• REVIEW: Wonder Woman (2017)

    Philippine Release Date: June 1, 2017
    Director: Patty Jenkins
    Cast: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Connie Nielsen, Eugene Rock, Said Taghmaoui, Ewen Bremmer, Lucy Davis

    When people wage war, it is not only a war of state and territory, but also a series of conflict of interests, as well as principles. As the struggle ensues, one man rises to advance what is just and what might be right. One man. Or a woman, perhaps.

    DC Universe’s Wonder Woman is one of the installments of the franchise’s DC Extended Universe. Reeking of #GirlPower, the movie stars Gal Gadot as Diana/Wonder Woman, and is directed by Patty Jenkins (which sets a record for the first female director –superhero lead combo in the franchise.

    Growing in a land hidden from potential dangers, Diana lived as the daughter of Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen), Queen of the Amazons in Themyscira. The Queen, as much as possible, prohibited Diana to engage in any training until she found out her sister Antiope (Robin Wright) has been training her all along. Eventually, promising that Diana will be trained way harder than she should be, The Queen agreed. Diana eventually discovered her abilities in a mock battle, hurting her aunt. Afraid that she almost killed her, she ran away from the crowd.

    However, moments after her isolation, a plane crashes into the waters of Themyscira. Diana saves the man flying the sunken plane, Steve Trevor (Chris Pine). Later on they find out that Trevor, is being hunted by the Germans for taking a mad chemist’s notes – one that contains the formula capable of worldwide annihilation. Diana soon discovers that it is actually World War I during that time. As the Queen said that the Amazons are Zeus’ answer to eternal understanding, as well as the key to end Ares, the God of War, Diana believes that it is Ares indeed who set the war itself. She then joins Trevor in pursuit of ending the war, eventually finding herself and her identity amidst the impending catastrophe.

    The movie displays a perfect franchise-worthy narrative, with rooms of possible plots to explore in the coming years, establishing Wonder Woman as a story standing on its own. Gadot was just as fierce as Diana, perfectly resembling a woman of Amazon upbringing, while portraying innocence from the existing world that she eventually discovers. Gadot similarly expressed herself convincingly as a daughter to Hippolyta, a princess to her people, an interest to Trevor, and humanity’s hope in the future.

    As expected of superhero movies, action scenes were packed as they are. Realistic battle approaches and consequences were observed. Albeit a minimal lack of CGI on some sequences, the involved characters in these scenes perfectly portrayed despair, resistance, perseverance, desperation, and hope not only by words but by their body language. Gal Gadot’s oh-no-you-messed-with-the-wrong-lady look sends the intimidation factor not only to its foreseen enemies, but to the audience as well. It is barely an intimidation, though, as Gadot’s fierceness is subsequently toned down by her childlike demeanor reacting to then present-day society and environment.

    Pine and the supporting characters, as mentioned, were nothing short of providing the comedic and battle relief to Gadot, as Trevor finely supplemented Diana’s lack of civility in his world. Meanwhile, Trevor’s trusted allies, Chief, Sameer, Charlie, and Etta (Eugene Rock, Said Taghmaoui, Ewen Bremmer, Lucy Davis) provided ample cover for Trevor and Diana to reach the princess’ goal – end Ares’ desire for war and eventually kill him with her bare hands.

    All in all, despite a low-key promotion, Wonder Woman is the best surprise package the DC Universe has unboxed to date, setting a good precedent to its upcoming Justice League apparent. On its own, Wonder Woman is overflowing with spectacle and treats for visuals and story, of action and sub reality, of selfishness and selflessness, of past and the future and what is beyond of everyone.

    Indeed, all is fair in love and war.

    Rating: 10/10

    Wonder Woman is NOW SHOWING in theatres nationwide.

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