This post will contain spoilers.
Wonder Woman is a lot like Obama.
OK. This might seem like a very odd claim but stick with me. Recently I went to see Wonder Woman as part of the Non-Snobby Cinema Club I run through meetup.com.
I had heard nothing but positive things from critics I admire and the fact that it blew the record for domestic gross by a female director. You could say that I was pretty excited about it. Gal Gadot is a charismatic actor that has a great screen presence.
So when I eventually left the movie, I was left feeling like I should have enjoyed it a lot more than I actually did.
And it got me thinking:
Is Wonder Woman actually a good movie or is it just so much better than previous DC entries in their cinematic universe so far?
Thus the Obama analogy. He became US President on the back of George Bush so, no matter what, he was going to be
He became US President on the back of George Bush. No matter what, he was going to be perceived as being a better president.
Don’t get me wrong, Wonder Woman isn’t a bad movie. But I feel that there are many issues that it seems to be given a pass on.
Excessive use of CGI
We live in a time where incredible things can be done using CGI. However, the downside to this, at least for me personally, is that it can create such a disconnect between what you see happening and what you know to be true. This can make things seem less plausible and, in turn, can make you just turn off and have less interest in what is happening.
This, for me, was most notable during the fight sequences, which were numerous and mostly excellent. In some, Gadot’s Wonder Woman is throwing people to and fro and it is so obvious that the people were added in during post-production. So many of these were unnecessary, especially when TV shows like Game of Thrones, which would have a budget a fraction of most blockbuster movies, shows exactly what can be done with the perfect mix of practical and computer effects.
Disappointing Final Third
The first two-thirds of Wonder Woman are excellent. During these sections, we are introduced to the island of Themyscira and then the world of WW1 ravaged Europe. The characters are likeable; the population of the island of Themyscira are some of the most powerful women I’ve seen in any movie. The destinations are great and the set pieces are superb – the No Man’s Land sequences are truly fantastic.
And then it gets so let down by a disappointing Final Third, in which it devolves into the now-cliched CGI-heavy immense fight sequences, the likes you see across most other Super Hero movies (I’m looking at you, X-Men: Apocalypse). As things explode around you and immensely heavy objects get thrown around, I just found myself feeling disinterested in this.
It feels like DC should take a page out of Marvel’s book with Captain America: Civil War and how it superbly navigates around this.
If there is one thing DC is known for, it’s the villains. The Joker. Darkseid. Mr Freeze. So many iconic and infamous villains.
Ares, by all accounts, should be an excellent villain. He’s the God of War! But, in this, he is just so disappointing. And this boils down to the actor who portrayed him.
David Thewlis; an excellent British actor who would be most known as Remus Lupin from the Harry Potter franchise, just isn’t a convincing God. Especially when he is supposed to portray Ares.
In one sequence towards the end, we see him injured and defeated. He his topless. Is staring up towards the camera. And is so obviously digitally altered to appear younger and more buff. This got a big laugh from myself and other cinema-goers.
As the fight sequences between Wonder Woman and his voice was altered to sound more buff, it just caused another disconnect. It felt less and less real (at least as real as an Amazon fighting a God can be…) and, thus, made it feel less interesting.
Is it just better than previous DC movies?
When Wonder Woman comes on the back of the critically panned Batman vs Superman and Suicide Squad; one of the few movies that made me leave it feeling physically angry about what I had seen, it will, of course, seem like a shining diamond. If it had been released after Marvel-quality movies, would it still be as well received?
What did you think of Wonder Woman? Did you enjoy it more than I did? Less than I did? Let me know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.