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Wonder Woman
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Release Date: June 2nd 2017

Wonder Woman hits movie theaters around the world next summer when Gal Gadot returns as the title character in the epic action-adventure from director Patty Jenkins (Monster, AMC’s The Killing). Joining Gadot in the international cast are Chris Pine (the Star Trek films), Robin Wright (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Netflix’s House of Cards), Danny Huston (Clash of the Titans, X-Men Origins: Wolverine), David Thewlis (the Harry Potter films, The Theory of Everything), Connie Nielsen (Fox’s The Following, Gladiator), Elena Anaya (The Skin I Live In), Ewen Bremner (Exodus: Gods and Kings, Snowpiercer), Lucy Davis (Shaun of the Dead, FX’s Better Things), Lisa Loven Kongsli (upcoming Ashes in the Snow), Eugene Brave Rock (AMC’s Hell on Wheels) and Saïd Taghmaoui (American Hustle).

Before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on a sheltered island paradise, when an American pilot crashes on their shores and tells of a massive conflict raging in the outside world, Diana leaves her home, convinced she can stop the threat. Fighting alongside man in a war to end all wars, Diana will discover her full powers…and her true destiny.

Patty Jenkins directs the film from a screenplay by Allan Heinberg, story by Zack Snyder & Allan Heinberg and Jason Fuchs, based on characters from DC. Wonder Woman was created by William Moulton Marston.

The film is produced by Charles Roven, Deborah Snyder, Zack Snyder and Richard Suckle, with Stephen Jones, Geoff Johns, Wesley Coller, Jon Berg and Rebecca Steel Roven serving as executive producers.

Joining Jenkins behind the camera are director of photography Matthew Jensen (Chronicle, Fantastic Four, HBO’s Game of Thrones), Oscar-nominated production designer Aline Bonetto (Amélie, A Very Long Engagement, Pan), Oscar-winning editor Martin Walsh (Chicago, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, V for Vendetta), and Oscar-winning costume designer Lindy Hemming (The Dark Knight trilogy, Topsy-Turvy). The music is by composer Rupert Gregson-Williams (Hacksaw Ridge, The Legend of Tarzan).

Warner Bros. Pictures presents, an Atlas Entertainment/Cruel and Unusual production, Wonder Woman. The film is scheduled for release on June 2, 2017, and will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.


REVIEW

Wonder Woman Review by James Harvey

With all our hopes pinned on Wonder Woman, it's a relief to say she pulls us out from under and saves the day (and quite possibly the DCEU)! The Amazon Warrior's big-screen solo debut is a rollicking adventure, full of heart and empathy and propelled by a great story, a fantastic cast and some of the best action sequences to grace the big screen. While the film does stumble a bit in the third act, it ends up just being a minor hiccup in an overall fantastic adventure that's not only one of the best comic book movies ever made, but just a flat-out great, empowering movie - period.

Wonder Woman brings a sense of hope and optimism to the DC Extended Universe, something long overdue (though somewhat bizarre if you think about it, since that's what should've been there from the get-go with Man of Steel). It's a rousing tale of strength, courage, love and doing what is right, no matter the cost. And the film's core themes are loud and clear, not hampered by muddled storytelling or iffy script choices. Director Patty Jenkins tells a straightforward, concise story that's refreshing and engaging, while remaining true to the source material and what Wonder Woman stands for. Where another director may have balked and struggled with telling Wonder Woman's story, mythology and all, Jenkins never hesitates and just throws us into it, and the film is all the more better for it.

And on top of fully embracing Wonder Woman's mythology, she also doesn't flinch when it comes to Wonder Woman's beliefs in the power of truth and love. It's refreshing to see a hero who isn't reluctant or riddled with guilt, but instead honestly believes in change and the betterment of mankind. That's why Wonder Woman does what she does. She wants the world to be a better place, to bring peace, and it's such a great call on Jenkins part to make sure that sincerity comes through without a hint or irony or mockery of any kind. Nearly every action Diana takes in this movie is fueled by love, and Jenkins absolutely nails it. And that inspiration starts to trickle through to others in the movie, be it those she saves, supporting cast, etc., and it really emphasizes why Wonder Woman is such an inspirational figure.

And embodying that sense of truth and love for Jenkins is Gal Gadot, and she turns in an absolutely majestic turn as Diana, Princess of Themiscyra (aka Wonder Woman). She's effortlessly charismatic and absolutely owns the role in every aspect. Yes, there is the odd moment when she might come off slightly wooden, but this is an absolutely star-making turn for the actress. Watching Diana light up as she tests her limits, spreads peace and saves the day can't help but elicit a smile (and perhaps a tear or two). And she's nicely supported by Chris Pine, who brings a charming, rogue-ish quality to Steve Trevor. The chemistry between the two is fantastic, and how they work off each other is pretty much perfection.

Gadot's Diana and Pine's Steve meet after his plane crash lands on Themyscira, bringing war to the isolated island paradise where no man has stepped before. When Trevor tells the Amazons that they, and the entire world, are in danger due to the onslaught of World War I and a nefarious chemist, Diana sees no alternative but to help. Convinced its the work of Ares, the God of War, she feels it is her duty to help, and by defeating him she can bring peace back to the world.

This movie covers a lot of ground and Jenkins is able to keep the movie rolling at an aggressive pace, but one that never feels rushed. It's a testament to her skill as a director that she's able to tackle such a massive mythology and make it so accessible and so fresh. Jenkins using Diana's ongoing quest for knowledge about Themyscira as she grows up on the island is a clever way for us (the audience) to learn about her world as she does, which ends up giving the viewer a bit of a personal stake.

Watching Diana navigate the worlds of man, and start to slowly learn its many flaws and horrors, is captivating. Her innocence and inexperience perfectly off Steve's world-weary character, one who's seen the worst of humanity. And as much as this is Diana's story, Jenkins makes sure that the supporting cast gets their due as well. Linda Park sparkles as Etta Candy, Steve's assistant, and the squad that Steve assembles to help them reach the front lines is an inspired collection of characters. The team that travels with Diana and Steve would've just been nameless cannon fodder in any other movie. But here, Jenkins gives each of them a moment or two that tells us everything we need to know about them. Ewen Brenner, as Charlie, gets two particularly poignant scenes that hit surprisingly hard. Only the film's main antagonists - General Ludendorff and Dr. Poison - feel slightly underdeveloped, but they both get some great moments that establish them as traditional, flat-out evil foes and as enough of a credible threat.

And like the great world building, mythology exploration and character development, the film's action sequences are very well executed, save for the odd bump. The beach attack sequence is thrilling (the scene as the Amazon warriors charge down the invading German forces is a stunning sight to behold, especially with Robin Wright's fierce Antiope leading the way and Connie Nelson's Hippolyta proving to be a force of nature), and the alley scene is a great callback to Superman: The Movie. However, the "No Man's Land" sequence is a show-stopping gem of a moment. It's exhilarating and magnificent in execution. Watching Wonder Woman charge down a war-torn battle field deflecting bullets, while at the same time inspiring soldiers to take arms and join her, is an indescribable moment.

And great as these action sequences are, they do occasional fall victim to some iffy CGI. The switching between live-action performers and CG characters is rough, and some of the animations (running, some jumps, etc.) feel disjointed and robotic. Unfortunately, while earlier action beats in the moment aren't hampered too much by it, the climactic battle in the third act definitely succumbs to murky CG work. It doesn't help that the big final battle drags on a little longer than it should and succumbs to CG overload. A more personal, intimate tussle could've possibly looked better and been more effective than a big, flashy smackdown (which seems slightly out of place compared to the earlier, more grounded action sequences).

Despite a couple minor quibbles, Wonder Woman is an absolute rousing success. Gadot absolutely shines as the title character, and brings her to life in a way that is an utter joy to behold. The directing is on point, the casting is superb, the setting is surprisingly effective (and topical) and the story has real heart and emotion to it. It's also refreshing to see a superhero who's compassionate about helping others and isn't bogged down by dark angsty problems. Wonder Woman wisely stays honest to the comic book origins of the beloved icon and is all the more better for it. Wonder Woman fans can rest easy knowing that the Amazonian Princess finally has a big screen adventure that delivers in nearly every conceivable way. Highly Recommended!


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