Here it is, finally: a female-fronted superhero movie directed by a woman. But does Wonder Woman live up to its name or squander its landmark potential?
Our very own Tom Bond believes DC have finally got their act together and made an “unequivocally good film” with “an inspiring, revolutionary spirit that your average neighbourhood superhero film can only dream of”. But what do the rest of the team think?
Eddie – 4/5
Following divided opinion on Man of Steel and the quick-fire cock-up of Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad, there has been a lot riding on Wonder Woman. More than just a vanguard for the future of the DCEU, Wonder Woman has the unique responsibility of being the first female superhero film.
Fortunately, it delivers. Gal Gadot is a revelation and, while Jenkins’ film is far from perfect – some of the dialogue grates, and the third act is notably weaker than the preceding two – Wonder Woman isn’t afraid to kick ass while wearing a thumping heart on its sleeve. DC’s back!
Stephanie – 4/5
A tribe of Amazon warrior women swooping down on German invaders of their mystical island, Themyscera, was the first moment in comic book movie history that had me welling up out of pure excitement. Gal Gadot is bound to lasso the hearts of many as Wonder Woman, who is charmingly naive in the world of man, but strong in her beliefs. While the ending may be overlong, there is plenty of fun to be had in the action packed hours that precede it. Not a film to be missed, and I can’t wait to see what Patty Jenkins does next.
Tori – 3/5
Studio executives learn women watch action films! Heralded upon arrival, Wonder Woman is – mercifully – a decent blockbuster. The First World War setting imbues the story with meaning, contrasting with the usual, more flippant contemporary locations. Gadot is suitably wonderful as Diana of Themiscyra. Pine is game man candy as Steve Trevor. For a purportedly feminist film, however, it jars that Trevor takes charge in the ‘real’ world – a man’s world – attempting to control, or make light of, Diana’s wardrobe, knowledge, behaviour… It’s also disappointing that Themiscyra lacks facets, other than fighting in mini-skirts; Amazonian mythology is rather fancifully handled.
James – 3/5
In tackling the two great expectations placed upon it, jump-starting the stuttering DC Extended Universe and proving female-led superhero blockbusters can be great, Wonder Woman absolutely delivers. Gal Gadot radiates star presence and finds the balance between badass warrior and naïve fish out of water, while Patty Jenkins directs with adept control – allowing a largely linear structure to develop plot and character. Plus, that Wonder Woman theme rocks.
Ten years ago, this would’ve been a great film. In 2017, it feels like it owes a debt to both Marvel’s Captain America: The First Avenger and Thor.
Carmen – 4/5
While there may be pacing issues early in the film, they don’t take away from Wonder Woman’s triumph in the slightest. This unabashedly optimistic saga is pulled off largely through the heart, grit, and pure love of Gal Gadot’s Diana. She and director Jenkins imbue the legendary Amazon with naivete but don’t undercut her competence and intelligence as Diana discovers the human world and herself. The film still works in the DC house style but benefits from some light, almost screwball, moments (often built into the period setting, but always human-driven). It is an ideal introduction to a much-needed superheroine.
Kambole – 4/5
A superior effort to DC’s other releases, Wonder Woman shows both the joy and heroic spirit so sorely missing from the likes of Batman V Superman, as well as a depth of emotion that many other superhero films would do well to match. Gal Gadot is captivating – a beacon of compassion, otherworldly wisdom and serious badassery in her efforts to save humanity from war. Along the way, her relationship with Pine’s Steve Trevor shows delightful chemistry. The action scenes are balletic, hard-hitting, and it’s hard not to well up while watching – this is thrilling and inspiring filmmaking from beginning to end.
Jack – 4/5
Starting out shakily, with the Themyscira segment generic even by superhero origin standards, Wonder Woman really takes off once Diana joins the war. Gadot’s alternating delight and horror at her discoveries in the ‘world of men’ is charming and infectious. In a world of brooding, cynical heroes, Diana’s uncorrupted desire to do good is a necessary breath of fresh air, and Pine is superb in the love interest role as the open-minded and supportive Steve Trevor. Chuck in the thrilling action and you’ve got a roaring success for Patty Jenkins and surely a sigh of relief from the battered DCEU.