Wonder Woman (2017)
The future of justice begins with her
Heralded as the best female-led female-directed movie to ever exist! I mean, I'm not gonna fall for such big yellow font when the masses start saying that sort of thing - although it is nice to know before watching a movie that everyone likes it (as is the case for pretty much anyone late to the Marvel movie releases I'm sure). However, I've spent years dabbling all over the place - knowing full well that a lot of horror films actually have women behind the scenes and in the lead hero spot, so I could care less if it's a woman or a robotic alien pickle in the lead roll, the thing will get judged based on my enjoyment. With that truth lassoed about, let's see how the lovely Gal follows up on that sweet theme song in that other DC movie.
Screw it, let's just get it out of the way - this is a good dang movie. I'll nitpick some stuff later, as I do because it's only fair for me to point out both the good and the bad, but I can totally understand why people are calling this the best of DC's live action flicks (even if I did enjoy their other ones so far). I don't care about the whole "girl power" thing, largely because I'm not a girl, so I wouldn't expect me to mention stuff along that lines - although interestingly enough there is something that it brings to the movie indirectly that I'll mention a little later on. Still, I see no real reason why a person would see this largely in a negative view - unless of course your some big Greek pantheon buff in which I feel like they probably took some wide liberties with. I mean, I like me some gods - particularly the mythos part of it when it comes to multi-god religions and the likes - but I'm not exactly super versed in the Greek stuff, but I certainly don't remember the god of war having a falling out and murdering every other god.
That aside, the opening section is a decent amount of growing up for the lead and learning for the watcher. It can be a bit slow feeling, but everything about it for the most part still feels lively enough to not make it all that bad. Overall pacing is rather well off, mixing in the action scenes amongst the more dialogue heavy scenes, and honestly if there was one part I had to really single out as "dragging" the most, I'd have to unfortunately point at the climactic ending, which gets real Dragon Ball with it's banter, trade blows, banter, up power levels, banter, trade blows routine. It's still pretty fun to watch, but I'll fully admit that compared to the No Mans Land or even the introduction of conflict Amazon battle it's not quite as spectacular.
That final scene does try and make up for it with the special effects for sure, with explosions and CG armor and all manner of things. It without a doubt feels like that "Summer Blockbuster" kind of movie in that regard - and with all that spinning camera, explosions, and slow motion it feels a little like a Bay movie sometimes. The backdrop of World War One sets it a little apart from the (I feel) larger chunk of World War Two movies, although the general premise behind it feels remarkably similar regardless. It does help set up some fun costume choices for the various characters involved, although I'd argue that non of the after-Island scenes have quite the slurry of fun designs - but admittedly I'm into fantasy and swords and sandals, so it might be a bit unfair of me to let it overshadow the costume departments work elsewhere.
The actors do a pretty good job here, although sometimes I feel a bit unimpressed by some of the Amazon actors - even though I wouldn't be surprised to know that's how the Amazons are just supposed to be. Still, Gal blows it away in the lead, and most the heroic band of misfits do a fine job despite there not being a ton of character development thrown their way. The baddies suffer the same fate as most enemies of heroes out there - being rather one dimensional. When your evil because you want you think war is the greatest thing, and your arc starts as evil war lover and ends with evil war lover, you end up being pretty generic. The behind-the-scenes villain fairs at least a little bit better in that his reasons aren't as single-minded, but still doesn't really have a whole lot of depth focused on him to make him really feel like a great character - although they at least made him feel like a suitable enough threat.
Beyond just looking good, the audio is pretty well done too. Surprisingly, I heard a lot less of that "I thought she was with you" theme and a decent mix of other tunes that had similar qualities in instrument composition but ranging in a much less adrenaline motivator sort of diversity. Of course, there was a few songs that came about from characters as well, and even those were pretty nice (and arguably far more directly related to the stuff on screen than the emotional back-up that a soundtrack is meant to serve). Considering I already really enjoy the fore-mentioned theme, it's easy enough to believe that will keep coming back to mind randomly as I go, but I may look into checking out some of the rest of the soundtrack later on - I'm a sucker for mixing all sorts of instruments into stuff that isn't just straight classical or folk music.
The action scenes in this are a bit of a mixed bag. Although I totally enjoyed them, there are certain moments that seem... I don't know, I guess "off" is the best way to point it. I couldn't figure out what it was while watching it whenever it would happen that really made it feel that way - I'm thinking possibly that it's from it trying to accentuate something in 3D, which I missed having watched the plain version. Some of the earlier fights have moments of getting a little cut-heavy, which I get considering that it's a bunch of different people fighting and it wants to showcase a bunch of them all at once, but I'm far happier with the later on scenes where things take their time between the cuts and really let you focus in on Wonder reacting and sizing up openings. That slow motion I mentioned sometimes helps out a lot in that regard - other times it'll happen at a moment and kind of make you wonder why we necessarily need to zoom in and slow down to see that her shin guards are just as bulletproof as her bracers.
I liked this one - and honestly, I might add it to the list of movies to pick up at some point (always adding that that list, granted it's about ninety eight percent 3D combo packs to be honest). It's an enjoyable movie, has some fun action and Gal really kills it on screen presence. On further visits, I imagine myself skipping a bunch of moments - such as most the exposition opening or the book delivery parts, which are fun the first time but I'm not opposed to reigning this movie in any less than I am doing the same to visits back to the Lord of the Rings series. I don't see why most wouldn't enjoy this movie as stated earlier on - unless they go into it just wanting to hate it for no reason. At the least, I'd say it's totally worth adding to the rental queue if you haven't seen it.