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In a time when superheros and cinematic universes feel the need to be dark, edgy and emo, it was about time that someone came along to shake things up. Wonder Woman proudly holds its head up high, as Gal Gadot and director Patty Jenkins lead the first ever female lead superhero tale in spectacular fashion. Working as an origin story without the need to connect to the greater DCEU, whilst still adhering to the typical third act CGI spectacle requirements, the film succeeds in being a tale of discovery, love and honor, pumped full of exhilarating action and earnest laughs. Unlike previous DC films which revel in the dark and gloomy moods of it's troubled male protagonists, Wonder Woman comes alive through Gadot's performance, bringing a wealth of charisma and optimism to a franchise generally quite devoid of it. Let's hope she can keep this energy up for when Justice League swings into theaters in the fall.
There's an old saying. It goes: "less is more." This saying definitely does not apply to Roland Emmerich. Having built his career by destroying the world over and over again on films like "The Day After Tomorrow, "2012", and the original "Independence Day", it seems that the only way Emmerich knows how to top himself is to utilize every bit of CGI power in his arsenal to go full on berserk mode on the Earth. Alas while this has worked in his previous efforts to varying degrees of success (I loved The Day After Tomorrow and ID4), Emmerich has completely removed any charisma, wit and empathy from his checklist. Not one single character in this film displays any sense of energy or charm as they deliver lines so cheesy and devoid of emotion that they never register at all. The editing jumps between moments of suspense and juxtaposes it with unwarranted humor and cringey performances so often that it makes you feel like the filmmakers aren't confident enough in their own product to let you really take in the world that they've created. And then there are the effects. Has there even been a end of the world film that's this dull and empty? Perhaps it's because we've seen the Earth go down the rabbit hole so often now that it's no longer new to us, but with some believable characters and better story beats, "Resurgence" could have been an enjoyable popcorn film. But instead it tarnishes the name of the original and reminds us once again that flashy CGI can never make up for lazy writing and character development. Not reprising his role was probably Will Smiths best decision in a long time. Not even a glittering paycheck could have saved this abomination of a summer blockbuster.