Tag Archives: Gal Gadot

Wonder Woman – Movie Review

Wonder Woman is a breath of fresh air…when it comes to DC movies. It used to be that we looked forward to how good a Marvel movie would be and how bad a DC movie would be.

Release Date: June 2, 2017
Writer: Allan Heinberg
Director: Patty Jenkins
Cast: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright

Wonder Woman follows the demi-god, Diana (Gal Godot). She lives on the island of Themyscira with her fellow Amazons including her mother, Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen) and her aunt General Antiope (Robin Wright). The island is mysteriously hidden from the rest of the world, while the rest of the world slowly destroys itself during World War I.

Wonder Woman is an origins story. It starts by lumbering through an explanation of the Greek Mythology, of Zeus, and of his son Ares. But the real story here is Diana’s struggle to become the greatest warrior of the Amazons and the mystery as to why Queen Hippolyta will not allow this to be.

Meanwhile, as World War I comes to an end, American spy and pilot Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) crashes his damaged plane off the shores of Themyscira while fleeing a squadron of German fighter planes. Diana rescues Steve and vanquishes the German soldiers with the help of her fellow Amazons. Untrusted and captive, Trevor tells Diana about the “war to end all wars.” He pleads with her for his release so he can deliver the stolen formula of a potent nerve gas that Germany will use as a last-ditch effort to win the war.

Diana helps Steve escape in order to help him win the ultimate war. After proving herself to her mother, Diana leaves the island as a warrior and with an ominous warning about ever returning. Eager to become the heroine, she is destined to become, Diana finds herself increasingly impatient with Steve’s stalling and British bureaucracies.

Demanding to head directly into action, Steve teams her up with a motley crew of fighters including Sameer (Said Taghmaoui)-master of disguise, Charlie (Ewen Bremner)-PTSD scarred sniper and Chief (Eugene Brave Rock) – Street-smart trader of goods. That’s Wonder Woman.

I mentioned in my Man of Steel review, that Zach Snyder’s depiction of Superman is not Superman. As good as Henry Cavill was, the man on screen is not the Superman I came to see. Thankfully, Gal Gadot is Wonder Woman. Beauty aside, she is a convincing warrior with moral conviction. She has the confidence and strength to be a hero. She has charm and Patty Jenkins masterfully tells a brighter story in contrast to the dark overtones of Man of Steel. DC finally made a hero that girls (and boys) can admire.

A pre-requisite of a superhero film is good action scenes. The battle on Themyscira was fantastic showing Amazon cunning in a fight of guns and mortars versus swords and arrows. The movie’s set pieces of Diana leading the charge into “No Man’s Land” is a spectacular display of Wonder Woman’s power, strength, and fighting ability.

I have only two minor complaints about Wonder Woman. I won’t belabor it because this is an exceptional movie. One, the origin segment at the start and its mythology, just needed to move a little faster. I think we’re proving that origins are not necessary for all hero movies.

Two, there is a moment when Diana is in London and she is the fish-out-of-water moment. It’s played for laughs and at the expense of this strong character, Jenkins had established for over an hour. While humorous, the sequence is not very original. She is portrayed as a little naïve when she could have been portrayed as regal.

Wonder Woman is a straight up superhero film. It is a story about Diana’s transformation into Wonder Woman. It’s not making a statement about gender. While Diana is a woman. She has no hang up about gender inequality, she’s a powerful confident person with all the experience of being female. She is not fighting men, she is fighting evil. She is not fighting for women only but fighting for all people in hopes bringing peace to a war-ravaged people.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – Movie Review

Realizing they are falling behind, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is the latest entry from Warner Brothers to cash in on their share of superhero dollars. Is this a cash grab or a serious attempt to be a real player in the superhero genre?

Release Date: March 25, 2016
Writer: David Goyer
Director: Zach Snyder
Cast: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Diane Lane, Gal Gadot

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a decent action movie. Unfortunately, it is loaded is popular DC comic book characters and has Marvel Studios setting a high standard for comic book movies. The movie delivers on its title. The all-powerful Superman battles the street-smart vigilante Batman and the battle itself is fun to watch.

The problem is everything leading up to this moment was thrown at us in rapid-fire succession and not developed well. Before we go into the problem, I’ll say what was good about the movie is Ben Affleck’s Batman was not bad, and the action/fights are good.

The main problem with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is its need to present a lot of information and only having two and a half hours to present this information. Sadly, the movie needs another two hours to tell its story and no one wants to sit through that.

The movie starting strong with the final battle between Superman and General Zod but seen through the eyes of Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck). Bruce for some reason is in Metropolis, and he is trying to get to some guy trapped in building owned by Wayne Enterprises. Of course, this building is destroyed as collateral damage from the aforementioned fight and the guy, who we only know as Wayne’s good friend perishes. On top of that, we are once again treated to flashback memories of the death of Bruce Wayne’s parents. Already that is a lot.

Next, we jump to Lois Lane (Amy Adams) in the middle east attempting to get an interview with some alleged terrorists. This moment serves only to reintroduce Lois as the main character and her relationship with her protective lover, Superman (Henry Cavill). Later, there is a discussion with Lois and Superman in a bathtub, which is super-hot. Other than that, Lois as a character serves only to expose ultimately Lex Luther as the mastermind of the tragic events that are about to happen.

The next storyline follows the newly discovered Kryptonite. Lex (Jesse Eisenberg) needs help from Congress, led by Senator Finch (Holly Hunter), to import the substance to his lab in the U.S. so it can be used as a weapon against Superman. The twist occurs when the substance is stolen by Batman so that it can be used as a weapon against Superman.

Let us now return to Batman’s story. Haunted again, by the death of his parents, Batman sees the only salvation the world has is the death of Superman. Of course, Batman is conflicted. He also doesn’t trust Lex. Batman hacks into the phone of Lex’s henchman to discover the identity of four “meta-humans” who may be able to help defeat Superman.

Back to Lex, who is upset about his stolen Kryptonite, manages to blame Superman for another national tragedy, figures a way to instigate a fight between Superman and Batman and finally discovers all of Superman’s secret by accessing Zod’s ship from the first movie.

Now to Superman, who only wants to bring peace to his new home and protect his girlfriend. Look, this movie suffers from too much plot. There is so much plot going on that every strand of the plot is not serviced adequately leaving it weak and full of holes.

Another problem, secondary characters only serve to move story along. Lois Lane exists to slowly reveal the mystery of Lex and the Kryptonite and Lex Luther is the vehicle the film uses the pit Superman and Batman against one another and to ultimately unite them together. You could have interchanged Lex with other DC villains and still told the same story.

Lastly, the introduction of the Justice League is weak and underwhelming. As seen in the trailers, Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) is introduced late into the action. Very little is said about her and she kicks ass, which is what we want, but clearly anything related to the Justice League feels last minute and serves only to create excitement about the Justice League movie.

It’s hard not to feel like Batman v Superman is a movie that needed to exist because Warner Brother’s was falling behind in the superhero race. The difference is that Marvel built its universe over the course of 10 years and Warner Brothers started two years ago with Man of Steel.

The tone of Batman v Superman is dark and moody. There is very little humor in the film. I don’t necessarily have a problem with this. One, it sets itself up as a different kind of filmmaking compared to Marvel. Two, it’s borrowing from brooding tones of the Dark Knight. My only problem is that Superman has always been a character of hope and justice. His storyline, beginning with Man of Steel, as the misunderstood alien just isn’t striking the right tone for Superman.

There you have it. A movie with both Batman and Superman, an introduction to Wonder Woman and soon the Justice League. That’s the best thing you could say about Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.