How many movies dive into World War I as a backdrop? Not many that I can think of. But there is one that does: Wonder Woman.
There isn’t a specific battle or theater of World War I that is shown, but it brings the feeling of this being the worst war that the world has ever seen.
Wonder Woman starts out in her home of Themyscira, a lush island ruled by Wonder Woman’s mother, Hippolyta. She only wants to protect her daughter, Diana, even if it comes at the cost of her people. It takes Hippolyta’s sister General Antiope to promise to train Diana harder than any Amazon before her before Hippolyta allows it.
The armor that Diana trains in to become Wonder Woman looks like it could be real armor. Covering enough to be protective but also small enough to allow for graceful movements that are needed. While the Amazon’s are beautiful women they are not put in outfits that over-sexualizes them. They look practical and functional.
In A Man’s World
As she leaves Themyscira and enters the world of man, Diana finds she knows nothing about the modern world. This is shown in her naivety about how things work outside of Themyscira. This naivety does bring in plenty of good comedic moments, including one where she tries on women’s fashion of the 1910s.
She wants nothing more than to help everyone she sees. To be that hero everyone can rally behind. Throughout the film, she is constantly told that she cannot do things for one reason or another. It’s not till she finally hits the front lines that she decides she’s has had enough of being told what she can’t do.
When Diana makes up her mind to take action, the film shifts and goes from this dark and dank world into one full of color. She sheds the dark cloak she was wearing to expose her colorful armor, climbs a ladder and walks into no man’s land. This sequence is full of color and starts to show what Diana can do with her power and speed to further her compassion for people.
The film is not without its faults. Slow motion was overused, though not as much as it has been in previous DCEU films.
The final battle itself overused CGI to the point that it almost looked like they didn’t have enough time to polish the scenes before it went to the box office. Aries armor was shinier than it should have been for it being night time. And when he’s wearing his helmet, his face looks rubbery and fake.
Overall, Chris Pine put in an amazing performance as Steve Trevor, though there was one scene toward the beginning of the film, when he was in Themyscira, that I thought he overplayed.
Overall the film has a brighter tone and color pallet than previous other DC films. And that is a good thing, as it starts to give the DC universe the sense of hope that it was lacking.
The musical score is so amazing that, when it truly kicks in, you get sucked into the action even more than anticipated.
While the slow motion is overplayed, usually there is a reason. When it’s used to show how much stronger or faster Diana is than a human is when it works best. Most of the time, though, it is used as a stylized choice. And that’s when it feels out of place.
While the final battle does overuse CGI, there is a good message in there. It also shows how love can overcome hate and anger.
In the end, Wonder Woman is a positive addition to the DC films and shows that you can have a female lead superhero film not only work but thrive. It is definitely a movie that I would recommend to everyone.