DC films have been divisive among both critics and fans. Man of Steel, BvS, Suicide Squad all suffered from muddled plots and thinly developed characters.
Can Wonder Woman, the first female superhero film of this era reignite hope for the DC Extended Universe?
I am happy to say – yes in a spectacular fashion. Wonder Woman is a vibrant film with depth and heart. It is a character driven story that is both grounded and emotionally engaging. I walked out of the cinema with a renewed anticipation for the upcoming Justice League film. But not for Batman, Flash or Aquaman. I wanted to see Justice League for more Wonder Woman.
Fittingly, this film is directed by Patty Jenkins who helped Charlize Theron land her best actress Oscar in Monster. No doubt the biggest praise must go to her. She was able to balance fast pace action scenes with slow but tender moments, all the while sprinkling in some genuine laughs. I am not exaggerating when I say Patty Jenkins succeeded in striking the perfect blend between lighthearted Marvel films and bleak DC films. I would love for her to direct another Wonder Woman film in the future.
Apart from the tone, this film is also triumphant in two aspects that, in my opinion, current Marvel and DC films have failed to achieve. Not since Christopher Reeve’s Superman have we gotten a great love interest (Lois Lane) and a character defining score (John William’s Superman theme). Although I cannot say Wonder Woman is superior in either – it came close. Gal Gadot personified Wonder Woman with her physicality while Chris Pine brought the charm. Together, their chemistry felt real. At one point I even thought to myself…Bruce Wayne got no chance!
As for the Wonder Woman theme. It was used in BvS and for me, it was by far the most memorable score from that film. Upon some quick googling, I was surprised to learn that this piece of Hans Zimmer score was in fact recorded on an electric cello! (Click for clips from cellist Tina Guo). This is a powerful theme perfectly suited for a powerful Amazon princess. A cherry on top of a fantastic film.
Rating: Doesn’t matter if you are a DC fan, a Marvel fan or neither. If you love films, you should go out and catch Wonder Woman in the cinema!