Saturday, June 10, 2017

Theatrical Review: Wonder Woman

Date: Sunday June 4 2017
Time: 12:30pm
Party: 3 (my mom aunt and I)
Director: Patty Jenkins
Composer- Rupert Gregson-Williams [no relation to movie composing legend John Williams as my mom wondered leaving the theater... would've been cool, though]

Cast (in no particular order):
Diana Prince/Wonder Woman- Gal Gadot 
Steve Trevor-Chris Pine
Hippolyta- Connie Nielsen
Antiope- Robin Wright
Sir Patrick- David Thewlis
"Doctor Death" Maru- Elena Anaya
Ludendorff- Danny Huston
Etta, Trevor's secretary- Lucy Davis

Duration: 141 minutes (+2 trailers)

Opening remarks
Anyone who's read my blog before knows that my allegiance is the marvel universe. And I hadn't seen any of the recent DC comic movies directed by Zack Snyder. (Nothing against him- Sucker Punch is one of my favorite movies). Honestly I'd been out of it with Batman (unless you count Gotham which technically doesn't cuz Bruce Wayne isn't batman yet) since Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale ruined Batman for me forever (or at least until Will Arnett took the bat voice to better places with his performance as Lego Batman). 
Suicide Squad was also great.

But the trailers for Wonder Woman kept cropping up and looking even more amazing PLUS rave reviews so I couldn't pass this up.
And much like with Iron-Man when it first came out it got so much hype and kudos that not even a day into its debut and they're already talking about a sequel (in this case the director is returning and it will take place in modern day--the obvious route would be to go to WWII since this one is WWI but the fact they're not says they have big plans in store... wouldn't it be crazy if this character is the reason DC overtakes Marvel in a couple years? I say go for it. If I get an enjoyable experience out of it, thats the most important thing).
I have no idea why "Rough Night" was included in this... none of the cast members were a part of this movie... at least I don't think so.
Anyway it's kinda like a female version of The Hangover- a bachelorette party gone array after the stripper is accidentally killed. And all the girls are old sorority friends. Scarlett Johansson stars and for whatever reason Kate McKinnon plays the Australian exchange student. I know I said before that I'm all for her playing these quirky roles that aren't impressions of other people but I can't help but feel there's some Australian chick out there that was passed over for this role. Not that the movie looks like it'll be any good but for the sake of the people involved (miscast or not) I'll probably be seeing it at some point 
Then we had the Justice League... I had no idea this was coming out this year. To me it looks like a darker version of The Avengers (mainly due to the lighting). Batman Wonder Woman The Flash and Cyborg were a few I caught. Then there was Aquaman who looks nothing like the comic (or even Raj dressed up on Big Bang theory's Halloween show where he laments "aquaman sucks"). He looks kinda like black beard the pirate but with no shirt and wielding a trident.
Anyway I'll have to see what the critics say on this. If there's the slightest danger of it taking down Avengers I might have to scope out the competition.

The Main Event 

We catch up with Diana Prince- I assume after the events of batman vs superman (hadn't seen it yet) and Bruce Wayne sends her an old picture of her with a small group of men.
So the whole movie is practically a flashback going back to the very beginning when she was just the daughter of Hippolyta- queen of the Amazons and her mother didn't want her to learn how to fight.
But we see very quickly a pattern that repeats throughout the movie- Diana always gets her way and does whatever she feels like.
She also grew up with a mythological story about how Zeus created man, Ares corrupted man to fight one another and the Amazons were made to keep the peace. And they are always ready if Ares were to ever return.
When German spy Steve Trevor (not Rodgers-- I know these are two different comic book worlds but I can't be the only person annoyed that they used that same first name- not that I'd ever get these characters or actors confused) crashes into the sea surrounding the amazons' island and inadvertently brings a squad of German soldiers with him... let's just say all hell breaks loose. After hearing his story Diana believes that this Great War he speaks of is the work of Ares and she must go with him to defeat the menace behind all the chaos.
As is often the case- it's something easier said than done.
Additional commentary 
For me, the movie had a great beginning and unexpected exciting ending. But the middle, not that I was bored but I admit looking at my phone 2-3 times  to see what time it was. Hearing this was a long movie without knowing the actual length was giving me a case of ADD.
Although for the mythological portion- saying that Ares destroyed all the gods before he was defeated by the last ditch efforts of Zeus... I'm sorry but as a fan of the Percy Jackson series, that bothered me a lot. Gods can't be killed, at least not permanently. They're sent to the underworld and can rise up again-- assuming they aren't banished there the way hades is (and Persephone for half the year... just don't eat the forbidden fruit- should you ever visit)
Gal Godot was amazing in the title role. She lived and breathed this character and definitely kudos to her for all the sword fighting and stunt work she did. 
Of course Chris Pine (who I'd known since the princess diary sequel) was great. Even if all he's remembered for in this movie was his "nude" scene. (They pushed the envelope as far as it could go without breaking- only his hand covering the rest of him and he was also far away and in some shadow. 
Since he was the first man Diana had ever seen in person, they had to go to the most obvious place. Fascination, innuendo and the good old "would you say you're a good representation of your sex?"
Maybe not as bad as dialogue I'd heard in both 50 shades movies but close. Then again there is no way to do it without making it awkward. There was no crowd reaction in the theater but I'm sure all the women in house enjoyed that cave pool scene.
Shortly after she explains to him that she read all 12 volumes by the muse (I believe...) Clio that talked about men and sex and how men are only good for procreation.  (The ultra feminists who saw this movie probably got a kick out of it).
One of the antagonists is also worth mentioning- the German woman known as "Doctor Death". People talk about wanting more female led movies and strong women characters. She may be subservient to someone else but she's a genius dedicated to her job. Although one could also say she's kinda mad-since this special  mustard gas is her idea.
Maybe it's because I'd been watching Gotham she reminds me a bit of Dr. Hugo Strange (he and Dr. Stephen Strange are not so easily confused as the two Steves) who was responsible for creating and resurrecting villains.
Steve's secretary only has a few scenes but she has a tendency of stealing all the ones she's in.
There's a lot of great action that also comes with a lot of explosions. Michael Bay might have cornered the explosion market but maybe not for long. These ones can be a tad excessive but they're also startling and almost too real at times because some come when you least expect them too.
I won't give away the big ending and the final battles and who the villain was (I had a suspicion but I was kinda hoping I was wrong).
I'm not one who looks for political messages in movies but one became clear during the final battle- and let's just say it was something I wish more people would realize.
"No time 4 politics, no we don't wanna fight.
Everybody get up, it's gonna be a beautiful night."

Also- there are no post-credits scene... DC must think they're too cool for them... although this movie didn't really need it...
Grade: B+ (id get it an A- if it was a movie I was super excited to see again... it's not like I had anything else to do that day but I'm going to dedicate more than 120 minutes to a movie, it needs to hold my interest the whole time or I just need to be in the right mindset for it).

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