| Clear, 80 F (27 C)
| RSS | |



Arts · Politics · Crime
· Sports · Food ·
· Opinion · NOLA ·


Defender Picks


Film Review: Wonder Woman

I just went to see Wonder Woman for the second time in three days. My family had yet to see it, so I joined them to watch this summer blockbuster for a repeat viewing. As I entered the Dolby Cinema, a flagship theater that brings the most complete movie experience, it was sold out. There was a different crowd in the theater. This time it was filled with girls, mostly tweeners, wearing Wonder Woman shirts, socks, decals on their face, and various stylish apparel options. I grinned and let out a soft chuckle; they were me as a child. I remember watching Spiderman in my own costume times, spewing spidey webs from my wrists, imagining that I can be Peter Parker.


So as I walked down the aisle seeing myself at that age, an idea struck me: but it was not the same. Almost every main superhero is a man: Superman, Batman, Iron Man, Thor, Green Arrow, et cetera. Sure, there are female superheroes, like Super Woman and Catwoman, but they haven’t had success on the big screen. Catwoman and Elektra flopped at the box office in 2004 and 2005, respectively. As I see these girls, giddy and full of excitement, I realize that this is completely new: there being the first female director with a female lead in a superhero movie. This is more than a movie to every young woman in the world, especially in countries that banned this film for the portrayal as a strong, independent woman, for it is a symbol of hope. They need a woman full of passion and conviction more than anytime in the past 40 years. With the constant sexism  in various aspects in Hollywood, this feature is paramount in the strife for women to have equal opportunities as men, specifically as director of major franchises. We need Wonder Woman to inspire a new generation of women ... and it succeeds with flying colors.


The story begins in present day. Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) is Diana Prince, working as an antiquities expert in the Louvre while still her alter ego of a vigilante by night. She receives a long-lost picture from Bruce Wayne from her mysterious past: a World War I era photograph with the four supporting cast members, when the entire movie takes place. Diana is the daughter of Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons — a warrior race of women created by Zeus. Their purpose is to protect humanity from the evil and corruption of Ares, the god of War in Greek mythology. A war with Ares with the Olympians ensues, in which all the gods were killed except the two; Ares was mortally wounded by Zeus, and the Amazons go into hiding in Themyscira, an island surrounded by invisible fog.


The movie differs from previous D.C. extended universe (DCEU) films, such as Batman vs Superman and Suicide Squad, in that the filming is not grittily defined by various shades of grey (which are terrible films in their own right). From Themyscira, with lush vegetation and white, pristine Ionic Greek columns, to the crumbling Belgian trenches to No-Mans-Land, the brown sludge surrounded by torn limbs from trees drenched in blood from the Big Bertha howitzers crashing from the heavens, the landscapes paint a beautiful (and often horrific) image. The movie may be about “The War to End All Wars,” totaling over 38 million casualties, but it is full of life. The characters are well rounded, all displaying character development, interesting story arcs, and genuine personalities. Diana’s pure, idealist view of the world clashing with Trevor’s cynical life experience offers organic dialogue and arguments and visible cinematic chemistry. Charlie’s sleepless nights where he sees ghosts, most likely due to post traumatic stress disorder, and Sammy’s lost dream of becoming an actor feel like real people that you would meet in war time. Allan Heinberg’s screenplay brings to life these characters — an aspect within the DCEU that often fails, with its stagnant and frankly boring characters.


The two stand out performances are Gadot and Pine, with the latter hamming it up in the spotlight. No stranger to the big budget action flick (he starred in that little sci-fi franchise Star Trek, if you've heard of it), Pine delivers on both comedic and dramatic fronts. He has perfect comedic timing and the deadpan that delivers multiple laughs throughout. Pine’s fidgety nature when he is trying to persuade Diana is simply pure acting. You can hear and see the pain in his voice and eyes. Pine is perfect for Steve Trevor; I cannot think of another person to fit in this role. Gadot delivers a career-defining performance. She embraces the passionate, confident persona of Diana. Her childlike awe of everything in the modern world is a source of the humor in the film early on. Seeing Gadot trying to kick and perform athletic maneuvers while wearing a corset inside a British tailor is downright hysterical. She delivers the timing perfectly; however, she does come off as shallow in some dramatic sequences. Her words don’t evoke the weight as Pine’s when she is pleading with him, but this is a small gripe.


Wonder Woman’s narrative is just as bright as the acting. Director Patty Jenkins decides to take the superhero genre in a new direction — a bold move for the first-time superhero movie director (the first woman to direct any superhero movie), and her second studio movie released under her direction. She takes a risk by altering the stereotypical narrative. Superhero flicks showcase an insane villain exacting revenge on the hero by destroying a city, inspiring the superhero to save the day and defeat the villain. Wonder Woman depicts an entire world ripping itself apart, lead by the “evil” German army. Wonder Woman is a film about a superhero saving the day, but not because of her existence. She is not the reason for the madness surrounding her, but rather a person attempting to help. This fresh take on the genre is invigorating, keeping you invested during the 141 minute run time. There are a few hiccups. The narrative is great until its conclusion, which is drawn out. There is no fundamental flaw that other DCEU movies have. Wonder Woman is a well-grounded film, showing no chinks in the scantily clad armor.


Patty Jenkins has kept the DCEU afloat with Wonder Woman. This is a movie that is as enjoyable to watch as its theme is important: strong, independent woman. Wonder Woman is the hero we need in the world right now. This is easily one of the best films of the year. This is the best superhero movie since The Dark Knight in 2008; and possibly an all-time great superhero movie.  Do not be surprised when it starts raking in the Oscar nominations. This is the must see movie for the summer.

Erin Rose
view counter
view counter
view counter
French Market
view counter
Advertise With Us Here
view counter
view counter
Follow Us on Twitter
view counter
view counter
view counter


Renard Boissiere, Evan Z.E. Hammond, Naimonu James, Wilson Koewing, J.A. Lloyd, Nina Luckman, Dead Huey Long, Alexis Manrodt, Joseph Santiago, Andrew Smith, Cynthia Via, Austin Yde


Art Director

Michael Weber, B.A.


Listings Editor

Linzi Falk

Editor Emeritus

Alexis Manrodt

B. E. Mintz

Stephen Babcock

Published Daily