Sunday, June 11, 2017

Movie: Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman:  the DC Comics character is brought successfully to the big screen.  For a movie based on a comic book character to succeed, the person portraying the super hero must be believable.  In far too many of the recent comic based films, that has simply not been the case.  Gal Gadot as Diana Prince, the Wonder Woman, is the exception.  The success of the Wonder Woman character, coupled with the directing skills of Patty Jenkins, results in an enjoyable 141 minute movie.  Notwithstanding these positive comments, the film’s opening scenes are weak; you become leery that the same tired format used by most of the recent DC/Marvel-based character movies will be repeated.  The opening includes scenes of Diana as a child, then moves to her training as a warrior while simultaneously telling the Amazon Greek mythology storyline.  Allan Heinberg’s story becomes more interesting upon the crash landing of Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) near Themyscira, the Amazons’ island home, and Diana showing up to save him.  This opening sequences could have shortened.  By the time the real action begins it is 1917 when Diana and Steve depart Themyscira to fight the Germans in WW I.   From this point forward, the film is interesting and entertaining.  The Germans seem to be derived from some campy propaganda film about “The Enemy”.  However, due to a good supporting cast and a healthy helping of “suspension of reality”, the film keeps you entwined.  Ewen Bremner as a singing Scottish sharpshooter, Said Taghmaoui as a fixer and Eugene Brave Rock as a Native American trader are all wonderful.  These three characters play off superbly against each other and with Steve and Diana.  There are some light comedic moments reminiscent of 1930’s film making where jokes are made about Wonder Woman’s clothing and there having been no men in Diana’s life prior to meeting Steve.  Most importantly, the action scenes work because they remain focused on the individual characters.  The Wonder Woman character is refreshing and a pleasant contrast to the male comedic characters.  She is an optimistic person with a positive viewpoint despite the horrors of war and mankind’s bad behavior.  In Gal Gadot, we are seeing a super star.  In this current political atmosphere, this film’s outlook is refreshing.  The movie offers an enjoyable escapism and that is a definite positive.

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