give you goosebumps. The great thing about the action scenes in this film is also that they have a purpose for the character growth of Diana. After every battle, she has learned something new about herself or the world she lives in, and so there is always an emotional charge to these scenes that truly engages you.
Having the film take place during World War I of course adds to the stakes, but despite the darkness that comes with the setting, the film is incredibly uplifting. Because unlike many of her male counterparts nowadays, Wonder Woman is not the typical brooding cynic of the postmodern era. She has a purity to her character that makes her the same beacon of hope that Superman used to be in the late seventies. Her innocent look at the world is something an embittered society as ours today could really use more of. This might also be, why this movie has already become a world-wide phenomenon.
It might not be completely flawless (one could argue about the CGI heavy showdown or the sporadically weird performance of Danny Huston), but it is still an outstanding blockbuster with a whole lot of heart. This western superheroine that is played by an Israeli actress is someone we all, regardless of gender or race, can look up to. Buy your ticket now!

For Fans of:
Superman: The Movie (1978)
Gladiator (2000)
Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
Spider-Man (2002)
Thor (2011)
Iron Man (2008)

Click Here To Watch The Trailer!

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