Wonder Woman Reviews
I just find the idea of Wonder Woman so... obnoxiously obsessed with outdated, elementary, oversimplified "gender wars", but alas, this is a pretty decent animated film.
Not only does it humor and have a good script but it has character development, complexities, and relationships that actually perpetuate the story. I mean sure, it all dwindles down to a stupid smash-and-bash ending but c'mon, it's an animated super-hero film.
Speaking of, the animation is absolutely astounding, some of the best stuff I've seen from the "West" (Japanese still easily step all over this, unfortunately.) which is essentially the highlight of the film. Watching Diana and her gal pals beat shit up is great.
Let's just say, this particular genre's standards have been pretty low. Making this an achievement on DC's part.
Col. Steve Trevor: [Sees thugs approaching] Oh, crap.
Wonder Woman: [Unaware of the thugs] Yes, I knew exactly what you were trying to do. And please don't use that language around me.
Another superhero entry from the Warner Premier animated film studio. Its pretty solid as an origin story for Wonder Woman, providing plenty of fast paced story telling, action, and humor. A solid voice cast as well.
After a big battle opening, we are taken to the mystical island of Themyscria, the home of the Amazons (super hot Greek warrior women), where a Unites States pilot, Steve Trever, voiced by Nathon Fillion, has crash landed. It is soon decided that he must be escorted back by the Amazon princess Diana, voiced by Keri Russell. Problems arise as Diana must also deal with the Greek god Ares, voiced by Alfred Molina, who has escaped from his imprisonment and seeks revenge against the Amazonians.
The story is very tightly written, putting a lot of focus on the Amazon's distrust of men in general, but as far as accuracy goes, this flick does a very good job at putting all of the elements of Wonder Woman together effectively, even if her invisible jet just sort of enters the scene without much explanation.
As mentioned, the voice cast is pretty well assembled, also including Rosario Dawson, Virginia Madsen, and Oliver Platt. Molina does good in the villain role. Russell is standard as the hero, but bouncing off of Fillion, who is quite enjoyable, makes it all work nicely enough.
Hippolyta: Here the true nature of men is laid bare. What other depraved thoughts must you be thinking?
Col. Steve Trevor: God, your daughter's got a nice rack.
This film also certainly balances its PG-13 rating well enough to include a lot of very violent battle scenes, which certainly make no excuses about the uses of swords and arrows against flesh and blood people (as well as minotaurs, zombie babes, and griffins).
I really quite enjoyed this entry into the animated DC catalog.
President's Adviser: Mr. President, the threat has been neutralized.
The President: How?
President's Adviser: It seems by a group of armored supermodels.
(Full review coming soon - with better wording probably)
[i]Wonder Woman[/i] opens in the distant past, as Hippolyta (voiced by Virginia Madsen), the Amazon Queen, leading a battle of her Amazons against Ares (Alfred Molina), the God of War, and their son, Thraxx (Jason Miller). Some Amazons fall in battle, but so does Thraxx. As Hippolyta prepares to dispatch Ares to the underworld, his father, the Greek God Zeus (David McCallum) stops Hippolyta from administering the coup de grace. In return for Hippolyta's forbearance, Zeus and his goddess wife, Hera (Marg Helgenberger), offer Hippolyta and the Amazons limited immortality (they can be injured and die, but otherwise live forever) and an island paradise, Themyscira, but with one condition: permanently keeping the depowered Ares prisoner on the island. In time, the gods reward Hippolyta with a daughter of her own, Diana (Keri Russell).
With constant training and instruction, Diana grows up into a fiercely capable warrior princess and chafes at her overprotective mother's limitations on her activities. When, however, a U.S. Air Force pilot, Col. Steve Trevor (Nathan Fillion), crash lands on Themyscira, and Ares makes good his escape into the outside world, the challenge falls on the Amazons to send one of their own to the outside world. After a competition leaves Diana as the winner, she?s rewarded with the Lasso of Truth, a golden tiara, and the Wonder Woman costume. From there, [i]Wonder Woman[/i] follows Diana as she tries to acclimate to the outside world and its retrograde gender politics and stop Ares before he repowers and begins another war against humankind.
[i]Wonder Woman[/i] efficiently covers the dramatic and emotional beats of the superhero (or superheroine, to be more accurate) origin story, from receiving or winning her superpowers and costume, to defeating her first major villain, with her maturation and independence providing Diana with the necessary character arc. Besides Steve Trevor, Diana?s foil and romantic interest, [i]Wonder Woman[/i] includes several Amazons, Artemis (voiced by Rosario Dawson), Alexa (Tara Strong), and Persephone (Vicki Lewis), as well as Hades (Oliver Platt), the God of the Underworld, Zeus' brother, and Ares' uncle, here depicted as a self-indulgent, corpulent, duplicitous deity. Hades is less the familiar god of Greek mythology than Dionysus, the Greek god of wine and inebriation (Bacchus in Roman mythology).
Like its direct-to-DVD predecessors, [i]Wonder Woman[/i] doesn't shy away from realistic violence (to the extent that animated violence can be depicted as "realistic"), fully meriting its "PG-13" rating. Amazons are, after all, warriors, and warriors fight and fall in battle, their souls transported to the Greek underworld. American soldiers who confront Ares' rampaging demon army in Washington, D.C. die too (mostly off-camera, though). Heads literally roll (typically via semi-tasteful silhouette). All that violence, however, rarely feels gratuitous, thanks to Lauren Montgomery's tightly paced direction. [i]Wonder Woman[/i] never feels too long or two short, a problem that afflicted the earlier entries in the direct-to-DVD animated series.
The animation too is much improved from previous entries. Working with Korean-based Moi Animation Studio, Montgomery and, presumably, DC animation producer Bruce Timm ([i]Justice League: The Animated Series[/i], [i]Superman: The Animated Series[/i], [i]Batman: The Animated Series[/i]), struck the right balance between storytelling needs (e.g., character designs, background detail and texture, set pieces) and the usually limited direct-to-DVD budget. Besides Wonder Woman's revealing costume, while will never change, at least not significantly, the only real problem Montgomery and Timm face is that the "fish out of water" scenario used so effectively in [i]Wonder Woman[/i] has limited utility in subsequent entries (if and when Warner Premiere/Warner Animation greenlights a sequel).