Love [and Gal Gadot] wins: A ‘Wonder Woman’ (2017) Film Review

4.63/5 stars

DC has finally learned its lesson. After producing meh films such as ‘Suicide Squad’ and ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’, here comes a lifesaver for the comics’ extended universe: the epic female superhero ‘Wonder Woman’, portrayed flawlessly by the gorgeous Gal Gadot. The film’s story, with its compelling themes, takes an enormous leap away from the dark plots of previous DC films. Further equipped with heart-racing scenes and an outstanding score, ‘Wonder Woman’ truly deserves all of its box office achievements.

The Story

4.33 stars

In present-day Paris, Diana Prince recounts how she became ‘Wonder Woman’. She was raised in the safe haven of the Amazons: Themyscira. There, she was trained to become a warrior by her aunt, General Antiope (Robin Wright), although her mother, Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen), was initially against this. She was convinced later on by Antiope as this was the only way for her to defend herself from, and defeat Ares, the god of war, archenemy of the Amazon race.

One day, a plane crashes off the island’s coast, and Diana rescues its pilot: an Allied spy, Captain Steve Trevor (Chris Pine). However, Steve’s pursuers invade the island, resulting to a battle at Themyscira’s shores. The Amazons emerged in triumph albeit Antiope’s sacrifice.

Steve is later on interrogated with the Lasso of Hestia. He then speaks of “The War to End All Wars” (World War I). After hearing this, Diana thinks that Ares is the great mastermind behind the war, and leaves for the outside world together with Steve to free humankind from Ares’ control.

In London, Diana and the Supreme War Council learn something terrifying from a notebook that Steve has stolen from Doctor Poison (Elena Anaya): the Germans are formulating a deadly gas that they will release at the warfront. Despite this knowledge, the Council forbids Steve from doing something about it. Undaunted, he secretly gets the help of Sameer (Said Taghmaoui), a spy, Charlie (Ewen Bremner), a marksman, and Chief (Eugene Brave Rock), a smuggler. He also earns under-the-table funding from Sir Patrick Morgan (David Thewlis).

The group then marches on to the Western Front in Belgium. Despite the opposing circumstances, Diana is determined to end the war by finishing off Ares once and for all.

***

The film’s story, loosely rooted in Greek Mythology, is pure of light, with a touch of romantic drama and humor, as compared to its predecessors which were all full of dark. ‘Wonder Woman’ is a vibrant, female superhero who does not wish to fight the war and win it. What she wants is to stop the war and bring peace to mankind, and she does so with love. Aww, is that not wonderful? She is one woman filled with pure courage, and she inspires hope. These gripping themes are what I really liked about the movie. Kudos to the screenwriters and to director Patty Jenkins!

The Sights and Sounds

4.58 and 4.75 stars respectively

wonder-woman-no-mans-land1
Wonder Woman charges through no man’s land. Photo from Film School Rejects.

‘Wonder Woman’ is mostly set in the World War era, which is somewhat alike with Marvel’s ‘Captain America’. Despite this similarity, I loved how ‘Wonder Woman’ presented the war-torn Western Front in Belgium. Unlike ‘Captain America’ which mostly focused on the adrenaline, this film’s center point is the female hero’s heart. You can certainly feel Diana’s empathy towards the brave souls who fought against the Germans, and the innocent lives who suffered from the battle. The moment she decided to advance alone through no man’s land was truly spine-tingling. I would have cheered for her to go for it!

There were more epic and dramatic sequences throughout the film, and I liked all of them, especially those toward the movie’s climactic end. The brilliant direction and cinematography were complemented by an emotion-packed score. Rupert Gregson-Williams surely did a marvelous job with the music. Oh, and the costumes looked good as well.

The Starrers

4.75 stars

wonder-woman-cast1
Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) poses for the camera with Sameer, Steve, Chief and Charlie at Veld. Photo from The Blemish.

All the actors did a superb performance in the film, but of course, most noteworthy would be the one who played the titular role: Gal Gadot. Many of the film’s successes can be attributed to her portrayal of the female superhero. I further say that she is ultimately perfect as ‘Wonder Woman’. She has effectively displayed the character’s naïvetés and bravery. Indeed, she has all it takes to be ‘Wonder Woman’.

Another character I liked in this film would be Doctor Poison. She is the reverse ‘Wonder Woman’. If the female superhero inspires hope, this mad chemist will take extreme lengths to inflict pain. Her soul is full of maleficence. Praise to Elena Anaya for her portrayal of Doctor Poison!


In the end, ‘Wonder Woman’ is a female superhero movie done right. Undeniably, Gal Gadot is impeccable as the titular character. The hero’s story is full of hope, yet it is not too cheesy. Moreover, the film’s cinematography and score work together efficiently. Every sequence is well orchestrated, and Patty Jenkin’s direction is worthy of acclaim.

I just wish that DC will produce more films such as this. I am looking forward to the upcoming ‘Justice League’ film. Hopefully, it will not disappoint.

For now, I will be exclaiming for ‘Wonder Woman’!

wonder woman film score board

This blog post’s featured image is borrowed from the official Wonder Woman Facebook Page.

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