Wonder Woman: The perfect superhero movie?

Film On 11: Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman emphatically puts the “HER” into comic book superHERo movies.

I’ll spare you the plot because it doesn’t matter. Wonder Woman is that good. It is one of best comic book movies ever made. It by far the best of the recent Warner Bros. DC Comic films (not counting Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy) and I’d put it up against any of the Marvel films. There’s a lot of pressure on Warner Bros. to get this movie right. Not only have their entries in the comic universe been underwhelming but the desire to see a female comic character in her own movie has reached a fever pitch.

Leading up to the movie’s release, there was concern amongst fans and critics over the lack of marketing for the movie. Usually, that means the movie is a stinker. We didn’t see a lot of trailers. There weren’t many clips released by the studio and Wonder Woman hasn’t been bombarding our TV screens the way the Suicide Squad or Batman v. Superman did. They kept the plan simple and waited for positive word-of-mouth to spread. When the positive reviews started coming out of the advanced screenings the internet took a sigh of relief and audiences will be greatly rewarded.

There’s not much to say about Wonder Woman. It’s not high cinema but it is very fun, entertaining, and adventurous. It doesn’t leave anything unresolved and we get this really nice complete story. You get to see young Princess Diana at a young age, dreaming of becoming a warrior like her Amazon warrior sister, grow up to be a naïve young woman, and then become this confident, powerful warrior.

Many people are talking about the film’s empowering message to women and girls and some are going so far as to call it a feminist film. While those messages are as subtle as a sledgehammer, it’s not the forefront of the story and it’s not the sole purpose of the film. Wonder Woman gets to be a superhero, not a female superhero, just a superhero who stand out above the rest.

Patty Jenkins has done an incredible job crafting this film and manages to do with Wonder Woman what Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman couldn’t do for Superman. She turned Wonder Woman into a beacon of hope that people would rally behind, not a divisive figure, but a unifying one. In a key sequence called “No Man’s Land”, Diana finally takes her biggest step to become a powerful warrior and she walks across a battlefield taking on heavy gunfire and blocking it so the Allied troops can cross. She puts herself in harm’s way and becomes not only an inspiration but a leader. It’s a pivotal scene that sets the tone for the rest of her journey. She has a long way to go but it changes her from naive young woman to a powerful warrior who begins to understand the atrocities (and intricacies) of war.

Gal Gadot is perfect as Wonder Woman. I can’t think of any actress who could have done better in this role. She looks the part and absolutely nails it.

Wonder Woman is the perfect comic book superhero movie.

Also in theaters this week…

Based on the worldwide sensation and bestselling book series, and boasting an A-list cast of comedy superstars headed by Kevin Hart and Ed Helms, DreamWorks Animation brings Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie. This raucously subversive comedy for the entire family tells the story of two overly imaginative pranksters named George and Harold, who hypnotize their principal into thinking he's a ridiculously enthusiastic, incredibly dimwitted superhero named Captain Underpants.

Chuck, which is based on the real-life inspiration for Rocky Balboa, was the pride of Bayonne, New Jersey and a man who went fifteen rounds in the ring with Muhammad Ali. Before all that, Chuck Wepner was a liquor salesman and father with a modest prizefighting career whose life changed overnight when, in 1975, he was chosen to take on The Greatest in a highly publicized title match. It's the beginning of a wild ride through the exhilarating highs and humbling lows of sudden fame-but what happens when your fifteen minutes in the spotlight are up? Driven by a committed performance from Liev Schreiber, Elisabeth Moss and Naomi Watts costar.

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