Wonder Woman • Movie Review #JPMN

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Talk about girl power This $150 million dollar production was the surprise success of the summer, grossing over $820 million after its June 2, 2017 release; making it the highest grossing film ever directed by a woman

An impressive accomplishment for Patty Jenkins whose last theatrical project was over a decade ago The two-hour and twenty-one minute story is based on the DC Comics character of the same name; who leaves her safe and secret island home of Amazon women to help an American pilot fight evil during the first World War This is easily the strongest entry yet in DC's burgeoning "cinematic universe", even if that is – admittedly – a low bar Portraying the title character is Gal Gadot – with the best performance of her skyrocketing career Her fierce strength and headstrong attitudes are carefully balanced by an optimistic naiveté that allows her character some amusing dialogue that would otherwise sound cheesy

Plus, the 5'10" Israeli actress is sexy as hell Her beautiful eyes and long legs were a legitimate distraction Opposite, Chris Pine is effortless as the mister-in-distress; a welcome role-reversal for the traditional Hollywood archetype He holds his own, and provides a great deal of the picture's expositional foundation – but isn't quite capable without his Amazon girlfriend Remarking on the tragedy of the First Great War, he admits, "You can either do nothing, or you can do something

And I already tried nothing" His romance with Gadot is a forgone conclusion from the moment she saves the WWI pilot from a plane crash but their on-screen chemistry actually feels heartfelt and earned

Plus, their awkward meet-cute moment – which has Pine trying to hold a conversation while completely nude – is rather adorable In a refreshing change of pace for DC, the battle sequences aren't a chaotic mess of particles and dust, but a reasonably well choreographed array of bullet-time-esque flips, kicks, and sword-swings all beat-matched to the incredible score from Rupert Gregson-Williams

The visual effects are *mostly* well executed, but seem a bit too cartoonish/fake when Gadot executes some of her more implausible superhero-style moves Cinematically though, it looks as flawless as her skin – especially during a pivotal scene between battlefield trenches in 'No Man's Land' The first act of the film is set entirely on Wonder Woman's magical island home of Themyscira – and it's here where the PG-13 rated film excels the best (thanks to a strong supporting performance from the gorgeous Robin Wright) The world-building is fascinating and well-handled, while the locations themselves are lush and expansive We watch a wonder girl train under generals to become a wonder woman, providing some much needed backstory to a character that was heretofore introduced rather unceremoniously in an earlier film

This is a serious movie that never takes itself too seriously – allowing it to pull-off the emotional beats as well as the light-hearted quips Although hardly a side-splitter, the result is definitely the 'funniest' DC movie since the unintentional joke that was "Batman & Robin" Besides the familiar elements inherent in this genre, my only major criticism is pacing; which tends to peter-out towards the end, thanks to a lengthy and unnecessary detour that only seems to exist so Gadot can strut into a German gala wearing a pretty blue dress And yeah, she looks great – but the entire 15-minute sequence could – and should – have been excised The plot structure may be conventional – but the people behind and in front of the camera certainly aren't

If this movie featured a male lead, and was directed by a man – it would still be an enjoyable comic book adventure But "Wonder Woman" is a breakthrough because it isn't that An affirmation of the better sex's many talents, and a love letter to female empowerment, this is exactly the kind of movie the world needs right now I thought it was AWESOME That does it for this review – but if you'd like to watch more "Movie Night", click or tap the thumbnails on the left

And don't forget to visit the Jogwheel YouTube channel to see full episodes of this show in addition to the other content I produce My name is Jonathan Paula, thanks for watching and have a good Movie Night!

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