I've always been intrigued by Wonder Woman. I can't say I've read a lot of standalone Wonder Woman stories but I've always enjoyed her within the context of the Justice League. In DC's Trinity, I've always found Wonder Woman to be the most interesting, and not because her backstory has been retconned a dozen times. She's way more brutal than either Batman or Superman, and she isn't afraid to get her hands dirty. She was definitely their bruiser, more than Supes ever will be.
I like where the current Wonder Woman lore stands right now, even after the New 52. And it seems like Warner Brothers and Zack Snyder did as well, because that's pretty much where this origin story comes from.
As far as origin stories go, it's standard fare - pretty much follows the classical hero's journey. But for me personally, it was presented in a way that fit the character very nicely. My experience was the character has always been when she was more mature as a hero and warrior, or more learned about the ways of the world. It was great to see how she started out in the world outside of Themyscira. The 2009 Wonder Woman direct-to-DVD movie, Wonder Woman, explored this a bit, but it was a far more central point in the 2017 movie.
It did a good job of bridging the Superman Vs Batman and Justice League movies together without it relying on them too much, a thing Marvel has been very heavy handed with. It stands pretty much on its own and can exist in a world that didn't have a Justice League movie in the works.
Of all the DC movies, this is by far the most lighthearted one. It isn't a comedy by any means (I'm looking at you, Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2), but it gives a much needed levity to what could've easily been another dark and broody movie. The humor made this movie a much more enjoyable flick to sit through, while not driving the attention away from the emotional parts.
Going from fun to action packed made for pretty good pacing, with something to keep your attention for over two hours (141 minutes runtime). Trust me, it won't feel like two hours.
My biggest gripe with it would be the main villain. I don't want to spoil anything here, but Wonder Woman did what Marvel usually does. They develop the hero way more than the villains so during the climax, you don't feel the threat. This is partially why I don't like the 3rd act.
The Visuals and Audio
I thought it was going to be a thing with almost all of DC's movies, that the color grading will always have that muted unsaturated look. And to be fair, Wonder Woman did have that, too, but not when Wonder Woman shows up in full battle gear. Her costume was bright and colorful, and it made her pop out of screen like crazy. You could feel Zack Snyder's 300 in that almost every scene could be paused and you'd have a kick-ass wallpaper.
A superhero movie worth its salt should have some pretty good fight choreography, and this doubly true for Wonder Woman. She is a skilled Amazon warrior. She can kick ass with the best of them. That's why it's such a relief to see some pretty epic fight scenes in Wonder Woman. Like, fight scenes I would watch over and over just because they were that good. Unfortunately, I can't say the same for the final climactic fight, though. Too bad.
As a comic book reader, I was thrilled with the way they presented Wonder Woman's powers.
Oh and that riff you hear in the trailer, I think it's badass.
One thing I do hate, though, is that German characters talk to each other in English in German accents. Even when they were among just German-speaking characters, even when alone. That does not make any sense! Give us subtitles, DC.
The Overall Presentation
Gal Gadot's performance was really good, but I don't think she'd win any Oscars for it. The visuals were great, and the fight scenes were tight. The final act was a bit of a let down but it wasn't too much of a dip that it rendered the movie unwatchable.
All in all, I think this is the most entertaining and most charming movie DC has ever come out with. I would definitely say Wonder Woman, despite its imperfections, has definitely up to the hype. So, yes, go see this movie with your friends and your family. Go see it over and over. You will not be disappointed. I just hope Justice League would be table to top it.
Score: 4.2 out of 5