After three weekends at the box office, Wonder Woman has more than impressed critics and fans alike. The sheer excitement and joy this film offers is hard to find in theaters these days and should be cherished.
This is a 5-star movie. Now that doesn’t mean it’s a perfect film (if such a thing even exists). The are shortcomings, and that’s to be expected from a film that clocks in at 2 hours and 21 minutes, but what Wonder Woman offers is far greater than what it doesn’t (see pt. 1). This is an important movie and a very well-made film.
However, I feel like after three weeks, all that should be said about this film…well it’s already been said. This is my third post about Wonder Woman, and there are many thousands of well-written articles out there too. So in the interest of moving to other films and blog topics, I’m not going to do any kind of deep critical analysis of this film. Instead I’ll just close my writing on this film with a bunch of notes.
Here’s my 1-star review of a 5-star movie (spoilers ahead):
After so many years of superhero saturation (with no foreseeable end in sight), Wonder Woman proves that the genre has not yet been exhausted. The film is not only a triumph for moviegoers, but a victory for the industry.
My first thought while walking out of the theater was: “what took so long?!” Seriously, how has it taken so many years and so many billions of dollars spent elsewhere before someone was willing to green-light this movie? Sadly, Hollywood is a frustratingly difficult and stubborn industry, and it’s not hard to see how even the mere idea of Wonder Woman on the big screen would turn executives and companies away. Kudos to Warner Bros. for making this movie happen, even if it did take forever.
The logic in Hollywood for decades has been, “women don’t sell tickets,” and “women don’t buy tickets.” It’s not much of a secret when you just take a look at some of the highest-grossing films in recent years. Just take a guess at the intended audiences of these films. Hollywood must not think woman can make movies either, considering only 7% of directors for last year’s top 250 movies were women.
Enter Wonder Woman. Gal Gadot has proved that she can be a first-rate star. The opening weekend audience was 52% female in a genre where 60% male audiences are the norm. And the real wonder woman of this film? Patty Jenkins. In her first feature since 2003, Jenkins breathes much-needed life into the DC Universe with confident and inspired directing. My greatest hope is that this movie provides compelling evidence for Hollywood that in fact, women can sell tickets. And they’ll buy them too. And will somebody please put women behind the camera?
Wonder Woman is an everyday topic in the office for many reasons. At this point I’ve read dozens of articles about the film, and I still can’t scroll past the front page of Variety or The Hollywood Reporter without seeing at least a few mentions of Wonder Woman. Having now finally seen the film, I now understand what everyone’s been clamoring about.
There’s so much to say about Wonder Woman. There’s the movie itself, its implications for the DC Extended Universe, and (probably most importantly) its impact on Hollywood and its future. Wonder Woman may very well be the most important movie of the year. It’s not perfect, it’s certainly not the best, but I find it hard to imagine another movie in the near future that will have such a cultural, social, and Hollywood-wide impact. And to be clear, it’s a damn good movie.
I will do the film appropriate justice in a longer post in the coming days, but for now, here are a few (spoiler-free) first impressions:
Wonder Woman is a straight up bad-ass. I started tearing up watching her in battle for the first time. Embarrassing but true.
Gal Gadot nails her role on a level comparable to Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man.
Arguably the first DC Extended Universe film where the biggest joke isn’t the storyline.
A smart movie with a simple plot. And that gives Wonder Woman room to shine.
But Steve Trevor shouldn’t be overlooked. He’s a well-written, well-acted, well above average character.
The love story is surprisingly emotional and well-done, from beginning to end. Maybe the best superhero romance I’ve seen.
Finally, a superhero film where the heroine isn’t relegated to dirty side-plot work (looking at you, Black Widow).
A woman leads the charge, calls the shots, and delivers. How many other blockbusters have you seen where this happens?
Wonder Woman doesn’t rewrite the superhero formula or steer clear of well-worn clichés, but it’s a thoroughly well-produced, entertaining, heartfelt movie that nails what it needs to.
Easily the best film the DC Extended Universe offers (admittedly an unimpressive accomplishment).