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Categories: Movie Reviews

Neill McNamara calls Wonder Woman not only a barnstorming adventure but also the best DC film since The Dark Knight.

DC have had a bit of a hard time of it when it comes to films. The Dark Knight trilogy received universal acclaim, and rightly so, but since then it’s films such as Batman V Superman and Suicide Squad have fallen behind their rivals, Marvel, who seem to dominate the superhero movie scene. Therefore, I stepped into Wonder Woman with a certain amount of uncertainty. I’m pleased to say I was left pleasantly surprised.

Wonder Woman serves as an origin story for the character; Diana, a warrior princess of the Amazon and a descendant of the Greek gods, is unaware of the goings on of the outside world from the remote island she calls home. One day, an American soldier crash-lands a plane on said Island, and she learns that the world is in the middle of the war to end all wars: World War I. Therefore, she takes up her sword and shield and goes out to bring an end to the fighting.

One thing I was most definitely looking forward to going into this film was the time setting. Personally, I take a great interest in the events of the Great War, and I feel that it has fallen out of the memory of a large amount of the younger generations today, so I was both excited and concerned about how they would showcase it. I was worried that a lot of the facts would be portrayed incorrectly, and after seeing a poster of Wonder Woman holding aloft a tank that I knew to be a Russian tank that was built during the Second World War I didn’t hold much hope. Thankfully, my concerns were avoided. The main villain of the film is German General Erich Ludendorff, who was indeed the commander of German forces during the war. No signs of incorrect equipment were shown, and when Wonder Woman inevitably mirrored the poster and lifted a tank it was not the Russian WWII tank but instead a British Mark V, a member of the first family of tanks invented during WWI. Trench warfare, the Ottoman Empire and mustard gas were all touched on during this film and I have to give credit to the set designers for nailing the ambiance of life on the Western Front.

The storyline of the film left a lot to be desired, but I found that I didn’t really care all too much. This is the kind of action film that, if you can get past the somewhat slow opening setup at the beginning, you can just turn your brain off and enjoy watching Wonder Woman kick her way through some bad guys. The film was most definitely at its best in the action moments, and Gal Gadot absolutely nailed the role. In every single scene, she oozes power and determination. Her performance goes above and beyond anything the male actors did in this film, and I am genuinely excited to see more of her in future films. This is not to say the other actors didn’t do well, with the likes of Chris Pine and Ewen Bremner giving well-rounded performances. I found that Danny Huston’s portrayal of General Ludendorff a bit jarring, as he further cemented the idea of Germans being moustache-twirling evil masterminds when it is well known that the First World War was not a war of ‘good versus evil’, but a war fought for outdated ideas of empire and national pride. This was only a minor point but I found that it got to me more than I thought it would.

Other than that, I found there was very little to criticise here. The score, action, acting and ambiance were all excellent on their own, and they blended together to create a very enjoyable experience. The story left a lot to be desired and the villains were a little stereotypical for my liking, but other than that I have to give DC the respect they deserve. In a world where the superhero film is losing a lot of its popularity, it seems that a female-led historical piece has what it takes to stand out among the crowd and I cannot wait to see how they take this success and run with it.

Wonder Woman is out now in cinemas.

Neill McNamara

I am a recent Film and Popular Culture graduate from St. Mary’s University Twickenham, graduating with a 2:1. During my time there, I wrote and helped film a ten-minute short film, and after graduating went on to do a journalism evening course, which I completed with a B+ grade certificate.

Posted on Jun 11, 2017

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