RATING: 4.5 out of 5
Say what you will about the current state of the world, but there’s no denying that there are still a few things to appreciate about it if only one knows where to look. Extra chicken nuggets when you only ordered 6 pieces? Saraaaap. Ice cold beer after working hard the whole week? Heaven. Seeing Gal Gadot kick-ass as Wonder Woman? Now that’s what I’m talking about, ladies and gentlemen!
“Wonder Woman” tells the story of Diana (Gal Gadot), the princess of the Amazons. Raised in the secret and sheltered island paradise of Themyscira, she was trained to grow up as the greatest warrior the world has ever known. But when an American pilot Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) crashes off their shores and tells the Amazons of a great war being waged that has resulted in millions of women and children dying, Diana decides to leave her home believing that she’s the only one who can bring peace to the human race. But in doing so, she has to battle Ares, the Greek god of war who she thinks is the one responsible for everything.
Fans have been eagerly awaiting the release of “Wonder Woman” ever since we saw her in action in the much-maligned “Batman v. Superman: Our Moms Are Both Named Martha”. When I wrote my review for that movie, I remember saying that Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman was actually the best thing about the whole movie. Now that “Wonder Woman” is finally upon us, it’s being hailed as “the best DC film since The Dark Knight” by many reviews and for good reason.
The most obvious reason for me is because “Wonder Woman” deviates greatly from the depressing films Zack Snyder has subjected us to in the past. Sa kulay pa lang kitang kita mo na e. The movie didn’t make use of the grayish “ang lungkot nito gusto kong maglaslas bakit ba laging nakasimangot si Superman” tones that Zack Snyder made use of in “Man of Steel” and “BvS”. “Wonder Woman” was much more vibrant and there’s a change in the overall tone of the movie as well. Simply put, “Wonder Woman” might as well be set in a whole other universe because it’s so much different from what we’ve seen in the DC Extended Universe thus far.
The DC films has always been compared to the better-reviewed Marvel movies with a lot of people saying that in order to enjoy the same success, DC should borrow the same tone that Marvel has seemingly perfected. But DC, maybe out of pride or perhaps wanting to differentiate itself from Marvel, has been hesitant to do so. That’s why it’s funny that the DC movie that’s being praised by critics is the one that resembles a Marvel movie the most. Fans will notice that “Wonder Woman” shares a lot of elements with “Thor” (fish-out-of-water angle) and “Captain America: The First Avenger” (superhero as a war hero).
But I would actually go further by saying that “Wonder Woman” does “Marvel” better than Marvel does “Marvel”. Minsan kasi yung Marvel movies may tendency maging masyadong patawa or kengkoy in attempting to appeal to all age groups. While it generally works, it can honestly get rather annoying at times. “Wonder Woman” takes some of what works in those Marvel movies, but still keeps it mature. How exactly? Well first of all, though there is no gore, you can see Wonder Woman actually killing people in the movie. Secondly, there’s a sequence in the movie where Diana and Steve discuss the finer points of sex while lying down side by side on a boat in the middle of the ocean. Although it’s meant to be funny, you’ll never get that kind of dialogue in a Marvel movie. And later on the two actually have sex! Or at least I think they do. Although it was’t really shown, it’s heavily implied that they do. Now other than Tony Stark, who else gets laid in the MCU? Parang wala di ba? Si Tony Stark lang ang nakakatikim sa luto ng Diyos! May mga needs rin ang katawang lupa ni The Hulk, okay?!
Furthermore, what’s great about “Wonder Woman” in my opinion is that it was able to find the right mix of humor, great action scenes, and a compelling plot. Credit should go to director Patty Jenkins for adeptly finding the right balance. Simple lang yung kwento and it doesn’t complicate things, allowing the audience to follow and appreciate Diana’s journey from being the princess of the Amazons into the “Wonder Woman” we’ve come to know. The action scenes were at par with what we’ve seen from superhero movies but again, comparing it to “BvS”, I preferred this one because you actually get to see the action. “BvS” was too dark at times that all the movement becomes lost in the midst of all the smoke and shadows. It was also a great decision to set the story with World War I as the backdrop seeing as it was an era where women weren’t given the same regard and respect as they are now. So it would be disconcerting for a strong and proud Amazon princess like Diana to say the least.
But the best thing about “Wonder Woman” in my opinion is Gal Gadot herself. Sure, she might not be as seasoned an actress as Connie Nielsen (who plays Hippolyta her mother) or Robin Wright (who plays her mentor Antiope) but she simply mesmerizes as Diana. We all know she’s beautiful, but it’s not her beauty that makes her a very good Wonder Woman. It’s her charm. I’m not sure what it is but there’s just something about her when she’s playing the role of Wonder Woman that makes her even more radiant. Napanuod naman natin siya sa “Fast and Furious”, and sure she was also pretty then but she wasn’t as charismatic. But when she’s Wonder Woman, iba e.
There’s something she’s been doing since “BvS” that I enjoy so much. Kunwari nakikipaglaban siya tapos tinamaan siya or what, she does a smirk which is equal parts adorable and sexy. Seryoso nung ginawa niya yun sa “Wonder Woman” narinig ko yung mga katabi ko sa sinehan na nag “huwaaaaw” e! That doesn’t happen very often in movies anymore. I can’t believe there was actually a time where people bashed Warner Bros. decision in casting Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. After her two outings as the character, I don’t see her as Gal Gadot the actress anymore, I just see her as Wonder Woman. The same way Hugh Jackman is forever Wolverine and Robert Downey Jr. will always be Tony Stark in our eyes no matter what other roles they play.
I think what makes “Wonder Woman” so wonderful (c’mon I had to make that pun sooner or later) is that we finally get a hero who represents our best virtues. Wala siyang baggage e. Si Batman hindi mo alam kung dapat mong katakutan or pasalamatan. Superman, at least in the movies, is burdened by being a god-like figure. Wonder Woman sees the good in humanity and makes it her mission to help man. Her naivety and compassion, which Gal Gadot expresses so well, makes her a hero that inspires. And in uncertain times like these, a little inspiration is always a good thing.
All photos courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures
Wonder Woman is now out in cinemas everywhere