Saturday, March 14, 2009

Wonder Woman Review

The new animated Wonder Woman movie is good, heck it’s just about perfect.

First off, the animation is great, a nice blend of the JLU style and Anime with detailed eyes and shadow. Combine that with fairly top-notch voice acting and the characters become solid with ease. Wonder Woman’s origin story is quickly setup up with a bloody opening battle between Aries and the pre-Diana Amazons that puts the body-count in the double digits in the first five minutes. This opening battle is actually clever in putting the motive in a cast of Amazons, along with Aries, which drives the rest of the story.

It’s not a difficult plot to figure out, so the makers did something pretty smart. They invested in the characters. Aries is not some bahahahah villain, but has real reasons for what he does. Steve Trevor, who’s a little odd sounding just like Captain Malcolm from Fire Fly since Nathan Fillion voices him, is not just some chauvinistic idiot. Wonder Woman is not a man-hater, nor a na├»ve girl. Every time we come to a fork in the road for character they make an unexpected but good choice. And there’s banter, romantic comedy level banter mixed in with the decapitations.

Then there are the difficult choices. They introduce the bracelets verses the arrows instead of a rifle. They subtly suggest Wonder Woman’s mother intended for Trevor to find the island. The invisible jet is never explained, and that is wise since an explanation would only draw the viewer out of the story. So deftly, are these choices made that when the bookworm Amazon comes up with a key magic phrase to save the battle it is barely noticed—we’ve been hearing her spout on about reading ancient books the whole movie.

Then there are the battles: Monsters, nukes, automatic weapons, zombies with meat-puppet ninja skillz, and a whole heck of a lot of butt kicking. One problem you always face is how the hero is suppose to be threatened by the villain. Make him or her more powerful than Superman or Wonder Woman and they become fairly impossible to beat, but this Wonder Woman shows the guile of a warrior while being super powerful. So, while Superman slugs it out in battles that we really can’t see him losing; Wonder Woman manages to be in the fight of her life without relying on some McGuffin to pull out the victory.

All in all, this feature is a triumph. Buy it, rent it, support it. But be warned, this is a hard PG-13, and not for the kiddies. It’s simple, heroric, and not one part of it carries the shrill “I’m River/Buffy/Echo and I’m a suffering and abused” that some might implant in the Princess of the Amazons. She is a warrior born and a woman. This movie says men and women need each other, in life and in the fight against evil. Good story, good message, great fun, trust that you will laughing and clapping like a kid at the circus.

Status of socks: officially knocked off.

(This post is actually by genie junkie; he's lazy or technophobic or something, so I posted it. Also: Yeah, the WW movie kicks all kinds of ass. -Garm)