Wonder Woman alone could carry the weight of expectations we held for this movie. And she carries it with grace, beauty, and ease. Breathe a sigh of relief, everyone: the Wonder Woman movie is brilliant.
It has been one of the most anticipated movies of the year my daughter and I been waiting to see. In fact, it seems to be the only movie truly talking to almost every person you meet, and it has a strong message: Believe. Believe in the director, Patty Jenkins. The film won over 93% of critics this past weekend, giving it an A CinemaScore overall. And now, with over $100.5 million at the domestic box office, “Wonder Woman” has been crowned the largest opening weekend ever for a female-directed film. Wonder Woman delivers on all levels with stellar cinematography, character development, intriguing story, fitting humor and kick-ass action scenes. We were first introduced to Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman last year in Batman v Superman, but this time around she gets a movie all to herself. The pressure was on to do justice and tell the Wonder Woman story on the big screen the right way, first time around. Not only do they succeed, but it definitely stopped the DC hate, for now. What makes Wonder Woman the must-see movie of the summer?
Believe in the story and the origins of Diana. I’m not talking about whether she is clay or human or whatever in between. I’m talking about the existence of Themyscira and how that shaped Diana. Our first introduction to Themyscira is bright and beautiful. The colors are warm, the imagery is vivid. If the whole movie was set in Themyscira, I would have loved to discover more of that world. This is the home of the Amazons. This is the home of Diana, and it is a brilliant scene-setter for who Diana is. The Amazons are AH-mazing. They rock every scene they are in. Every. Scene. I know Diana would eventually travel to the Land of Men, but I would have happily… Nah LOVED to have watched a longer movie about the Amazons. Their characters are only in the introduction, but you already have a feel for their individual personalities. Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen) has the ultimate presence overall on the island; General Antiope (Robin Wright) is automatically felt as strong and powerful; young Diana (Lilly Aspell) does amazingly well to capture the youthful determined child who knows she is different but is yet to know why.
Believe in Wonder Woman. Gal Gadot has captured the spirit of Wonder Woman and made the role her own. This is her movie and she has taken the sword with both hands proudly. I will say I was a little skeptical about her taking on such a big role to fill the shoes of Wonder Woman. You have to be damn near perfect. I swear there are many times her face changes in the movie, but each time it seemed to suit the events taking place: the need to impress her mother, the curiosity of social customs in early 20th century, the disappointment of the politics of WWI, and the determination of a fight scene. We have all seen the video of Diana climbing the ladder, and stepping out on to No Man’s Land. It is an iconic scene of strength, determination, and belief used in many trailers. Without spoilers, I can tell you this scene is so much more. There is a shot where she looks to her side and can see Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) has followed her onto the field. He was inspired by her actions. And yet at the same time, she is then inspired by his belief in her. His commitment to fight by her side. At first, I thought, “Okay. Wonder Woman is an inspiration. I get it. That’s the message.” But it’s not just inspiration. You have to believe in the inspiration. And Gadot has you believing in her.
We have been waiting for Wonder Woman to have her own movie for many many years. We have had talk after talk, rumor after rumor, and nothing eventuated. I am soooooo glad DC finally did something and made the movie!! Nothing before has been as eagerly anticipated as Wonder Woman. And let’s all be honest with each other: the majority of us are not exactly thrilled with DC movies right now. It truly was not fair to place so much weight on Diana’s shoulders. But she lifted it up, high above her head, and says, “Did you not believe?”
Welcome, Wonder Woman. We needed you. Ms Jenkins, thank you. I can't wait to watch the next Wonder Woman movie. Let Batman gather a team. Let Superman sleep. Say what you will about justice, this lady is in a different league. I am going to tell you to see Wonder Woman because it is a brilliant movie. It is beautiful for the fans. It is enjoyable for any movie-goer. It is a stand-out amongst superheroes, war movies, and history storytelling.
Fun Fact: She’s is never actually called Wonder Woman in the movie.
I give it 4 out 5 stars. If you saw it, leave a comment and let me know your thoughts. Enjoy! -xo Mel