Wonder Woman – The Dope Sheet Movie Review

Release Date:  June 2, 2017
Rating:  PG-13
Run Time:  2 hours 21 minutes
After Credit Scene:  NO
IMAX Viewing:  NO
3D Viewing:  NO
Reviewer:  Wayne Demers
The Dope Sheet Score:  8.5 out of 10

A Non-Spoiler Review

This is the DC hero film that everyone has been waiting to see.  Is it perfect?  No, but what a great film and DC’s best effort to date.

Coke has Pepsi.  Ford has Chevy.  DC has Marvel.  When you watch a DC film you get a different flavor than its Marvel counterpart.  Marvel does their hero films that are grounded more in the present, more in real life.  DC also tries to put its story in the present and in real life up until your heroes are involved.  You get more of a comic book feel, and that isn’t bad, but it is different.  When we see Spider-Man or Captain America jump in a film I believe we see an effort to apply realistic physics of gravity.  Watch a DC film and you will find a jump requires less effort and that goes higher or longer than you expect.  Again, not bad, just different.  For those of you who are like me and not caught up into a Marvel film vs. a DC film, you are going to enjoy this movie.  For those of you who do fall on one side of the fence or the other, I’m certain there is a lot to debate.

Gal Gadot is a beautiful woman.  I dare one man to stand up and say she isn’t.  This film just pulls that beauty to a new level and you just can’t help but want to watch her and pull for her through the entire movie.  She isn’t the greatest actress, but she does a very good job as Diana/Wonder Woman.  Chris Pine provides a solid performance as Steve Trevor.  There are times where I felt his lines were a bit rushed or chaotic, but follow your direction from the director and truck on.  The supporting cast also provides a solid performance and the ensemble really pulls everything off well to tell this story.

This is an origin story to give us the background as to who Diana/Wonder Woman is.  We find out where she is from, how she learned to fight, who her family is, and her motivations to become Wonder Woman.  We meet Captain Trevor who is fighting a war and is desperate to bring WWI to an end.  He and his cohorts meet Diana and it is off to war we go.  Together they want to put an end to evil and the suffering endured by civilians and soldiers on both sides.

What works:  The story is pretty good.  It isn’t the tale I was fully expecting which was nice.  It kept me engaged because I wasn’t sure what liberties the film was going to take with Wonder Woman’s backstory, if at all.  Gal Gadot simply nailed Wonder Woman.  She is as feminine as she is powerful.  She is as compassionate as she is strong.  There is plenty of comic relief in the film as well; some a little slapstick and some clever.  I thought there was a good balance of drama, action, and comedy.  It also does a good job of pulling in the Batman vs. Superman film without having to dive into any details.  Also, I’m not sure who the stunt-woman was for Gal Gadot but what an outstanding job she did and I hope she is recognized with an award.

What doesn’t work:  The special effects used in the film are a bit inconsistent.  At times, we’re doing slow motion jumps that take real actors shots and blend in the action.  At other times, they are 100% CGI and it shows.  The style of the special effects during certain scenes was something of the flavor we saw in the film 300, but there is something there that just didn’t feel right about it.  I attribute it to different styles of special effects that weren’t consistent throughout the movie.  There are scenes where Gadot’s acting falls short and other times where I think it was the way the film was edited they may have an impact in her delivery.  For the most part, her performance was spot on.  I didn’t fully enjoy the end of the film either.  Without giving anything away, I felt as though the special effects became the star and the actors took the back seat.  Although a touching end, there was something that felt disjointed.  It was as though there may have been a missing scene that could have wrapped up the film better.  Last but not least, give us a post credit scene!  I would have liked to see a hint of the upcoming Justice League movie.

I think many are going to go to the show and come away feeling really good about the film.  No one says, “Martha” and that is a step in the right direction.  Unlike past DC films (Suicide Squad being an exception), the portrayal of this super hero is true to who we expect Wonder Woman to be and because of this, this reviewer very much enjoyed the film.

On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest, I give this one a solid 8.5.  Watching Gal Gadot alone is worth the price of admission and a popcorn combo.

Did you see the movie?  What are your thoughts?  I’d love to read your opinions below.

Wonder Woman

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