As Marvel prepares to bring to a close ten years of hard work that saw them move from a small independent studio with nary a single hero anyone cared about to one that has now defined every film franchise going forward from monster movies to Robin Hood let’s see how the ‘distinguished competition’ is doing in ………………………………..
After a war of the gods the Amazons have left to run their own island free from mans influence. An island of long games of scrabble and lots of knitting if certain reviewers are to be believed and not enough porn hub worthy gifs for others. Here they are ruled over by a queen who the credits insisted was not Lucy Lawless, but considering they couldn’t even fit in the classic theme as soon as they started rolling they are clearly not to be trusted. Life is going fine here until Chris Pine decides that stealing holy artefacts is too simple and has now stooped to robbing the diaries from poor little German girls. On the run and with no convenient star ship parked, for some reason, under the waves he is forced to flee in someone elses biplane leading a sizeable German army to the shores of paradise island. After mansplaining to them the concept of a “world” war Diana decides that this must be the work of Ares; ancient God of War, and leaves with Chris to stop this ancient menace and restore peace to the world forever by ending the god of war once and for all. *Spoiler* it doesn’t work.
Now for various, fairly obvious reasons this movie is being compared to both Thor and Captain America. However this doesn’t hold up that well when you examine it. She’s nothing like Thor due to coming off more like Ariel from the little mermaid than an egotistical God child as they both stumble around clueless of the mortal world around them. It can be summed up by the difference between ice cream and coffee or how one praises and tells its server to be proud while the other smashes a mug on the floor and calls for another.
Likewise this movie is nothing like Captain America for he was in World War 2 where there was a clear bad guy who needed a punch on the jaw and the other is a more complicated tale muddied in shades of grey and blood. A setting picked because it fits the theme of the movie and not at all because Steve Rogers got there first. No sirree.
However you don’t really find out that this is the theme until the very end where the movie chickens out from following through with its intention of giving naive and innocent Wonder Woman a glimpse at the darkness at the heart of man unfiltered by the belief that Gods corrupt man and not the other way around. Yes there’s a twist but it falls flat when Ares tries to claim that he didn’t start the war and that this flame in man has always been burning since the worlds been turning. A interesting fact if not for Ares pushing us in the right direction and then giving us all the super weapons we see in said film. An Ares who is found to be sitting on the side and simply enjoying the view would have been far more interesting than what we got though we won’t miss him too much as we go Marvel on the movie trimming back half a dozen interesting plot threads that we’re probably gonna kick ourselves over come movie three or four. I mean heck we open with the death of every God going and simply go on from there. Thus we find ourselves into cliche super hero ending to end all cliche super hero endings. Not that it does cliche super hero ending badly in fact to go back to Steve Rogers it probably does it better than he does, it does a lot of things better than he does in fact.
After all Wonder Woman’s own band of Howling Commandos have more personality than Steve’s could manage in one movie and various guest spots in Peggy Carter.
Now don’t get me wrong this movie doesn’t reinvent the wheel. This isn’t like the Dark Knight saga which demands you watch it even if you’re not after a tights and flights sort of film. This is a simple super hero tale complete with corny lines and a little too much cgi for my taste. Both of these can be seen in the famous scene where Diana encounters no mans land and learns that it is so called for no man may cross it.
Yet it has cheer enducing moments like the one mentioned above, powerful simple moments where a hero stands up for hope and love and makes you think that maybe things aren’t so bad after all so long as we could all be like them in courage and heart. If you’re not a fan of what Marvel is putting out this won’t be much better for you but if you’ve been waiting for DC to at least match Marvel for a few brief moments then this could be the film for you. For if you’re after a super hero movie this isn’t too bad. It doesn’t bog itself down in the kind of political over thinking that most reviewers seem to be doing giving more time to a critique of modern life than man by my reckoning with two to three lines on the problem with watches and time and only one chuckle worthy if predictable and cliche line given to mans place in the bedroom.
DC tried to start a cinematic universe with Green Lantern and failed, they tried to start a universe with Man of Steel, and despite their insistence other wise, they failed. Depending on which Diana you grew up with this one may not be quite right. For me she never once said “Great Hera!” However this is the best start to a cinematic universe we’ve had from DC yet. Even their new opening intro is decent looking, loosing to the old comic page flick from Marvel’s early days but beating their new “we make movies” intro cinematic.