WONDER WOMAN (2017)Label: Warner Bros.
Region Code: A
Duration: 141 Minutes
Audio: English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 with Optional English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish subtitles
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (2.40:1)
Director: Patty Jenkins
Cast: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Connie Nielsen, Lucy Davis
Synopsis: Before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, Princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on a sheltered island paradise, when an American pilot crashes on their shores and tells of a massive conflict raging in the outside world, Diana leaves her home, convinced she can stop the threat. Fighting alongside man in a war to end all wars, Diana will discover her full powers…and her true destiny.
It's been a long time coming but we finally have a Wonder Woman movie on the big screen, and what a fun adventure and origin story is is! We have Gal Godot as Diana, Princess of the Amazons, born on the mythic and hidden island of Themascira, home to a race of warrior women created by Zeus to protect mankind. Diana's mother, Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen, Rushmore) does not wish for her daughter to learn the ways of a warrior, shielding her from something, from some sort of fate. We learn of how in an ancient war wherein the jealous God of War Ares warred against Zeus, jealous of his love of mankind, Ares was defeated, and Zeus left the Amazons in charge of a weapon known as the "Godkiller", a mythical sword to be used to defeat ares should he ever return.
Despite her mother's hesitation to train her to fight Diana secretly trains with her bad ass aunt Antiope (Robin Wright, The Princess Bride), who trains her to be a fierce warrior. A training that is put to the test when WWI American pilot Captain Steve Trevor's (Chris Pine, Star Trek)plane is shot down by German forces, the pane piercing the thick stormy veil that hides the island from mankind. Diana witnesses the crash and rescues Steve from drowning in the wreck, she brings him to the island against the wishes of her mother, and soon the island beach is overrun with Germans storming the beach, in pursuit of Trevor. In the ensuing battle Antope dies, and Diana leaves Themyscira with the Godkiller in hand, believing that the God of war Ares has returned to cause the war.
Director Patty Jenkins gives this origin story a grand scale, shot in scope, with gorgeous, vibrant visuals of Themyscira - a true paradise untouched by the outside worlds. There's a good amount of world building happening there, establishing the woman-centric order of things on the island and the mythology around it, it's appropriately grand and wonderful. It's not spoiled until man step foots on the island, and when Diana embarks on her adventure with Steve Trevor to London the tone shifts appropriately to a dour, smoke-filled, war-torn place, best represented by the nightmare that is No Man's Land, trench warfare won and lost momentarily by mere inches of ground gained.
The main plot line has Diana in search of the God of War, theorizing that if she can find and kill him the horrific war will end, to that end she ends up joining a secret mission to seek out a Spanish chemist named Isabel Maru (Elena Anaya, The Skin I Live In) and General Erich Ludendorff (Danny Huston, X-Men Origin: Wolverine) whom are creating a new form of deadly mustard gas, which will turn the tide of war in favor of the waning Germans. Diana joins in on the mission believing it will bring her closer to Ares, believing it to be the German General Ludendorff, and thus saving the day for all humanity.
There's always gonna be some small something you can nitpick, and Wonder Woman is no different. While not ruinous there were a few small things that gave me pause, the one that sticks out was (SLIGHT SPOILERS AHEAD)a reveal that Ares does not reside within whom Diana thought he would, she had an idea that stopping a certain someone would halt the horrors of war, and it goes a different direction, culminating in a big boss battle at the end. For me this felt like just more of the same, and I felt that for the most part this movie was above the usual superhero stuff. I would have liked another option which I think is hinted at for a moment, and I would have been good had it ended right there, that there's no evil God of War in the wings pulling the strings of mankind, that humanity has a dark heart, that we need no help from Gods to destroy ourselves. I might be in the minority on this thought, superhero film fans love their good vs. evil battles, it might be expected but everyone seems to have enjoyed the battle, myself included, but I think it could have been something deeper and less fought with the usual big battle stuff we see in every other superhero movie.
A few small qualms aside I was blown away by Wonder Woman, the visuals are inspired, it didn't all feel like an origin-story retread, and it holds up to repeat viewings. In my opinion this is the best cinematic superhero origin story since Richard Donner's original Superman (1978) - yeah, it's that good.
– Epilogue: Etta’s Mission – Etta Candy gets the boys back together for a secret mission that could impact humanity’s future. (3 min) HD
– Crafting the Wonder – Wonder Woman finally comes to life in her first, breathtaking solo film. Explore the journey to create an adventure worthy of DC’s greatest warrior.(16 min) HD
– A Director’s Vision: Themascira: The Hidden Island (5 min) HD
– A Director’s Vision: Beach Battle (5 min) HD
– A Director’s Vision: Wonder Woman at War (5 min) HD
– A Director’s Vision: A Photograph Through Time (5 min) HD
– A Director’s Vision: Diana in the Modern World (5 min) HD
– Warriors of Wonder Woman – Witness the creation of the Amazon army as the women of “Wonder Woman” transform emotionally and physically into the world’s most powerful and heroic warriors. 910 min) HD
– The Trinity – Filmmakers and comic book creators explore the legend of Wonder Woman and how she stands shoulder to shoulder with Superman and Batman to create the pillars of the DC Universe. (16 min) HD
– The Wonder Behind the Camera – Meet the women behind the wonder as they welcome a group of aspiring filmmakers on set for an exclusive, once-in-a-lifetime experience. (16 min) HD
– Finding the Wonder Woman Within – Feel the power of Wonder Woman as award-winning poets and inspiring public figures reveal the impact and importance of DC’s greatest heroine. (23 min)
- Extended Scene: Boat Conversation (4 min) HD
- Extended Scene: Selfridges Shopping (2 min) HD
- Extended Scene: Parliament Steps (1 min) HD
- Extended Scene: Morning At The Train Station (1 min) HD
- Extended Scene: Charlie Never Sleeps (1 min) HD
– Blooper Reel (6 min) HD
Wonder Woman (2017)is the best superhero movie of 2017 and the best of the new millennial DC films, the scope and circa 1918 visuals are breathtaking, the action is awesome and the story arc makes for a great origin tale for Wonder Woman. I cannot wait to see what director Patty Jenkins brings to the sequel which she has signed up to direct!
DISCLAIMER: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray for the purposes of this review.