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Film Review: Wonder Woman


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Wonder Woman is the action-packed female superhero film to clear our skin and water our crops.

There was a feeling of trepidation around the release of this newest instalment to the DC Extended Universe. Not only were there pressures from DC and Warner Bros themselves due to their spotty history with critical responses to those last two DC superhero movies, but also for female led superhero movies and female directed movies.

Fortunately, Wonder Woman completely crushes it.

On a completely visual level, Patty Jenkins and her team created some stunning work. Jenkins knows where to focus to show the power and strength of Diana Prince’s character and cinematography across the film is straight-up beautiful. The soundtrack was intense and emotive, and silence is used with wonderful effectiveness to make some hard scenes even more heart-wrenching.

But the story of Diana’s that was told is something wonderful. In Batman Vs Superman, you see a Wonder Woman who has been burnt by the world of Man before and struggled to cope with the duality of the people around her. Wonder Woman takes us back to a time where Diana was young, saw the world in black and white morality with such a naive expectation of the world outside her island that you just know that it’s going to come crashing down. She’s earnest in her beliefs, outspoken and honest.

Gal Gadot does an amazing job of bringing to life this character that is so important to so many people.

The cast of characters that surround Diana are brilliant. The Amazons are these strong and beautiful women, shown with sword roughened edges and thigh jiggles. They don't spend a lot of time on screen, but for the time they do spend there, you get to see their strengths as well as their vulnerabilities, turning the Amazons from these deities to something far more human and relatible.

The ones that steel the show however are those that we caught a first glimpse of in Batman Vs Superman - Chief, Charlie, Sammy and Steve Trevor. It's through these characters that Diana begins to understand the world that she has now made herself a part of. After first meeting, she sees them in strict confines of what they have said and what they appear to be, but over time begins to understand the nuances of the good and the bad in all people.

It's also through these characters that the themes of PTSD in soliders and racism arises. For the plot of the story, little detail is gone in to on these subjects but they are mentioned very clearly. A change in itself - the discussions of trauma and racism and people's expectations and what can be taken from you are stated without an attempt to code it or hide it amongst the story. It just is.

Their relationships are affectionate and sweet in a way that warms the heart, but nothing makes it ache more than the romance between Steve and Diana. The film does this great job at allowing their relationship to grow in a way that seems natural and full of innocence alongside innuendo. The banter and the quick wit make them all the more endearing.

You want them to be happy, you want a fairy tale ending - but that doesn't mean we always get what we want.

Wonder Woman is a fantastic film that celebrates the most beloved female superhero in DC history, celebrates women, strength, love and the complexity of humanity. Let's hope this is a start of a trend both in DC's Extended Universe and for female led action movies in general.

Wonder Woman is out now, distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures.

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