By: Felix Felicis (Two Beers) –
It’s finally happened. 2017 has broken the world. Sea levels are rising, dogs and Kardashians are getting along, our Cheeto-In-Chief is slowly but surely dismantling democracy, there was that whole Fyre Festival thing… and DC has made an excellent superhero movie. Which actually may be the most surprisingly apocalyptic thing to happen thus far in a year littered with human garbage and dumpster fyre dreams. I went into Wonder Woman with DC expectations and walked out MARVELously pleased. Sorry not sorry for that pun.
Wonder Woman delivers exactly what you’re expecting (and more) in this fish-out-of-Amazonian waters origin story. Much like Marvel’s Ant Man, Wonder Woman manages to (flawlessly) be both an origin story and an installment in the larger framework of the DCU. We follow Diana (Gal Gadot) from her childhood on the hidden Amazonian island Themyscira, to bustling war time London as she and pilot/spy Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) do their best to stop David Thewlis aka the god Ares (and by extension the Central Powers opposing the Allies in the war to end all wars) from unleashing hell in the form of a heinous new kind of chemical weapon (created by the creepy bish in a broken doll mask, Dr. Poison aka Elena Anaya) upon the world during WWI. Just get a little drunk and squint a little and it’s basically Captain America… ish.
Wonder Woman is the DC movie we’ve all been waiting years for. It’s a gloriously kickass FUBU for women and cinema in a time when we need both together more than ever. Director Patti Jenkins crafts a superbly restrained clarity in her narrative that is coherent, principled, and genuinely moving. Wonder Woman makes the most of this economy of purpose in such a way that the action pops harder and faster on screen than many superhero flicks do when given the green light, most notably when Diana uses her slo-mo hair and runway walk of doom to turn the No Man’s Land of a battlefield into Ladytown, Population: 1 Amazonian Princess. There is warmth, humor, innocence, betrayal, and bitter victory (all before the credits roll), showcasing an ensemble cast perfectly designed to break your heart in a way that’ll have you back in the seat ready to watch it all again before you can even say “lasso of truth”. Seriously. If you don’t straight-up burst a brovary during the finale fireworks you might be a robot sent from the future to destroy mankind.
Wonder Woman belongs to Gal Gadot from start to finish and she owns every frame of it (though mad props to Chris Pine and his baby blues/nearly full frontal for keeping up). Gadot has an ineffable charm as Diana that draws you in and makes you her companion on this breakneck adventure (she goes from Mila Kunis to Milla Jovovich in under a week) through battlefields both obvious and unseen. Wonder Woman isn’t a perfect movie, but it’s far better than I expected and holds its own (in terms of quality) against Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 this summer blockbuster season (also reviewed by yours truly). I saw Wonder Woman in both 2D and IMAX 3D and I can say that this movie is spectacular in any D you choose to watch it in (though it kicks a little extra ass in an added dimension). I’m normally against paying more for what most studios use purely as an added box office cash grab, but there are some truly thrilling action shots that the 3D version just absolutely slays with.
Wonder Woman has all kinds of Crouching Tiger/Hidden Kickass goodness in it.
Mad props to my Princess Bride Buttercup bae, Robin Wright, as Diana’s Aunt Antiope (pictured above) giving me all the YAS QUEEN I can handle this week.
Much like Guardians Vol. 2, Wonder Woman has a few clunky moments in the narrative that bop you a little too hard on the nose with its message of love (familial for Guardians, romantic for WW) to flow as smoothly as I’d like. Wonder Woman’s pacing also feels the tiniest bit disjointed at times (slightly too long on Themyscira (and in London), slightly too little on the battle at the end. This would be a Toast based solely on DC standards, though taken on a Marvel playing field it falls just under with, ultimately, Two Beers. DC had better deliver on Justice League or Wonder Woman will prove just a magnificent flash in the pan. Only time, and our fave new silver screen demigoddess, will tell.
Wonder Woman is proof positive that it’s not all about uter-YOU, guys, but about uter-US when it comes to making movies worth the price of admission (so get your ass in a seat for this hard-to-beat summer treat today).
Last Call: don’t stick around for any extra-credit cameos because there aren’t any easter eggs in this badass basket.
Wonder Woman (2017) Drinking Game
Take a Drink: whenever someone tells Diana she can’t do something. Take Two: when she does it anyway.
Do a Shot: every time Diana asks Steve if he’s average/any time Steve calls someone his secretary.
Take a Sip: for slo-mo and multi-lingual Wonder Woman convos.
Shotgun Your Beer (Then Pour A Little Out): when Diana’s relationship with Steve gets a little… explosive.