Saturday, 3 June 2017
REVIEW: WONDER WOMAN
The Wonder Years.
141 Mins. Starring: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Elena Anaya, Lucy Davis, & Connie Nielsen. Director: Patty Jenkins.
Is it any wonder, that this womans work would take Hollywood so long to get round to? In this, this sexist age of Trumped up misogny. But finally the sleeves have been rolled up and the bracelets crossed over. As the iconic theme of this legend rings out for her legacy of truth. 'Wonder Woman' will draw you in like her gold bright lasso. The 76 year old Amazon queen still in her prime, Diana Prince is no longer invisible like her plane. After the great, Lynda Carter honouring Gal Gadot incarnation (sorry Adrianne Palicki, but you were great in 'Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D'.) made her revelatory big-screen debut in last years critically underrated 'Batman v Superman-Dawn Of Justice', DC Comics' first lady is ready to take the Dark Knight and Man Of Steel to November's dusk of the 'Justice League' assembling ensemble movie. With The Flash, Cyborg, Aquaman and the Green Lantern (?) if he ever decides to milk carton show. But before all of that this Xena Warrior Princess meets Lady Sif is a real marvel for DC too in her solo origins movie. Taking it back to the old World War torn days and thematic textures of a Peggy Carter, 'Captain America-The First Avenger', via the 'Thor' like realms of her Themyscira island world of women. Making for a monster looking movie from Charlize Theron best of director Patty Jenkins, mixing classical traditions and new age legend. If it's taken this long for the Diana princess to get cinematic then it was definitly worth the epic curtain opening wait, as Wonder Woman spins right round for the record like Clark Kent in a phone booth and turns all notions of comic-book sexism and DC movie critical discrimination on it's head. 'Logan', 'Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2.' and the 'Homecoming' of 'Spider-Man' this Summer are in trouble. Stan Lee's creations thought they had it easy. Until one of the most original heroes looking for justice in these hard times-were old fashions and prejudice die just as tough-came back faster and even more furious.
"I can't let you do this", Chris Pine tells Gadot's Wonder Woman much like his Kirk aligning with Benedict Cumberbatch's Khan was told by Spock in the 'Star Trek' sequel 'Into Darkness'. "What I do Is not up to you", Diana Prince responds as they dance for the definitive, defiant notion that dominates this picture. Sexism and discrimination has no place here, only feminism and equality. Showing only love and the power of a woman in the face of the evil (some) men do. Even in a film that to some fans looks like it rivals the latest 'Baywatch' Rock reboot in the costume department. The striking, enduring image of Wonder Woman roaring behind her Cap like shield as a hail of bullets richochet off something that is no glorified frisbee is emblematic of this entire movies strength in the face of any kind of war. A metaphor and message we need visually and visceraly now today by the 24 hour news cycle more than ever. From beach battles of a mythology of 300 women, to a rise of an empire much more familiar. And as Prince steps up to a no mans land battlefield and shows any aggravating artillery her Quake like gauntlets, she gives us a stirring scene of epic magnitude that puts her in the infintiy ranks of comic-book crossovers to cinematic proportions, highlighted by modern day, timeless set pieces. Simply put Gadot is a wonder as this woman Diana Prince. The former 'Fast and Furious' franchise supporting actress shows she is above the spoiler bar of a few cereal box car tricks and riding shotgun. Bringing more foot to the floor fury as she runs through the trenches with a soldiers soul. The Israeli actress is funny, forthright and formidable as Prince forget a Lebanon ban. This movie stretches to more than spandex or sex appeal. Looking toward more positive themes and metaphors that carry out through cinema and character. If Superman is the kind of hero that inspires young bullied comic-book fans to rise up and do good, then Wonder Woman is exactly the same also adding the belief that no one-even the closest to you-should discriminate. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it a stereotype? Whether your male or female the only thing that matters is you, who you are. And you all know this womans worth.
'Monster' director Patty Jenkins gives us a beast of a movie on all fronts, as in the middle of a raging first war she turns Gadot's 'Dawn of Justice' cameo into something that isn't a mere 'J.L.' prequel preview but something that's in a league of its own. This is Gal's movie and the birth of a new actor/director partnership with Patty. But the star power of Captain Kirk certainly helps this enterprise. And after the rumours that the charismatic Chris Pine was going to play the Justice League's Jon Stewart Green Lantern (Like Gadot's 'Furious' co-star, musician Tyrese Gibson lobbied to play Hal Jordan's version), it seems like Pine is playing a Captain America type like fellow Chris Evans. This soldiering spy is even called Steve Trevor. But that's where the bumbling blonde on blonde bomber, Steve Rogers comparisons end...or is it?! Because even is he is heroic, Pine is playing no superhero. He's Wonder Woman's other half. But what a great, non-chauvinistic move for the womanizing James T. Kirk. Coming off his best year in 2016 with the bearded, Oscar nominated, bank heist 'Hell Or High Water' and the epic conclusion of the new 'Star Trek' trilogy, Chris Pine goes beyond all this with a heaven sent, emotive role. Which is probably his funniest too to boot. This man has more one-liners than a best friend role...come to think about it, that's him right now. And he or us don't even have a problem with that. At. All. The chemistry between Gadot and Pine is a charm catalyst too. But there's plenty more behind this movies front-line. 'Forrest Gump's' Jenny and 'House Of Cards' First Lady Robin Wright battles as a homeland warrior whilst you're all binge watching Season 5 on Netflix. Whilst 'Gladiator' wife Connie Nielsen plays Wonder Woman's moving mother with her greatest gifts. 'Shaun Of The Dead' and 'Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip' actress Lucy Davis also shows up as a sweetly silly and sincere secretary. 'The Skin I Live In' amazing actress Elena Anaya masks up again too as a porcelain chin villian that completes this cast of wonder women. And 'War Horse' actor David Thewlis and that unmistakable epic-ready voice is back with a battalion of big pictures. Alongside striking 'First Class', 'X-Men' villain Danny Huston bringing problems to those who crusade for the capes again. It all plays out to some '300 Snyder steps a second' style, stop-slow mo action as Jenkins keeps the dark but hopeful aesthetic of D.C. from Paris to foggy old London. Straight from a vintage Selfridges to the modern glass pyramids of the Louvre. As this emotional epic escapism a little close to home shows love triumphs over war. And no matter who or what stands in her way, Diana Prince's royal red, yellow and blue still reigns on after almost eight decades. Giving the same timeless message of inspiration and solidarity to young girls and those who grew up reading the first comics, who are now in their later life. And to those questioning whether DC would just keep putting out 'Suicide Squad's'...wonder no more. TIM DAVID HARVEY.
See This If You Liked: 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice', 'Captain America-The First Avenger', 'Thor'.