Thursday, June 1, 2017

Reel Talk- Wonder Woman

by Da CogNegro

It’s no secret that DC Comics and WB have struggled to create another successful franchise outside of the Batman property. Though Man of SteelBatman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad have all done relatively well at the box office, critics and fan feedback has ranged from apathetic to downright vitriolic. To say thatWonder Woman has a considerable amount of pressure, to break “the curse”, is an understatement. What has always been baffling though is why it has taken so long for this film to be released when she is arguably one of the most iconic characters in pop culture! Put it this way, Green Lantern, Steel, and even Jonah Hex have had their time on the silver screen. Even Swamp Thing has had two films dedicated to his adventures in the…the…Swamp!  But with the female empowerment movement being at the forefront of our current social-political sphere, the release of such a movie could not have come at a better time.

First and foremost, all who may have worried that Gal Gadot would not be a suitable successor to Lynda Carter can put their worries to rest. She is powerful, intelligent and a stunning presence on the screen who  seamlessly pulls off an authentic balance of regality and naivety that does not come off as being contrived, or hammy, especially since the film serves as a variation of the “fish out of water” tale.

From a cinematography perspective, the contrast between the vibrant Themyscira to the drab European backdrops is quite effective and really gives the viewer a sense of two vastly, different worlds. Chris Pine is charming and believable enough as our human tour guide for this adventurous romp.  Furthermore, the cast of supporting characters generally works well to flesh out the humor and drama of the narrative. Sure the villains are a bit 2-D, but this is forgivable because the majority of the film reminds of us of the magic of super hero movies. Yes, we enjoy films that are grounded in reality and defy genre expectations. However, there is nothing wrong with evoking a true sense of nostalgic escapism in these films as well.

However, being that Zack Snyder has his fingerprints on this, the movie has some glaring flaws which unfortunately, prevent it from being great! Without giving too much away, there is one scene, within the climax, that is truly profound and if examined further, could have really made the film something special. Instead of leaving well enough alone though, the film descends into eye rolling; madcap final battle that strips away the more subtle nuances the movie spent so much time developing. The viewer is then overcome with a “been there …done that” feel that could have easily been avoided. Speaking of action, we get a mix bag  of dazzling array of fisticuffs  to scenes that rely too heavily on slow motion , choppy editing, and unnecessary close ups. All in all, Wonder Womanis a step in the right direction for DC’s answer to Marvel’s cinematic universe. It’s just too bad that it is a step as oppose to a leap. And you don’t have to tie me up to receive that truth!  (B-)-CgN  

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