With likeable characters, fast-paced action and a strong female lead, Wonder Woman is a blockbuster that charmed many; however, it shot itself in the foot by incorporating one-dimensional villains and an amazingly uninspired ending.
It had the right idea, and came so close to being a superhero movie with a deeper meaning; however, for some inconceivable reason, the writers decided to turn back on their own established message with a disappointingly blasé ending.
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, and Chris Pine as Steve Trevor, played their roles with real charm and synergy, weaving an endearing and believable love story into the plot. Their interactions felt genuine, with quippy dialogue and solid acting that brought a spark to the large screen.
As for the action, it never left me wanting. Other action movies rely on filling the screen with chaos to replace real choreography, but Wonder Woman’s choreography and general action scenes were well-done and purely entertaining. Some slow motion shots captured the action perfectly, enhancing it effectively. There was a fight at the beginning of the movie, where the Amazonians clashed with invading German troops; despite having the disadvantage of inferior weapons, the women managed to overcome their enemies with bow & arrows, swords and a whole lot of airborne combat. This action sequence immediately set the standard for the rest of the movie’s entertaining conflict.
The romance and action parts of Wonder Woman worked well, but unfortunately, the villains and end scene did not.
Two of the main villains in Wonder Woman are Erich Ludendorff, an Evil Army Guy who killed people because he was evil, and Doctor Poison, a doctor who killed people with poison. Both of these villains were unintentionally hilarious, as they likely couldn’t have gotten any more stereotypically nefarious.
Doctor Poison was especially horrible in that regard, perfectly playing the role of the psychopathic mad scientist. She was likely not written in with originality in mind. In one of her first scenes, she is shown graphically murdering a human test subject, cackling evilly whilst doing so. Her character just seems so one-dimensional, like she’s there just to fill a role and carry the plot along, not to add more depth to it.
At the end of the move, Ares — the God of War, and Wonder Woman’s arch nemesis — is revealed to be Sir Patrick Morgan, an ally of Wonder Woman. This twist both did and did not surprise me. I didn’t expect Ludendorff to be Ares, and I did not expect Sir Patrick Morgan to be Ares either, because I didn’t think Ares was going to exist at all.
The whole point of the movie was that Ares was not causing the war, as Wonder Woman had been told, but that it was the darkness within humans that caused them to commit atrocities. Wonder Woman wasn’t meant to have an epic fight against Ares at the end because the issue was with humanity itself, something that couldn’t be resolved by defeating the God of War.
I watched the entire movie with the expectation that Ares was going to be a metaphor for the corruption in humanity, but I was disappointed when it turned out Ares was this random British politician.
Wonder Woman fights Ares in an amazingly epic battle with a plethora of explosions and CGI, and naturally our heroine comes out on top. With Ares defeated, dark clouds disperse, light shines down from above, and the Nazis stand and look around with a newfound wonder for life shining in their eyes.
The movie contradicts the point it tries so hard to get across: stopping one man was not meant to change the darkness in humanity. Wonder Woman could have played a role in breaking the dull dynamic of many modern superhero movies, which always seem to end the same way; however, it failed at the last second, leaving a sour taste in my mouth.
Depiction of a Wonder Woman script writer. Illustration by Ruby Handa