Wonder Woman DVD review

After countless failed attempts to bring DC’s biggest heroine to a big or small screen, director Patty Jenkins smashes her first outing in the superhero genre. Wonder Woman is heartfelt, exciting and may be better than anything else that either Marvel or DC have to offer.

Before she was Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on a sheltered island paradise, Diana meets an American pilot (Chris Pine) who tells her about the massive conflict that’s raging in the outside. Convinced that she can stop the threat, Diana leaves her home for the first time. Fighting alongside men in a war to end all wars, she finally discovers her full powers and true destiny.

Some people are born to play certain characters. When Gal Gadot was announced as Wonder Woman, may scoffed at her slight figure. However when she slipped on that tiara and slammed her cuffs together for the first time, in Batman V. Superman, no one could deny that she embodied the character. But Wonder Woman is more than her presence. In Wonder Woman we finally get an origin story worthy of the character and her rich history.

Set in the DC Extended Universe first established by Man of Steel, Wonder Woman is your classic superhero origin story. The film opens in the present, before going back to Diana’s childhood. Diana grew up as the only child on the island of Themyscira, the daughter of the fierce Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen) and trained by her ferocious aunt, General Antiope (Robin Wright). Themyscira is literally a shining beacon of hope. The tones on the island are bright and almost overly vibrant compared to the dark setting of World War I.

Diana’s life completely changes when Steve Trevor literally crashes into her paradise. Under duress, and forced by the lasso of truth, Steve tells the Amazon about the Great War, and the devastation that it has reeked across Europe. Diana hears his account, and correlates the evil in the world with Ares, the God of War, and seemingly the only reason that the Amazons exist, to put an end to him.

Against her mother’s wishes, Diana leaves with Steve for Europe in hopes of finding and defeating Ares. Steve with the help of his very capable secretary Etta Candy (Lucy Davis) and ally Sir Patrick Morgan (David Thewlis) they put together a ragtag group: Sameer (Saïd Taghmaoi), Charlie (Ewen Bremner), and Chief Napi (Eugene Brave Rock), to find the real world villains General Erich Ludendorff (Danny Huston) and Scientist Doctor Maru (Elena Anaya).

The acting throughout is fantastically crafted, which is helped by carefully plotted details. Unlike the heavily burdened Man of Steel, or the shotty edited Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman was allowed to be hopeful in the darkest of times. Gadot brought a shining naivety that hasn’t really been showcased before. Diana may be old in age, but up until she left that island, she was fairly sheltered. She was learned, but not experienced, which gave us some great moments, like the cute ice cream scene and the heart wrenching moment when she realizes just how depraved war can be.

The Amazons adapting Gadots native accent was brilliant, rather than Americanizing her, allowing Gadot to keep her accent it made her and them seem exotic against the normalcy of Pine’s American Accent, or even the countless other German and British accents that were peppered in.

Not only was the acting exceptional, the action was dynamic, and different. There are several action sequences, and yet they were done in a way, that no two are alike. Sure Gadot is dominating the field of battle, but each time, they almost highlight a skill, whether its by sword, whip, or even pure power, it all works to highlight the eliteness of the Amazons.

Where Wonder Woman stumbles, is where most superhero movies, or action movies in general stumble, the villain. What is great is the fact that the villain is mighty enough to actually pose a threat, however the execution leaves much to be desired. But whereas most of the characters are well developed, Ares is very one dimensional, relying too heavily on the use of monologue to make his point. But even so, the character does succeed in creating doubt in Diana, and actual furthering her character development as she becomes a true hero.

Bottom line, Wonder Woman is a solid and gripping origin story, finally worthy of the character’s legacy. Jenkins as director has given us the best comic book adaptation yet, that proves women can be the lead character in good comic films.  Gadot is as amazing as she is beautiful, and Pine is as charming as he is handsome.

Now what do you get with the DVD, besides amazing visuals, and a quality movie? Besides the normal behind the scenes extras and blooper reel, there’s some extended scenes and a bonus scene not seen in theaters. Unlike Batman V. Superman, Wonder Woman didn’t need an extended cut, which was definitely closer to the film that fans deserved. What Wonder Woman does give is a great scene with Etta Candy and the remaining gang. Although World War I is at an end, it doesn’t mean that everyone’s work is done. Etta steps in as leader, and shows just how capable it is. It’s a very fun scene, with the delightful Miss Candy and is a nice set up for Justice League with the mother box.

Crafting the Wonder, A Director’s Vision, The Wonder Behind the Camera,  Warriors of Wonder Woman  and the Trinity are all great behinds the scenes extras, showcasing the amazing Patty Jenkins, or the intricate work that went into Wonder Woman. The only extra that didn’t feel needed was Finding the Wonder Woman Within, which was more opinion piece than anything that had to do with the film.

Of the extended scenes, which are only about a minute,  the one that I personally favored most, was the extended boat scene. Pine and Gadot ooze chemistry from the first Little Mermaid moment on the beach, and the boat scene in the film is one of my favorites. The dialogue edges the lines of witty, suggestive, and innocent all at the same time. The extended scene is more of this goodness, though in all honesty the cut in the movie was definitely preferred.

Although many of you have already purchased the digital copy of Wonder Woman, the blu ray is a must have. The video is incredibly crisp, the audio is intense and it really does make the purchase worth every penny, and that’s before all the bonus goodies. Wonder Woman is available on dvd and blu ray tomorrow, September 19th 2017. 


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