Wonder Woman (2009) Review

director: Lauren Montgomery

writers: Gail Simone, Michael Jelenic

starring: Keri Russel, Alfred Molina, Virginia Madsen, Rosario Dawson, Nathan Fillion

genre: Action | Animation | Comics

Let me just start by saying that I’m a huge comic book fan as you've might have realized by the many comics book film reviews on this site. 'Wonder' Woman though has been one of those characters that never attracted me that much. I will explain more on why later. But as a mediocre fan of DC and with no knowledge of Wonder Woman's history but merely of the basics I managed to enjoy this animated film. I think many others will as well as it's easy to get into and shows that even the silliest of characters can have a different side to them.

story:

It all starts out with the ancient war between the Amazon women led by Queen Hippolyta (Virginia Madsen) and the god of war Ares (Alfred Molina). After a fierce battle Hera decides to keep Ares power contained and gives the gift to the warrior Hippolyta a land to live away from man and to her beautiful daughter Diana (Keri Russell). After centuries of isolation a fighter pilot crash lands on the Amazon land and young Diana has her first encounter with a man Steve Trevor (Nathan Fillion). And from then on will start her goal of protecting mankind. In the meantime evil Ares with help of a Amazon women is looking to get his power back and destroy the world and act revenge against the Amazonians for their past aggression.

thoughts:

What makes this film so special is the seriousness of the material. I wasn't expecting Amazon women talking about gender biasism which is played very heavily and plays dominant part in Diana’s first encounter with men and the outside world. Usually when it’s a straight to DVD animated film you would think that these subjects or words like misogynistic would ever be in it because it would be probably for kids. Well think again. This film is not that much for children with great action and hints to messier violence this more for young adults either that are interested in getting into the comics lore or fans that just want to see their heroes in another medium.

Now you may wonder what are my problems with Wonder Woman? Well first it has to start with DC. DC is the place for more iconic figures that fit to a more fantasy realm environment while Marvel is the place for realism and modern story setting with a touch of fantasy more to my personal taste. This was always something that stopped from me from entering Wonder Woman's world and to the larger DC universe. Also that costume of hers, the way her powers act and all these little things that could put you off. That is why I’m happy to say that the film did a pretty good job of telling the story of Wonder Woman without being cheesy, stupid and out of this world not believable. Making it a competent animation film.

This is something both DC and Marvel have realized with the potential market and have started already to make entertaining straight to DVD animated films with an aim to educate audiences of their characters before a most likely feature length release. A smart strategy based on that many of these characters are not known to the greater public even to the slightest. Also the gaining of class act actors to voice these iconic figures and smaller characters make the whole film more believable and grandiose.

verdict:

Fans of animation and comics should enjoy this film. Some cool action scenes, some light violence and with the serious tone of material makes this into fun film. Anybody looking for entry point into comics or Wonder Woman this film is highly suggested. Enjoy!

Personal Rating:

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review by Paul Katsaros

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