I know this movie has gotten a lot of praise recently, and deservedly so. It’s an excellent movie. This post is not going to praise it as much. Don’t get me wrong. It’s easily the best movie in the DCEU, and a great comic book movie overall, but it’s not perfect.
I’ll start with what I liked. I thought the strongest part of Wonder Woman was Diana’s personal transformation from naïveté to experience. She may have been raised as a warrior, but she was completely unprepared for the realities of World War I. That played really well against Steve’s pragmatic approach to war. He was very experienced, and knew that there had to be priorities. The dynamic between the two approaches added great tension while simultaneously allowing both characters to develop. Diana became more hardened and came to better understand her limitations, while Steve softened and saw that good could be accomplished an a small scale, not just a big one.
There weren’t any big flaws in the movie, but there were a few small ones. Overall, I felt the movie was very similar to Captain America: The First Avenger. They’re both period movies about an exceptionally moral character participating in a world war. There were even similar plot points. Wonder Woman is the better movie, but the similarities between the two were hard to ignore. I also didn’t think the villain was handled very well. I didn’t find General Ludendorff to be very threatening, and while Doctor Poison was more subtly menacing, there wasn’t enough information given about her to give her character real impact. Similarly, Sammy, Charlie, and the Chief weren’t very developed either. There were a few attempts to give the characters depth, like Charlie’s nightmares, or Sammy’s admission that he wanted to do more to help in the war effort, but couldn’t because of his ethnicity, but that was it. They each had about one line to develop the character, and then they were ignored.
Despite its flaws, Wonder Woman is the new gold standard for the DCEU, and a great movie.