Posts Tagged ‘Patty Jenkins’

Wonder Woman Film Review: A Movie Worthy of its Heroine

June 2, 2017

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Well it’s finally happened, gang. After decades of watching the boys get movie after movie, we’ve finally got a Wonder Woman solo film. And here’s the good news: It’s really, really good. Great even. Full of heart and action and excitement. It’s far and away the best film from the DC cinematic universe so far and, more importantly, it does Wonder Woman justice and captures the heart of the character well. Let’s dig into it all, first with some spoiler-free general thoughts, and then with full on spoilers after a jump so anyone who hasn’t seen it yet won’t have anything ruined for them.

So gosh, where to start? With Wonder Woman herself, probably. Gal Gadot is pretty much a perfect Wonder Woman. We got to see her for a few minutes in Batman v Superman and she totally stole the show, and now with a show all of her own, she absolutely shines. Gadot captures the heroism and compassion of Wonder Woman so well; she’s fierce when she needs to be, kind when she needs to be, and just has so much heart. She smiles a lot, which is a lovely contrast with the grim darkness that’s dominated other DC movies, and it’s the most earnest and charming smile. It’s Wonder Woman’s smile, really. It’s something that could easily turn corny, but Gadot makes it utterly genuine, sincere, and believable. And while Diana’s got an interesting journey throughout the film, a sort of loss of innocence as she leaves her utopian home and experiences the horrors of war, Gadot does a fantastic job playing this evolution and it’s darker, questioning moments without losing the heart of the character. She’s just so good. I want to see her continue to play Wonder Woman again and again and again.

Holding his own with such a stunning take on Wonder Woman was a tall order for Chris Pine, but his Steve Trevor was excellent. I’m steeped in Wonder Woman comics and very familiar with every incarnation of Steve Trevor, and this was my favourite version of him ever, by a considerable margin. He was written really well; it’s a sidekick/love interest role that keeps the focus squarely on Wonder Woman, and Pine plays it spot on. He’s a tough guy with some skills, but he very quickly realizes he’s no Wonder Woman and is totally okay with that, in part because he’s just kind of in awe of her. Gadot and Pine’s chemistry together is delightful, Pine’s got charm to spare and is also hilarious, and the two of them made for a really winning partnership.

The supporting cast is pretty solid, too. Connie Nielsen and Robin Wright do great work as Hippolyta and Antiope, guiding the film well through it’s early scenes with young Diana. Wonder Woman’s crew in Europe are all fun too, but Lucy Davis’ Etta Candy is a total scene stealer. She’s so funny and enjoyable, albeit underused. I could have done with a lot more Etta Candy! The bad guys were suitably evil, as they should be, if somewhat underdeveloped, but such is the case with most superhero films.

In terms of the directing, Patty Jenkins did a remarkable job. While Wonder Woman had a lot of the beats you expect from a superhero movie, it also had its own unique style and tone. The action was especially spectacular; I’ve never seen fighting like that in a superhero movie, particularly some of the amazing acrobatics we got from the Amazons. They were astonishingly good. I also loved the little touches throughout the film, like the gorgeous, sweeping establishing shots we got for Themyscira, London, and the front. There was a real flair to the film that set it apart from other superhero movies. Jenkins also smoothly married the action and stunning visuals with the emotional aspects of the film. All of the humourous, romantic, and quiet reflective moments rang true, and everything flowed together nicely.

It was just fun to look at, too. Themyscira was so epic and cool, uniquely ancient and breathtaking in its scenery. I want to go to there. A lot of the movie was spent in the cramped confines of London or on the front, all of which was nicely done, but there was a good amount of time spent outdoors in lovely, natural settings that were shot exquisitely. On top of the settings, the costumes were quite striking. Wonder Woman wore an updated version of her Batman v Superman outfit, one that actually had colour this time, and it looked fantastic. All of the Amazons got cool costumes, with everyone wearing something a little bit different but yet thematically similar to the each other. The costumes in the outside world were a little bit drab in comparison, of course, but all of the major supporting characters had their own special look that suited them well.

If I wanted to nitpick, there are a few things I would change. For me, the final fight scene wasn’t quite as cool as the earlier ones and got a bit messy with all of the fire and chaos and CGI. Also, some of the supporting characters got outshone by the leads. To be fair, Gadot and Pine were ridiculously good, but a few folks did fall a bit flat. And there were a few changes to the Wonder Woman mythos I didn’t love, but we’ll save that for the spoilers section.

All in all, though, it was a great movie. Well executed on every level, so much fun, and most importantly, true to who Wonder Woman is and what she means to so many fans. I loved it. Now, that being said, I’m not sure that this is the movie they should have made. Setting the film in World War I was a big change that made a lot of elements very different from what we usually get with Wonder Woman, and while it was all done well and a lot of those changes were interesting, I don’t think it was the best showcase for what is great about Wonder Woman. Don’t get me wrong, it was an excellent showcase for Wonder Woman, but in an intriguing alternate universe way rather than a relevant, modern way. An origin set in the present day could have been more resonant and more reflective of the character, her past, and what she means, especially in terms of tackling modern women’s issues rather than poking fun at sexist attitudes that are a century past. I get that the film is what it has to be given the existing framework of the DC cinematic universe, and it succeeds triumphantly at that, capturing the heart of the character beautifully. I just think that setting up Wonder Woman as this older, wise superhero who predates Batman and Superman limits her in certain ways, and I’d rather see this young, plucky Wonder Woman dealing with the modern world, rather than the more experienced, somewhat world-weary Wonder Woman we seem to be getting with Batman v Superman, the framing device of Wonder Woman, and what we’ve seen from Justice League thus far. But so long as Gal Gadot is Wonder Woman, it’s absolutely a Wonder Woman worth watching, and Patty Jenkins and the whole team did an amazing job making this new setting and backstory work for the character and stay true to who she is.

Let’s move on to some spoilers now, after the jump!

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Is Warner Bros. Doing a Poor Job Marketing the Wonder Woman Movie?

May 2, 2017

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We are exactly one month out from the theatrical release of Wonder Woman, and first off, oh my lord we’re only a month away from Wonder Woman! How amazing is that? Fans have been waiting years, decades really, for a Wonder Woman movie and we’re finally about to get one. Plus it’s actually looking pretty cool. From everything we’ve seen thus far, it feels like Patty Jenkins, Gal Gadot, and the whole team have put together something fun, exciting, and most importantly true to the character. We got two TV trailers at the end of last week that made me increasingly hopeful about the film:

We also got this longer preview during Gotham last night, and it was great too:

The trailers are funny, which is good to see because that’s something the DCEU’s been sorely lacking, but they’re also stylish and action packed. I also appreciate that neither these nor the full trailers have given away too much story. We don’t even have an official look at Ares in full on Ares mode yet, and that shows some admirable restraint.

More importantly, these new trailers are telling me exactly what I want to hear about the Amazons and Wonder Woman, namely that the Amazons were created to bring peace to the world and that Diana is their champion for this cause. The “Power” spot has the tagline “There is a power greater than man,” which is perfect, and it’s hard not to get excited when you hear Wonder Woman say, “I will fight for those who cannot fight for themselves.” That’s who Wonder Woman is, and it’s encouraging to see that they’ve captured the essence of the character in this way.

However, while the trailers are fantastic, there’s been some concerns in the fan and film communities about Wonder Woman‘s lack of marketing more broadly. We’re only a month out now and we’re just starting to see TV trailers roll out, plus there seems to be a lack of Wonder Woman product branding, tie-ins, and what have you. Others suggest that the film is about on track, with Warner Bros. having spent the same amount of money a month out with Suicide Squad as they have thus far with Wonder Woman. There are interesting points on either side of this issue across myriad posts you can read at your leisure.

Having followed Wonder Woman closely, I fall on the side of being underwhelmed by the marketing thus far. Just over a year ago, I was up to my ears in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice paraphernalia. That movie was EVERYWHERE, not just in theater and television advertising but in piles upon piles of branded products, toys, and other items. There were cereals, for goodness sake, one for Batman and one for Superman. And the marketing team made a big show of sending them out to notable folks in a special box so that they’d share it on social media. It was all a bit goofy and over the top, and the flavours of the cereal sounded disgusting, but it speaks to the omnipresence of the Batman v Superman marketing that their weird cereals got such a massive push.

Wonder Woman doesn’t have her own movie branded cereal. In fact, she’s got little in the way of any grocery item tie-ins, apart from Dr. Pepper. Wonder Woman is different than Batman v Superman in little ways as well, like Lego, for example. Batman v Superman got three different Lego sets, while Wonder Woman has only one. It looks super rad, with Ares and Steve’s plane and such, but it’s still just one set. A month before Batman v Superman, you could walk through any major store, be it grocery or big box generally, and see Batman and/or Superman stuff EVERYWHERE. We were inundated with it. A month out from Wonder Woman, the Wonder Woman items are few and far between.

Now, I don’t think that Warner Bros. is intentionally trying to tank Wonder Woman or anything nefarious like that. But I do think it’s clear that they allotted far, far more resources and effort to their dumb movie where the superhero boys punched it out than they have to Wonder Woman. And this is somewhat troubling, because even with all that effort, Batman v Superman  only did about fine at the box office. It made Warner Bros. a good amount of money and obviously the franchise is continuing, but it wasn’t near major Marvel levels despite the fact that it starred the two most famous superhero characters in the universe. With all of that marketing effort behind it, Batman v Superman still got bested by the lower budget, R-rated Deadpool in the United States.

The thing is, Batman and/or Superman can have a mid-level performance at the box office and be fine. We’ve seen it several times over. Batman & Robin sucked? Don’t worry, here comes the Nolan trilogy. Superman Returns flopped? Don’t worry, here comes Man of Steel. Warner Bros., and studios generally, are dedicated to their male characters. This is not the case with female characters. If Wonder Woman doesn’t do well, it might be a long time before Warner Bros. takes another crack at her, and it would certainly hamper the chances for future female-led superhero films.

That’s why the underwhelming marketing for Wonder Woman thus far is a concern. An aggressive marketing push can really help a film succeed, but the studio seems to be taking a more relaxed approach. It feels like a missed opportunity on multiple levels. First, strongly pushing Wonder Woman would show that Warner Bros. is committed to Wonder Woman and female leads generally, which would have been nice to see. Second, a successful Wonder Woman would inevitably come with a strong female fanbase that could even further expand the audience for the DCEU, which would be great for the studio. And third, after decades of development, they’ve finally got a Wonder Woman movie and it looks really good, so it would make sense to set it up in the best position possible. And Warner Bros. isn’t quite doing that, relative to how they’ve promoted movies in the past.

The good news is that Wonder Woman does look great. The new trailers are fantastic, the movie feels exciting and cool and different, and the buzz has been very positive thus far. I’m optimistic not only that the movie will be good, but that it will do well. It just would have been nice to see more of a push from Warner Bros. to help ensure that it does more than well. Hopefully it does so on its own merits, and maybe we’ll see lots more promotional stuff roll out in the weeks to come. It just doesn’t feel like Warner Bros. has treated Wonder Woman like the landmark movie it should be.

New Wonder Woman Movie Trailer Explores Her Origins

March 13, 2017

A new trailer for Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman debuted this weekend, and I’m happy to report that the movie is still looking great. We got a lot of new footage in this one, including a decent amount of time spent on Themyscira, and I really liked a lot of what I saw. Now, of course, this is the DCEU; good trailers don’t necessarily mean good movies. But so far, Wonder Woman has been hitting it out of the park and that has me cautiously optimistic about the film.

Warner Bros. describes the video as the “Origin Trailer” and thus we got a good look at the Amazons. They remain super bad ass and cool, and I like the design of the island and the Amazons themselves a lot. We also get some flashbacks, including a peek at a young Diana who is just adorable:

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I’m hoping we get a few scenes with her because she seems cute and fun.

Little Diana is staring at the “god killer” sword there, and I do remain irked at how much attention the sword is getting. Wonder Woman’s never been a character who wields a sword until very recently; she’s got a golden lasso that she’s rather famed for, and I wish that’s what young Diana was eying rather than a sword. To me, sword fighting just isn’t who the character is. But I was pleased to see the lasso play a key role as the trailer progressed, including this rad takedown:

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Hopefully Wonder Woman’s real weapon gets its due throughout the movie as well.

On top of that lasso scene, we got a bunch of other cool action shots too. I think Wonder Woman is going to have some epic fight scenes. Everything we’ve seen so far looks very cool, and Wonder Woman’s fighting scenes in Batman v Superman were easily the most entertaining part of that movie. All of the action clips we’ve seen thus far in Wonder Woman trailers look exciting and well-shot, and it’s going to be a blast to see the full scenes.

One thing I’m particularly glad to see every trailer has included is humour, and this new one is no exception. Gal Gadot’s fish-out-of-water Diana shtick looks like it should be entertaining, Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor seems good for some wisecracks, and Lucy Davis’ Etta Candy looks like she’s poised to steal the whole show. I liked her trying to dissuade Diana from carrying her sword in public:

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The humour in DCEU movies hasn’t been great, at all, and it’s nice to see some genuinely funny bits  are coming with Wonder Woman.

Finally, the trailer appears to confirm the daughter of Zeus origin story. Hippolyta ominously tells Antiope that Diana “must never know the truth about what she is,” which sounds like it might be a Zeus-related secret given this lightning display later on in the trailer:

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I don’t care for the Zeus origin at all. I much prefer the clay origin, in which no men are involved and Diana’s origins are distinctly female and feminist. Making her a demigod who gets her powers from a man is boring, dumb, and kind of misses the point of the character. I’m hoping it’s not a huge point of focus for the movie, and that Zeus doesn’t come up too much.

So yeah, Wonder Woman looks pretty great. And in ways that seem to be addressing how DC’s other movies have been not at all great, which is encouraging. This could be really cool. And we’re less than three months away now! Can you believe it? Wonder Woman’s finally getting her own movie! And just when we need her the most.

The New Wonder Woman Movie Trailer Looks Ridiculously Cool

November 4, 2016

I’m starting to get really excited about this, gang. I know I’ve been burned by superhero movies before, several times in fact, but dang does Wonder Woman look like it’s going to be a cool movie. This new trailer, released yesterday, is an absolute blast and leaves me so keen for more. Warner Bros. and Patty Jenkins still seem to be in tease mode here; it’s the second trailer, but it remains light on details. Still, we know a little bit more than we did before, and perhaps we can start to make some educated guesses.

First off, it appears that Dr. Poison could to be one of the villains, and I’m assuming that she’s the lady with the partial face appliance. Showing gases that can eat through a gas mask is a good indicator, plus the World War One setting makes a lot of sense given the terrible toxins used in the trenches during the war. If this guess proves true, it could be a very fun choice. Dr. Poison is a classic Wonder Woman villain that should fit well in her new setting. And I’m guessing we’ll get a second, likely mythological villain in the mix, probably Ares, though to my eye the trailer seems inconclusive on the mythology front.

Also, Steve Trevor’s arrival on Paradise Island may not be a solo affair. His crash landing appears to be followed by a German invasion of the Amazons’ home. I’m not super up on my World War One history, but that rowboat is named “Schwaren” (or some such; it’s blurry), which seems rather German, and I googled their uniforms and these fellows look similar. That’s an interesting twist on the classic Steve Trevor arrival.

And DANG does the battle that ensues look SUPER COOL. I can’t wait to see all of this on the big screen. That swinging Amazon flying down from the cliff? Amazing. It looks like at least one Amazon is going to die in the attack, presumably leading to Diana departing the island and going to help fight the war.

Paradise Island looks rad, by the way. That long shot with all the buildings and such looks great. There’s a definite style to the place that feels ancient and classic while being unique at the same time. I like everything I’m seeing on Paradise Island so far.

In Europe, we basically get a whole lot of Wonder Woman kicking ass, which is a blast. She deflects SO MANY bullets. I love it. Also, that alley way attack looks like it might be an homage to Superman: The Movie, which is delightful. All of the action is awesome, and also not at all generic, which I’m glad to see. Wonder Woman appears to have a unique fighting style, and the action looks well shot and choreographed. I’m very into it all of it.

The trailer hints at the Diana/Steve romance as well; we’ve got a near kiss between Gal Gadot and Chris Pine that should have fans of their relationship very excited. And, just like with the first trailer, Lucy Davis’ Etta Candy steals the show at the end, this time with her enthusiasm for fisticuffs. She seems poised to be the film’s break out character.

I will say, yet again, that I’m still not sure on the World War One setting. As much as I loved the trailer, this is not a setting we’ve ever seen for Wonder Woman before and that feels a little bit weird. Also, Diana clashing with the gender norms of 1917 is amusing and all, but I’d much rather have a Wonder Woman who pushes the boundaries of our modern world rather than a world a century past when women couldn’t even vote yet. It’s not hard to look progressive and tough a hundred years ago.

Nonetheless, this is a fantastic trailer and I enjoyed it like crazy. Everything looks so fun and exciting and rad, and my already astronomical keenness for the movie has now grown even more. If Wonder Woman can deliver on all of the promise its shown in the two trailers so far, it’s going to be a heck of a film. And it’s only seven months away now! I can’t wait.

Open Letter From WB “Insider” Calls Wonder Woman Movie “A Mess”, Patty Jenkins Disagrees

August 15, 2016

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In a fun bit of internet drama late last week, Pajiba posted an open letter from a pseudonymed, irate Warner Bros. employee addressed to the company’s CEO, Kevin Tsujihara. The letter took Tsujihara to task for a variety of box office bombs and underperforming franchises, failures for which lower level employees have borne the brunt via layoffs. There’s been some debate about the legitimacy of the letter writer and many have called it a fake written by a fan; the letter has tidbits of insider knowledge, though perhaps not enough to prove her credibility wholly. Regardless of its authenticity, the letter is an amusing scorcher, and is particularly interesting for what it has to say about Warner Bros.’s upcoming Wonder Woman film in the wake of Suicide Squad‘s critical drubbing:

What are you even doing? I wish to God you were forced to live out of a car until you made a #1 movie of the year. Maybe Wonder Woman wouldn’t be such a mess. Don’t try to hide behind the great trailer. People inside are already confirming it’s another mess. It is almost impressive how you keep rewarding the same producers and executives for making the same mistakes, over and over.

We don’t get many specifics, but the implication seems to be that Wonder Woman is in a troubling state in the same way that Suicide Squad was, i.e. a film developed in a similarly dark vein as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice scrambling to change its tone after critics eviscerated Batman v Superman and the film failed to deliver the studio’s box office expectations (it made a lot of money, sure, but all sources suggest that Warner Bros. expected it to be a billion dollar movie, which it wasn’t). Suicide Squad had massive reshoots trying to strike a lighter tone, and the resulting film is a bizarre jumble that’s just plummeted at the box office in its second week. This open letter suggests that Wonder Woman might be experiencing similar troubles.

Whether or not this is true, Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins took to Twitter to defend the film and call into question the report. Combined into a paragraph with her original spelling and grammar, Jenkins wrote:

Woah, just saw this press about WW having problems. Are they serious? This is some made up bs right here. Made up! Produce a source, anyone. You can’t because it’s entirely false. Don’t believe the hype people. Someone’s trying to spread some serious misinfo. Isn’t until you are intimately involved in these things that you realize how totally false these rumors can. Let me reassure you zero about the movie we are making has been called a mess by anyone in the know. Fact. Real lasso of truth, time, will reveal that letter to be false soon enough. But lame something so transparent in its agenda gets traction.

It’s an unequivocal defense of the movie, which is to be expected from its director, really. Though we’ve seen other directors at Warner Bros. talk about how well their film is going and how everyone is on board only to end up with cinematic messes; see: Man of Steel, Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad. Still, Wonder Woman is ten months away and I doubt there’s even much of a rough cut yet, much less anything near a finished picture. Unless it’s been terrible from the start, it’s unlikely there’s much for folks at Warner Bros. to praise or criticize yet. Plus Geoff Johns co-wrote the film, and he’s the poster boy for DC’s new, more fun direction. Wonder Woman may turn out to be the first film in this new tone, rather than the last of the original dark tone.

As always with rumoury movie news, time will tell. The trailer for Wonder Woman was fantastic, Gal Gadot is a great Wonder Woman, and the rest of the cast seems strong. I’m not worried about it yet, apart from my general worry about any superhero film that involves Zack Snyder in any capacity. The open letter will either be a prescient warning if the movie is bad or something we all forget about if it’s good. I remain cautiously optimistic it will be good. Maybe I’m fooling myself after Man of Steel, Batman v Superman, and Suicide Squad, but I’m hoping for the best.

Eugene Brave Rock Playing a Mystery Native Hero in the Wonder Woman Movie

August 4, 2016

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There’s a cool new article up on Indian Country that addresses one of the mysteries to come out of Batman v Superman. In the scene where Bruce Wayne learns that Wonder Woman has been around since World War One, he sees an old timey photo of Wonder Woman with a group of soldiers. One of them is Chris Pine as Steve Trevor, another appears to be Ewen Bremner in an as yet unnamed part, and one looks to be a Native American character. Indian Country spoke to the man who plays this latter character in Patty Jenkins’ upcoming Wonder Woman, actor and stuntman Eugene Brave Rock.

Brave Rock was sparse on plot details, and told them, “I am only allowed to say I was in London for five months filming the Wonder Woman movie. That is all I am allowed to say.” He actually didn’t know he was auditioning for Wonder Woman when he came in to read for a part, and he said that shooting the film was “as an amazing experience.” Brave Rock also noted that he was allowed to have a lot of input into his character:

“DC really let me have a voice. Usually movies have a lot of do’s and don’ts and they tell you you have to do things a certain way, but in this case, even with wardrobe, it was awesome. In the end, they let me decide a lot about my character. Previously, movies have even told me how I had to braid my hair, and you don’t have a choice – but this was not the case.”

It’s good to hear that Patty Jenkins and DC deferred to Brave Rock and his own knowledge of his culture; that should make for an especially authentic and respectful depiction. It’s also encouraging news in the wake of several reviews of DC’s latest film, Suicide Squad, labelling the film as racist.

We don’t know a lot about the story or characters in Wonder Woman yet, and Brave Rock didn’t give any hints as to who he’d be playing, but he is listed as “Chief” on IMDB. That suggests he might be playing Apache Chief, a Native character from the animated series Super Friends, or perhaps his unofficial comic book counterpart, Manitou Raven. DC has had several other Native characters in their comics over the years as well, and two of them in particular seem like they might be good fits. Pow Wow Smith was a 19th century sheriff in several Western tales, and that era is pretty close to Wonder Woman‘s 1910s setting. There was also another “Chief” in the mix, Super-Chief, an Iroquois warrior who found a meteorite that gave him powers and also extended his life; Super-Chief is a legacy character, with the meteorite being passed down through the family. Brave Rock might be playing one of these characters, or perhaps a completely new one. We’re still ten months away from the film’s release, and DC seems to be keeping their cards close to their chest with Wonder Woman.

The recently released trailer doesn’t offer many hints about Brave Rock’s character either. I think he’s in it, briefly, around the 1:41 mark:

It looks like he, Steve Trevor, and maybe a couple of the other guys from the photo above are ducking out of the way as an explosion goes off. It might just be someone with a similar hat, though. The trailer doesn’t delve into the supporting cast much in general, really.

I’m excited to find out who Brave Rock is playing, and that he’s part of the cast. Period films so often fall into the trap of casting all white actors, especially European war movies, and I’m glad to see that Wonder Woman is aiming to present a more diverse portrait of the time. Between Brave Rock and Saïd Taghmaoui, it looks Diana and Steve are going to have a multi-cultural squad, and that’s very cool. Be sure to check out Indian Country‘s piece for more information on Brave Rock, and of course go see Wonder Woman on June 2, 2017.

Wonder Woman and Justice League Trailers Debut at Comic-Con, and Both Look Cool!

July 23, 2016

Today was Warner Bros.’ movie panel at San Diego Comic-Con, and that video right above this text is the first Wonder Woman trailer. Can we just take a second to appreciate that this finally exists? I mean, dang, it’s been decades of development to get here. We’ve seen a million different Batmans and Spider-Mans and Supermans and now we’ve finally got Wonder Woman on the big screen in her own film. It’s so overdue, but exciting nonetheless.

And, thank the goddesses, it’s pretty fun. This is a trailer in which Wonder Woman infiltrates a fancy party with a sword hidden in the back of her dress. I am SO on board for that. Plus, all of the elements are there. Amazons on a hidden island, a crashed Steve Trevor, a bad ass Diana whooping all kind of dudes, even friggin’ Etta Candy. This is a legit Wonder Woman.

Plus the action looks ridiculously fun. I still don’t love that Wonder Woman has a sword all the dang time, hilarious party subterfuge aside, but the fights here look super rad. And the lasso glows! It also glowed for the 12 seconds she used it in Batman v Superman, and it looked cool there so I’m glad they’re continuing it here. It’s kind of awesome.

We’ve also got a properly mystical and magical Paradise Island, which is key. It’s otherworldly, to be sure. And “They do not deserve you” is my favourite line in the whole trailer. I am all about a Hippolyta who loves her daughter fiercely and has some qualms about sending her out into the barbaric world of men. So often we see that mother/daughter relationship portrayed poorly, and the hints of it we see in this trailer really hit the mark for me.

Also, Steve Trevor is kind of endearing, which is a pleasant surprise. Steve is so often boring, but casting Chris Pine was a smart move. I suppose your enjoyment of Steve will depend on your enjoyment of Pine, but I’ve found his handsome snarkiness enjoyable over the years. He comes off as a good man in the trailer, and that’s all he needs to be really. Then at the end we get Etta Candy! Instantly taking a shine to Diana, like Etta always should. That final scene is a delight.

However, it’s a British Etta Candy during World War One, and that still feels weird to me. It’s a good trailer and I’m cautiously optimistic about the movie, but this is not a Wonder Woman that has ever existed before. Her classic origin is rooted in World War Two, and her successive incarnations have only updated her origin to a more modern setting. There’s never been a Diana in 1910s England, or a British Etta, or Amazons fighting the Kaiser’s troops. It’s Wonder Woman, but it’s not quite Wonder Woman for me. Yet. The change may well grow on me once I see the film. But I still feel a slight disconnect about the change in setting and time, and the ripples that causes in the mythos.

Also, as I’ve mentioned several times, situating Wonder Woman so far in the past may limit her relevance. It’s easy to make Wonder Woman look cool and feminist against sexists dudes from a century past, and to poke holes in the inequality of those days; this is a world where women couldn’t even vote yet! But we’re dealing with 2016 sexism these days, and lots of it. Pitting  Wonder Woman versus straw men ideologies everyone today agrees was bad is weak sauce. Wonder Woman should be confronting the issues that face women today.

Still, Gal Gadot is a GREAT Wonder Woman, and she’s amazing in this trailer. She captures the character so well, and I love the strength and regality and power she brings to the role. Patty Jenkins looks to have a good handle on Wonder Woman as well, and on a big action film. Everything felt like Wonder Woman, to a certain extent, and it was all suitably epic and action packed and exciting. They seem to be an excellent team.

I still have no idea what this movie is about, other than that it’s Wonder Woman’s origin. The bad guys appear to be Danny Huston and maybe that gal in the mask, but I have no idea who they are or what their objective is. Or what the plot is more broadly. It clearly involves the first world war, and it seems that the Amazons are going to get dragged into it, but this was more a teaser than anything overly specific in terms of plot.

It’s a dang good looking teaser, though, and I’m excited to learn more. I still have little to no faith whatsoever in DC’s cinematic universe after Man of Steel and Batman v Superman, and there are choices here with Wonder Woman that I’m not yet sold on. But the trailer looks very cool, and has definitely increased my optimism about the film as a whole.

And here’s something even crazier: We got a Justice League trailer as well, and it actually doesn’t look terrible:

Zack Snyder and company seem to have learned from the poor reception of Batman v Superman, and have actually given this film some humour and fun. The Flash seems poised to steal the movie, though bad ass Aquaman is clearly going to be a fan favourite as well. Wonder Woman doesn’t get a lot to do, but the tone in general is light and pleasant, even with an alien menace on the horizon. Affleck’s Batman seems like less of a psychotic jerk, and the trailer as a whole feels more like a DC property than anything the studio’s put out over the past decade or so. I am so pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed it. If they can figure out how to turn this franchise around from its bleak dourness, so one will be happier than me.

So HOORAY we’ve got a Wonder Woman trailer and DOUBLE HOORAY it doesn’t suck! Fingers crossed that they can pull off something cool here and reset the board for a more enjoyable universe with this and Justice League. These trailers are an excellent start.


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