If the live-action film is anywhere near as entertaining as this one, then TAKE MY MONEY, DCEU!!!
On the mystical island of Themyscira, a proud and fierce warrior race of Amazons have raised a princess of untold beauty, grace and strength – Diana. When U.S. fighter pilot Steve Trevor crash-lands on the island, the rebellious and headstrong Diana defies Amazonian law by accompanying Trevor back to civilization. Meanwhile, Ares (the God of War) has escaped his imprisonment at the hands of the Amazonians and has decided to exact his revenge by starting a World War that will last for centuries and wipe out every living being on the planet, starting with the Amazons. It is up to Diana to save her people and the world – by using her gifts and becoming the ultimate Wonder Woman!
The DC animation department at Warner Bros. needs to be in charge of a live-action film, or at the very least involved in every one of them. Have they created a dud before? It seems like they’ve got their fingers firmly placed on the pulse of the DC comic universe and have found a perfect way to translate it into mini-movies. Wonder Woman Commemorative Edition is another example in a long line of hits in the DC animation department’s portfolio. It contains serious drama, while respecting the WW material and creating an entertaining movie that could very well have laid the structure for the upcoming Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman film coming out this summer.
With that said, let’s dig right into this.
The first act lays down groundwork for Diana’s origin, her mother’s and how Ares fits into it all. The introduction to all of these things takes about 5-10 minutes of screen time that weaves a solid foundation that is both intellectually satisfying and also respectful to characters and past DC stories.
The film begins with a giant war, where Hippolyta, Diana’s mom, is trying to take down Ares before he can spread his war and hate around the world, thus making him almost unstoppable. While Ares tries his best to take down Hippolyta and her Amazonian warriors, he ends up losing a son in the war, one whom was bore by Hippolyta, and ultimately losing the war itself. Facing defeat, as well as inevitable death by Hippolyta’s sword, Hippolyta is stopped by Zeus and commanded to spare his son’s life in exchange for her peaceful solitary, and the solitary of her Amazonian warriors (as well as eternal life) on a paradise island away from men (it also includes Ares as a permanent prisoner). The first act of this wraps with the new peacefulness of the Amazonian warriors disrupted by a stray military plane finding its way to the island after a gruesome dogfight, as well as its pilot, Steve Trevor.
The first act is brilliant! It sets the tone for the rest of the film. You get a healthy dose of origins, proper motivation for our heroes to stop Ares and a wonderful balance of playfulness and seriousness between Diana and Steve Trevor. I’m not sure a first act could have been crafted better than this one, nor acted. It’s scary how close this opening is to the live-action movie, well according to the trailer, but if the upcoming film starts this way, then DCEU has the first undisputed hit on their hands.
Act two starts with some tragedy, at the expense of a main character (not saying who that might be) as Ares is broken out of jail and released into the world to create war and chaos once again. Diana and Steve are tasked with finding Ares and destroying him. The problem is that Ares has a head start and is gathering forces to create a war torn North America, which would give him power that is nearly unstoppable. In addition to this, Ares ends up cutting a deal with Hades, in exchange for releasing him from the bonds created by Zeus to stop him from destruction again, to bring up the dead to help him fight Diana and the United States military. The move will ensure millions of new residents/slaves for Hades, while also guaranteeing Ares complete world domination. Not bad for a second act crisis. The act wraps with Ares preparing to battle and Diana being on the short end of the stick when it comes to stopping Ares.
The second act is brutal. There is a heavy amount of violence with plenty drama/story played out leading up to the third act. It rolls and pushes itself forward with momentum created by interesting characters and well thoughtout plot points. Virtually no main character is safe, so you don’t know who could go, which creates wonderful tension while viewing the film. It really keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire act. Anyway, the second act is just as good as the first act, if not better.
The last act has all hell breaking loose, as well as emotional moments for familiar faces that are returning from the dead. Ares’ fight with Diana ends on a sick note, but fits right in with the rest of the film and how it is handled. On that note, dear readers, I shall stop to avoid finale spoilers.
Overall, this Wonder Woman film is one of the most evenly built, powerful stories that treat the sacred DC characters involved properly. It doesn’t pull its punches in the brutality of the content, as it simply tells the story it wants to tell, as well as showing off how positively kickass a properly made Wonder Woman movie can be. It’s definitely a wonderful primer to the upcoming Patty Jenkins film, which should fall into the same amount of entertainment level as this one. If you’re a fan of the DC animation universe, then there is no reason why you wouldn’t want to own this movie. It’s a must-have.
If the movie wasn’t enough to quench your Wonder Woman thirst, then the Blu-ray features contained will certainly help complete it. The blu-ray contains some solid features that add more value to the overall package. Here’s what you should expect with it:
· Featurette – What Makes A Wonder Woman
· Sneak Peek – Batman and Harley Quinn
· Creative Team Commentary: Scene and film analysis by producers Bruce Timm & Gregory Noveck, director Lauren Montgomery and screenwriter Michael Jelenic.
· Featurette – Wonder Woman: A Subversive Dream
· Featurette – Wonder Woman: Daughter of Myth
These are features I would be proud to show my daughters. The featurettes represent the character well and add a bit more depth to her person. The more info, the better and this list is plenty.