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In antiquity, the Amazons defeat the war god, Ares, and Zeus charges them to hold him prisoner as eternally young warriors on the hidden island of Themyscira. Centuries later, US Air Force pilot Steve Trevor is lured to crash land on the island and the distraction of that trespass allows Ares to escape. In response, Princess Diana wins the responsibility to both take Trevor home and recapture the fugitive god. Steve Trevor offers to help and together this disparate pair must not only overcome Ares' efforts to achieve a bloody revenge, but also reconcile their own conflicting world views in an adventure that would be the first for the greatest of the female superheroes. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I was lucky enough to attend the early screening of Wonder Woman at Wondercon '09. Perhaps I was swept up in the excitement of so many fans around me, but I found this to be quite enjoyable. Perhaps the best of any of DC's animated features so far.
It's part action-adventure film and part romantic-comedy. And both parts are done wonderfully that makes this accessible to men, women, geek, and non-geek.
It's not based on any one story, but rather it goes through the typical Wonder Woman origins mixed with a supervillain story. Diana's on the island. A pilot crashes there. She takes him back. Bad guy does bad things. Diana and pilot must stop him. Not entirely original but no complaints here.
When it comes to action there is plenty of it. And violent too though not bloody. In fact I recall only three, maybe four instances of blood actually appearing. Bruce Timm said they did have more in it but it got an R rating and they had to tone it down. This is not necessarily one you would want to show to young kids. There are impalements, decapitations, crotch kicking, neck snapping; and that's all in the prologue not to mention the larger final battle. This isn't television, people die in this. The action itself is done well. It's plenty fun to watch. It's not all that suspenseful so you're not really on the edge of your seats hoping that they get out if it, but it's enjoyable nonetheless.
This movie had the theater busting their guts with laughter. From comical moments in fight scenes to the well delivered jokes. But again this isn't necessarily for kids. There's a lot of stuff like that which parents should watch out for. Jokes about sex, Wonder Woman's outfit, just stuff like that. There's different kinds of jokes but generally it's not geared towards kids.
The voice acting is top notch. Everyone does well in their roles. Not a single role is miscast or not done well. My only quibble is the dialog of Zeus, Hera, and Hades. For Greek gods they talk quite modern, even in the prologue. It's distracting since the Amazons talk more formally, like you would expect someone of ancient times to talk. The actors do fine work but I think their few lines should have been rewritten first.
The animation is great except it's just like Justice League. It's not really all that different. It's not exactly the same design but it's very close. So watching this felt like I was watching the series. It's not like Batman: Gotham Knight where it looks completely different than Batman: The Animated Series. It doesn't really feel like Timm is moving forward in the animation.
One guy had a problem with the gender roles in the movie. He didn't like how masculine some of the Amazons were or how feminine one male character was. But the panel was quick to ask why. Cause, that's the real point of the movie. Preconceptions regarding gender roles. Everything in the movie deals with gender roles. How everyone has them and how everyone's views changes by the end. Some of it's subtle, most of it's not. But it never seems like it's hitting you over the head with it.
The movie doesn't shy away from the fact that comic books tend to exaggerate women and it certainly doesn't shy away from the fact that these women, especially Diana, are very beautiful. All the Amazons are called "armored supermodels." Steve the pilot thinks he's died and gone to heaven when he first sees the Amazons (not spoiling anything but that scene truly is a man's fantasy). When Diana first puts on the Wonder Woman costume there's a close up of her large chest. It's certainly in no way animated porn but sensitive parents will want to watch out.
My only real complaint deals with the final battle, which I shall endeavor to not spoil any details. To me it doesn't feel like they built it up enough, like it was rushed into. Another problem is that the bad guy does this one nasty trick which is emotionally powerful, but it's over too quick. My last is one hero goes off to fight, disappears for five minutes while we watch everyone else, it comes back to the hero, they finishes their part, and disappears for the rest of the battle. It just feels like clunky editing.
So to wrap this up: this movie has wonderful humor, exciting action, great acting, and is well made in pretty much every way. It's not for children but it's not meant to be. But when you look at the recent trend in comics and comic book movies you can see that it is being geared less towards children and more towards a mature audience.
Fans of Wonder Woman will love this movie. Fans of Bruce Timm's DC Animated Universe will love this movie. Fans of comic book movies will love this. This is certainly one of the best ventures into animated comic book movies.
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