Film Review: Wonder Woman (2017)





This film was exhilarating. So before I even get into the review, you need to know that it's definitely a must see film. You have to make the time to see it, otherwise you're missing out on one of the most exciting films you will have seen this year.

Now I don't generally like watching action films. That's not because I'm a "typical girl" who gets offended by action and shies away from watching violence. It's really just because I don't enjoy watching violence unless it's set within a fantasy realm. Other action films that show normal people fighting are simply not engaging for me, so I prefer not to watch them.

I saw the trailer for this film when I went to watch Beauty and the Beast a few weeks ago and immediately I knew I had to see it. It sounds quite silly, but as a woman, there is just something really empowering about watching other women in lead, action roles. That was a major pulling factor for me. Plus the fact that it was a superhero action film, which is the kind of fighting I actually quite enjoy watching!

I didn't know much (if anything) about Wonder Woman before watching this film - which would make my sister absolutely horrified to read, so I hope she doesn't read this post. Diana is actually princess of the Amazons, which I found out as we followed her childhood at the beginning of the film. Because I studied Classical Mythology during my first year at university, I was really intrigued by that side of her character. Although I struggled to remember all of the many, many versions of each myth during my studies, I really did find the topic as a whole very engaging. So when I was hearing names like Zeus and Ares and Hippolyta, I found myself even more drawn into the film.

So I feel like we're all here because we love a bit of superhero action. Which means that you'll probably be pleased to hear that all of the action sequences were so well put together, I couldn't take my eyes off the screen. I loved the way Diana would put her arms together in a cross, making her two arm bands clash and create this enormous wave of power. She also had an illuminating lasso of truth, which she would wind around anyone she wanted in order to force them to tell the truth - as the name suggests. Furthermore, the shield and her gorgeous costume really made her look the part. She is beautiful.

Hearing that I loved the film's focus on women and that Diana was such a strong woman herself, you might be slightly flummoxed by the fact that a woman who is so empowered by the strength of her identity as a woman, ends up in what is basically a world dominated by men for the majority of the film. But she doesn't just fade into the background. Diana doesn't take direction from any of the men in the film and she not once is she made out to be inferior to them. For the majority of the film, it is Diana who leads the men into dangerous territory. More than this, we also see her reacting to instances of threat before the men are even able to respond themselves. So there is no woman who is in desperate need of being rescued, only equals fighting in the same war. What I saw in this film, was a very strong woman proving that she could be just as badass as all of the male soldiers fighting in the war. Granted, she did have the assistance of being an Amazonian but still...

In terms of story line, what we follow is Diana's quest to defeat Ares. In the film, as in mythology, Zeus created mankind. But his jealous son Ares corrupted them and caused all of the wars and fighting that is so well known to us now. Zeus then created the Amazons, a tribe of warrior women, to help restore purity to mankind. Therefore, Diana's purpose in a sense, is to defeat Ares and therefore stop all the war and fighting.

This would be simple if we were rooted within Diana's mythological world. However, this seemingly straightforward plot is complicated by the intertwining of history and myth through the event of World War I. Diana rescues an American spy/soldier played by Chris Pine, who leads her into the world as we know it and entices her into the task of helping him defeat the Germans by telling her he will help her find Ares. So what we essentially have throughout the film, is Diana's mythological explanation for war as the explanation for why World War I is taking place. Which means that she is either delusional or that our German villain is actually a mythological villain in the dress of World War I. So there's this at first slightly unsettling waiver of time. But it actually all works out really well and proves to be quite easy to follow! Which seems strange for me to say as I usually hate any type of fiction associated with wars, but I was really impressed by the plot of this film and I loved the fusion of myth and history.

As with all films these days, there is a love story, which I am a complete sucker for. I really have to commend this film on the way it portrayed the romance - it was so natural, not overdone at all. There was one scene in particular where I was expecting to see a lot more than I did and I was actually disappointed for a moment or two that it had been done so subtly. But then I sort of realised that there was no need to show anymore than what they did. After all, this was not a Nicholas Sparks movie adaptation, it was a DC comic adaptation. And what I came for, was the action.

Everything in this film felt so seamless to me. I'm no expert on comics, as previously disclaimed, however I found this film very easy to follow and understand. It even had it's fair share of humour, which I've learnt is actually quite important to the telling of any story - even serious ones.

The only criticism I have (and it's very small!) is that Gal Gadot who plays Wonder Woman in the film, really should have had a more muscular frame. I get that it's not easy for everybody to tone up and gain weight if they are naturally very slim. But for the point of the role, with her being a female warrior who has undertaken years of what looked like very intense training, it would have been more realistic to see some more muscle definition in her arms and thighs. Particularly as her costume is very skimpy and reveals much of her body! Which I am not bashing at all because quite frankly I would wear her outfit to the supermarket if I could.

But overall, I honestly don't think I have enjoyed a superhero film this much in a while. It was absolutely thrilling to watch. So it's definitely one that I would highly recommend you make the time to go and see.