Wonder Woman [Celluloid Hero]
Wonder Woman (2017)
While the Marvel Cinematic Universe is nearing their 20th movie, the DC Extended Universe is just starting. Following the negative reviews of "Man of Steel", the general distaste towards "Dawn of Justice", and the curious choice of "Suicide Squad", the company decided to establish the final of their Big 3 - Wonder Woman.
One of the biggest criticisms of the DCEU when compared to the MCU is the lack of color, and the lack of fun. Marvel characters are snarky, sarcastic, witty; they wear costumes full of bright red and yellow and green. The DC characters have been morose, sullen, and up until Suicide Squad mostly in muted colors. Wonder Woman seemed to be a very pointed effort to go in another direction, to make something that wasn't so down and depressing.
For a quick refresher, Wonder Woman is an Amazon, part of an ancient race of warrior women who live on an island devoid of males. The mythology involves the Greek gods choosing them to defend the planet, but being hidden away until the time is needed. When a pilot crashes into the waters near the island, Diana rescues him, and they join forces to fight off his attackers. Diana heads back to the UK to help him fight the Germans in World War I.
When I saw the first trailers, I immediately thought it was derivative of the first Captain America movie. Captain America starts off in World War II, a super soldier joins the army to defeat an exceptionally powerful German. Wonder Woman goes further back to World War I, but we still see a super-powered hero help the good guys defeat a super-powered villain on the German side. There's also a spoilery moment that involves the sacrifice of one of the main characters/love interests that mirrors Captain America.
The casting of Gal Gadot was met with controversy (as is literally every casting choice for superhero movies), but I think she really worked well. She may be a bit lean, but that adds to the idea that the average baddie would think nothing of her, until she turns around and kicks their ass. Chris Pine is kind of weird for me; I feel like he was a dashing leading man for about five minutes, then aged 40 years, then suddenly snapped back into handsome form. I typically love Danny Huston, but I'm starting to wear on him being the bad guy in every movie - he's great at being evil, but he's becoming "Danny Huston the bad guy" instead of losing himself in the role.
I know everyone went crazy for this as a feminist launching point, the first super heroine movie, directed by a female...but aside from that hype, I didn't feel much of anything. There was nothing empowering, just a gender reversal of the norm. Hell, it included a montage where the lead tries on a bunch of funny hats. It wasn't more than the usual comic book movie; great fights, great action, lots of CGI, some jokes, and a big boss battle. Not bad, but not something that gave me newfound enthusiasm towards the DCEU, either.
[Celluloid Hero] gives "Wonder Woman" a 6 out of 10.