Here’s my experience with the Wonder Woman character in a nutshell: I watched the 70s TV show starring Linda Carter with I was a kid.
OK, maybe I know a little more about the character than that, since I did grow up a “DC Guy” and knowing the DCU characters comes with the territory. But I’ve never read a Wonder Woman comic book and have been generally disinterested in the character for the most part.
So when it comes to film I’m reviewing today -- the PG-13 animated WONDER WOMAN -- I frankly had zero expectations. I was more than pleasantly surprised with WONDER WOMAN. I found it to be exciting, funny, and unexpectedly violent. Honestly, this animated film suceeds so well, that I’ve got to figure that it’s going to hurt the prospects of the in-development-hell live action project a tad.
Here’s an non-spoilerish synopsis of the plot: Amazonian Princess Diana (Keri Russell) spends her days training for battles that will never be fought, as she lives with her mother Queen Hippolyta (Virginia Madsen) and her many Amazon sisters on the secret island of Themyscira. Long shielded from these terrible creatures known as, ahem, "Man," the Amazons are compromised when American fighter pilot Steve Trevor (Nathan Fillion) literally crashes into their world. After winning a battle contest to find the "best" Amazon, Diana is sent to return Trevor back to America while also hunting down the film’s villain -- Ares, The God of War (Alfred Molina).
"Your daughter has a nice...."
While the plot pretty much gives us the 'ol routine superhero origin and is generally predictable, I still found it enjoyable. This is a straight-up origin story, so you know pretty much what you are going to get from the beginning. I wasn’t too keen on the focus on Greek mythology -- Zeus, Hera, and Hades all make appearances -- and would have preferred a storyline with Wonder Woman taking on a “real world” adversary. It was a little too “fantastical” for my tastes -- but that’s just my own inconsequential nitpick.
If you like action, then you won’t be disappointed. I was reminded a bit of 300, but not that violent! (300 on estrogen? I kid, I kid!) Parents of young kids be warned - WONDER WOMAN is PG-13 for a reason. The film is filled with omnipresent, painful and occasionally bloody violence. Hey, people getting their heads lopped off happens more than once in this movie! The opening and closing battles are pretty darn cool -- probably the finest action scenes I’ve seen in any of these DC animated films.
Oh yeah, Amazon zombies? Check!
WONDER WOMAN is all at once chauvinistic, feminist, and sexist -- both ways. It has a message, but it also doesn’t. But the bottom line here is that it’s the first “comic book/superhero movie” -- animated or live action -- featuring a female protagonist that hasn’t, well, sucked (ELECTRA anyone?). And that’s a good thing.
"We've been saved by...SUPERMODELS?!"
FYI: The version I reviewed was of the badass Blu-ray variety, so the picture and images were simply fantastic. I do love me some Blu-ray!
As far as extras, I don't think you'll be disappointed. There are have four "bonus" JUSTICE LEAUGE episodes. There's commentary by the film‘s creative team, two full-length documentaries (“Woman - a Subversive Dream” and “Wonder Woman: Daughter of Myth“), and a sneak peak at the next DC animated feature -- GREEN LANTERN: FIRST FLIGHT.
JETT'S GRADE: B+