Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman ★★★★

There are a few really interesting pieces to this movie yet it's able to put together a cohesive, beautiful to watch story. This is a female directed movie about women, a DC film that works, a movie that juxtaposes color schemes from scene to scene with great timing, and a World War I movie.

This is a movie directed by a woman, Patty Jenkins, with a character that is pretty much the ultimate female symbol, but it's not just a movie for women. It's very much a movie for action and superhero movie aficionados. There are aspects of the movie less likely to be seen in a male directed movie like the fact that the only nudity in the movie comes from Chris Pine, there is no male gaze from the camera and my wife noticed that Gal Gadot's female form was depicted in a realistic way during the action even as a very fit person.

Before this movie, there were only a small handful of the very many movies based on DC properties that worked: Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and to a lesser extent The Dark Knight Rises and Watchmen. This movie is put together differently than any of those or any of the failed DC films before and after. It does have a sense of the Zack Snyder style of action, but employs it in a way that does not batter the viewer into a boredom from action.

One thing that was really cool to see was the changes in color from scene to scene, going from monochrome WWI scenes to bright gold, blue and red in sunlight in the next. The transitions are well timed, too. It is used like the Kurt Cobain track listing and verse chorus technique of loud-quiet-loud-quiet to make the louds louder and the quiets quieter. The bright colors explode onto the screen and give light to the film that was absent from the two recent films populated by Superman and does not wander aimlessly into the manic disorganization of Suicide Squad.

There are so many World War II movies, Captain America gallivanted his way through that war for his own on screen origin story, but World War I is often overlooked in film history beyond All Quiet on the Western Front, Paths of Glory, Sergeant York and War Horse. This movie takes us into no man's land and discusses the birth of modern war through a philosophical discussion of why war happens. It's a great counter argument to time machine fantasies of killing baby Hitler and tells us we have to be better because getting rid of one person won't change violent temptations of humanity on its own.

Check out my wife's review on my blog here:


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